We have welcomed two new drinking dens to W4 in the last couple of weeks: the quirky booze shop Borough Wines & Beers on Turnham Green, and secret(ish) speakeasy Evans & Peel Pharmacy, tucked away behind a frosted window at the end of Devonshire Road.
As a professional boozehound and overexcited local I have made it my business to investigate both, and so this seems like a great opportunity to toast my favourite neighbourhood 'juice' joints...
51 Turnham Green Terrace
They say: Independent bottle shops offering wines, craft beers, spirits and events. Borough Wines also pioneered the environment (and wallet!) friendly wine and beer refill system.
I say: More shop than bar, but a very good-looking shop filled with interesting wine (who doesn't want to share a bottle of Bastard rose?), boutique spirits and fancy fair trade chocolate. Just three tables makes for a cosy drinking area, so it's the perfect place to make new wine buff friends.
D|R recommended serve: One (or two) of those wallet-friendly refills.
42 Devonshire Road
They say: Ailments and maladies should not restrict you from pursuing your intended frivolities. We can provide a select tonic or restorative tincture for even the most extreme afflictions. Our extractions and infusions are underway; We await your prescription requests...
I say: Lethal libations served with a side of door policy novelty. Once you are past Hercules the mad chemist patrolling the door (hint: whispering 'Local Prescription' will help you skip the queue) you'll enter a dark and sexy 20s-inspired speakeasy complete with vintage jazz, antique furniture, and, er, grilled cheese sandwiches to line your stomach.
D|R recommended serve: The Evans & Peel Old-Fashioned, the most dangerous thing to happen to Devonshire Road in a long time.
6 Turnham Green Terrace
They say: A British cocktail bar and bistro in the heart of Chiswick. More daughter than sister to the longstanding Charlotte’s Place restaurant on Ealing Common, we first opened in 2010 on a mission to offer inventive drinks as well as the award winning food we were already famous for.
I say: Inventive is right, bag a bar stool here and you'll soon be learning all about how Tom and his team infuse, blend, muddle, shake and stir their way to an unbeatable selection of heavenly gin mixes. This is Chiswick's best spot for cocktail geeks. And Gin School on a Monday is a delicious way to ruin yourself for the week.
D|R recommended serve: Bartender's choice (they change the menu almost every month, according to what's in season).
1 Station Parade, Burlington Lane
They say: Food became a fascination for me when I was very small, having grown up watching my mother work in our little cafe on Hayling Island. It was the swinging sixties of mods and rockers. I'm now thrilled to introduce Little Bird Cocktail Lounge & Restaurant, where you can indulge in Asian inspired food and bespoke cocktails. Little Bird in Chiswick won the accolade of one of the BEST new bars in 2016 (Founder Lorraine Angliss).
I say: Stylish booze and bites worth trekking to the wrong side of the High Road for (and actually right next to Chiswick overground station so a great meeting place for non-Chiswick friends). Keep an eye out for the roll of guest bartenders. And reservations are advised to avoid disappointment as this is a sit-down kind of joint, and really is quite a cute little bird.
D|R recommended serve: A robin-topped Little Bird served with a side of fizz.
162-170 Chiswick High Road
They say: A neighbourhood restaurant serving breakfast, brunch and an all-day menu. Featuring art deco elements, a vintage bar and a terrace on Chiswick High Road, the Brasserie is the ideal setting for coffee dates, intimate dinners, celebrations and late-night cocktails.
I say: Certainly one of W4's best bets for a late-night drink (open till 1am Friday and Saturday) as well as boozy brunches, long lunches and even that bit in between (staff here won't bat an eyelid if you order a Margarita at 11am). I love the New York bar vibe here and the outside terrace (heated in the winter) is a brilliant spot to watch the world go by. Don't leave without dousing yourself with Cowshed.
D|R recommended serve: There's not much that an Eastern Standard can't fix. And if you're off the booze one of the House Press anti-ageing 'Glow' juices will leave a spring in your step.
97-199 Chiswick High Road
They say: An independent neighbourhood bar and restaurant with a contemporary interior providing the perfect backdrop for relaxed eating and drinking. Be it day or night, coffee or nightcap, come and visit us, plonk yourself in a chair and lose yourself for a few hours.
I say: A stylish space perfect for groups and after-work fun and games (request the garden if you're being organised and booking in advance). Another good late-night spot (open until 1am on Friday and Saturday) that often features brilliant drunken dancing and actual DJs (not a given in Chiswick).
D|R recommended serve: Something Bloody the morning after c/o the Bloody Mary menu. The Bloody Snapper (made with local Sipsmith Gin) is basically magic.
7. Hack & Veldt
94 Turnham Green Terrace,
They say: Hack & Veldt is an independent cafe, delicatessen and wine bar proudly located in the heart of Chiswick on Turnham Green Terrace. We stock a wide range of foods and beverages, specially selected for their mouth-watering taste, and all served with a big smile. Ever since opening our doors in Chiswick in December 2012, we've stayed true to our goal of only selling things we love.
I say: True romance. Fairy lights, soft jazz and cosy tables make this a perfect date place once the lights have dimmed and the coffee crowds have dispersed (as well as craft beers, wines and spirits H&V serve the best coffee in the postcode). Things get a little livelier on the booze tasting and pop-up Supper Club nights, but make sure you book in advance.
D|R recommended serve: A classic G&T made - of course - with Sipsmith. Or lots of lovely cost-price wine on Monday nights.