No 197 Chiswick Fire Station — London, UK
The latest installation on leafy, well-heeled Chiswick High Road is a part of the Darwin & Wallace coterie, which also includes No 11 Pimlico Road, No 32 The Old Town and No1 Duke Street in Richmond. No 197 Chiswick Fire Station is housed in the area’s former red brick fire station.
Inside, the cavernous core has been gutted and whitewashed by two local studios, Box 9 Design and Red Deer, who have cannily filled the space with artworks selected by The Hang Up Gallery, pendant lighting, terracotta tiles by Bert and May, handcrafted oak chairs and Instagrammable giant cacti.
Plush merlot and blush pink velour lounge chairs by The French House, soft tan leather cushion benches and steel grey velour stools perched around the central oval-shaped bar, results in a look that is more Los Angeles than London, though you can expect more than cashew cheese and nut butters here; substantial plates of chicken Caesar salad, steak and skinny fries, trout with samphire, pesto and peas run the gamut of British gastro fare while local roaster Caravan provides the coffee and the juices are by Sundance.
The wine list is well considered and the cocktails feature house-made infusions. The atmosphere is buzzy, the music loud and there’s a dainty brickwork courtyard out back that is crying out for summer gatherings.