The Garden Pavilion

The Blurb

The Garden Pavilion is a collaboration between Chiswick House and Food Show Events, who have worked alongside some of the most celebrated chefs such as Jason Atherton and exclusive and prestigious venues throughout the UK and Europe.

The fine-dining restaurant will offer a prix-fixe 2-3 course British menu for lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, with high quality, fresh and seasonal produce from our Kitchen Garden. To accompany the dining menu, Food Show’s expert sommelier has crafted a tasty wine list including English sparkling wine.

Inspired by Chiswick House’s spectacular grounds, the interiors of The Garden Pavilion will bring the outside in, along with embracing quintessentially British themes in a fresh and exciting way. Think festoon lighting, twilight trees and floral decorations, culminating in a space that effortlessly encapsulates the natural beauty of the gardens and the English countryside as a whole – intimate and welcoming.

At a time when long-awaited family gatherings and social celebrations are at the forefront of everyone’s plans, this new addition to West London’s eating and drinking scene gives locals and visitors alike a sophisticated and memorable destination to enjoy over the summer and early autumn months.

As the nation slowly reopens, embrace the opportunity to experience one of Britain’s most stunning buildings and gardens this summer, as The Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House makes its long-awaited debut.

The Style

Chiswick House is a stunning 18th Century Palladian mansion in acres of glorious landscaped gardens an unlikely stone’s throw from distinctly unlovely Chiswick landmarks the Hogarth roundabout and Fuller’s brewery. We arrive early, intending to explore the gardens before dinner at the pop-up Garden Pavilion, but it being summer 2021, by the time we’ve got off the bus from Hammersmith (for the record, finding a bus stop on a motorway is as odd as it sounds) sheets of rain are pouring down and we can’t even have an aperitif on the terrace.

The charming management team is unfazed, all smiles as we’re shown to our table three quarters of an hour early, and we start to perk up as we take in our extremely pretty surroundings. It’s exactly like being in a superior wedding marquee – the kind of wedding that would set you back somewhere in the upper five-figure region – all twinkling fairy lights wrapped around miniature indoor tree branches, pleated white silk drapery and elaborate floral displays. Round tables set for six are dotted at suitably socially distanced intervals, and while it would be perfect on a sunny summer evening (remember those?) there’s something quite cosy about watching the biblical elements do their worst from our luxurious cocoon, borrowing large umbrellas from reception to go to the loo, which is in a separate pop-up building (natch), a short but soggy walk away.

The Crowd

Tricky to tell the night we visit as there are only a couple more tables occupied, the evil weather having no doubt prompted several no shows and dissuaded well-heeled Chiswick locals, who, according to our waiter, make up a large proportion of the usual clientele, from venturing out. A real shame as the food is well worth the journey, though I’d advise fellow non-drivers to shell out for an Uber. The other guests we do see have made an effort, men in jackets and ties, women flicky-shiny-haired in dresses and heels. The couple at the table closest to ours are checking the place out for their wedding and a friend dining with them seems to be a friend of the chef’s. It’s that kind of place.

The Food

To start, I went for the wonderfully fresh and vibrantly coloured salmon tartar, with elderflower jelly. Beautifully presented, this really was summer on a plate – which in some way made up for the ‘summer’ outside. Andy (always the more carnivorous of the two of us), went for the terrine of foie gras, with accompanying refreshing bits and bobs, the highlight of which was a little sphere of pickled pear, the perfect foil to the richness of the terrine.

Chef Max himself brought out both dishes himself and told us a bit about them, as he did with the remaining two courses. One of our waiters told us this was something he liked to do with all the diners, time permitting. We both thought this was a nice touch and something guaranteed to be popular with the punters. Max is quite an imposing figure; at over six feet tall, with a shaved head, there was something of the Vinnie Jones about him. Let’s put it this way, we weren’t going to complain about the food – and fortunately, there was absolutely nothing to complain about.

For the main course I had sea bass with asparagus and broad beans. This was again wonderfully presented, perfectly cooked fish and seasonal veg. A joy. Andy made a beeline for the red meat (as usual), in this instance lamb cooked two ways: canon of lamb (that succulent cut from the eye of the loin) and slow-cooked belly, deliciously crispy, with the fat totally rendered. It came with a lamb jus, although Andy swears it was too thick for a jus and probably actually a demi-glace based lamb sauce – but he wasn’t about to argue the point with Vinnie… I mean Max. Either way, it seemed to go down a treat.

Finally to pudding. I had the clever edible flower pot, comprising carrot cake topped with cream cheese frosting, carrot spaghetti and coffee crumble. Imaginative and delectable. Andy went for a rich chocolate delice with refreshing raspberry sorbet, a classic combination of flavours and no less yummy for it.

The Drink

We each had a glass of English sparkling wine as an aperitif. Gosh, we’ve got good at the bubbles over the last few years! With the food we shared a refreshing Spanish Blanco Sobre Lias (a chardonnay blend).

The Garden Pavilion is open until the end of September, so I’d advise heading there pronto – just in time for the forecast heatwave in the second half of August. Well, maybe.

The Details

Lucy and Andy enjoyed the prix fixe menu, £48.50 for three courses

The Garden Pavilion at Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2RP 07759 495245,

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