Simms' city: From the best hidden pubs to the Little House in Mayfair

Our diarist Freya Simms offers her fortnightly previews of her favourite London haunts…

The Eagle pub – Askew Road

Olympic bunting might still be swaying in some London streets in anticipation of the Paralympics, but there was a distinct air of PLOD (Post London Olympics Depression) permeating the city last week. The joy is that many visitors have fled - as well as the locals - to take advantage of the bank holiday, so those of us left are enjoying car free roads and some pretty stifling ice lolly-worthy weather. 

With that in mind, my business partner Narda and I had Friday afternoon away from the office, on parent duty. We met up at The Eagle pub which is the Ravenscourt Park end of the Askew Road. The Askew Road used to be a fairly depressing cut through from Hammersmith to Acton, but now is distinctly a la mode with shops like The Ginger Pig, Askew Wines and Long Live Vintage. The pub is replete with cosy sofas and a large garden full of tables, stripy deckchairs, oversized cushions and even, on Sundays, a BBQ. It’s a lovely, welcoming pub with simple food, a friendly wine-savvy manager and even water bowls for thirsty fox terriers. The three tots (Josh, Tom and Honey) had a great time causing havoc and littering the lawn with toys while Narda and I munched our way through salt and chilly squid and whitebait washed down with over-sized spritzers.

The Eagle pub

Ravenscourt Park

With the rabble needing  a run and somewhere to cool off we then made our way to Ravenscourt Park which is beautifully set up with a walled scented garden, grassy expanses, a café run by Fait Maison and the Lovely W6 Garden Centre, and no fewer than three playgrounds. We made a beeline to the giant sandpit and much needed paddling pool. Splashing and merriment was had by all - while the cheeky Josh grabbed a moment with his girlfriend (Darcy Rigg) behind a tree.

Josh Simms and Darcy Rigg in Ravenscourt Park

Josh Simms and Darcy Rigg in Ravenscourt Park

High Road House and The Old Cinema - Chiswick

The next day I was in the mood for a bit of local retail therapy so I met up with my sister, Louisa, for a delicious brunch at High Road House in Chiswick - which with the antiques and salvage emporium, The Old Cinema, next door, is excellently placed for a splurge. Built in the 1890s as a picture palace, it now functions as an antiques, vintage, and retro department store selling everything from Danish 1970s rosewood furniture to distressed French 19th century furniture and beyond.

Over the years I’ve bought quite a few things from here, this time a pair of over-sized antique bellows doubling as a coffee table caught my eye, but in the end I left with couple of painted wooden buoys that double up perfectly as door stops.

High Road House and The Old Cinema - Chiswick

Little House Mayfair

The weekend over it was back to a hot sticky office and the West End. As much of the art world still clocks off during August, I always allow myself one long lunch in that month to have a proper sociable catch-up with a work colleague. This time the destination was Soho House’s latest offering, Little House in Mayfair, handily a stroll from my office.  

The club features exposed brick walls, a salon bar, art on every surface, and feels like somewhere between Dean Street Town House and Babington House of the same stable. It is certainly somewhere you can get lost in for a few hours… There’s a feeling of faded glamour running throughout the house and the promise of some lovely autumn/winter evenings with large sofas arranged next to the fireplace beckoning further visits.

Little House Mayfair

 

Freya Simms is managing director of Gong Muse a Strategic Communications agency for the art and luxury markets and winner of PRCA Agency Campaign of the year 2011.

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