My friend and I had embarked on the first of a series of “explore the Sunday roasts of West London” visits and had booked to have lunch at the lovely Isleworth riverside pub, the London Apprentice (see http://www.allinlondon.co.uk/blogs/showblog.php?post=2074) . We arrived early, having decided that it would be great to take advantage of the rare sunshine with a walk along the river beforehand.
After a while, we stopped at The Town Wharf pub which has fabulous wooden decking and a good sized bar downstairs as well as a huge area upstairs (where the bar maid – although sounding Welsh – comes from Malta!) complete with a sea of leather Chesterfields and tables set next to large windows overlooking the water.
There were so many free tables and chairs on the deck – and a completely still heron on the other bank to watch – that it seemed rude not to stop and enjoy a cheeky gin and tonic. A public right of way (The Thames Path) goes along the deck of the pub so it’s a great place to people watch and Alfie growled every time another dog walked past or stopped to take a drink at the water bowl. This is how we met Pancake – a stunning collie and Rhodesian Ridge Back cross.
We were quite content but decided to move on to the Apprentice as our booking time was nearing. Unfortunately, when we arrived the place was absolutely crammed with people – and many of them had rather noisy kids. And as there was no free space on the terrace, we were shown to a table right at the back in the dark interior dining room. Now this is a fabulous place in the winter but we really wanted to enjoy that sunshine. So we took the decision to return to the Town Wharf.
As we strolled back onto the Wharf’s decks, Pancake’s owner mentioned that he had removed our glasses. My companion – not quite realising that he was the owner at this point – asked him whether the food was good! He’s only been at the Town Wharf for two months and keen to encourage new visitors – whether or not that have a canine companion. He was very friendly. And Pancake never left his side.
As a Sam Smith pub the menu didn’t include roasts but offered a variety of the usual pub fare – Caesar salad (£3), fish and chips (£5.95), three cheese macaroni (£6.20), gluten free chilli con carne (£6.95) and – for dessert – things like ginger and butter sponge pudding (£2.90). There were lots of other options but we choose the fish and chips – amazed at the good value.
Sam Smith pubs also don’t do TV or music – which is perfect if you just want to just sit and enjoy a drink and the fabulous views while your faithful dog sits by your side. I’m also delighted to report that whilst my friend and I and Alfie were perfectly happy sitting on the decking over the water in the sunshine, dogs are allowed inside the pub if they are kept on a lead.
Replete, we wandered back to the river and as the tide was out took a stroll along the beach before taking a turn around Syon Park. There were lots of folk enjoying picnics on the grass areas and we managed to resist the ice cream van only to give into temptation and indulge in the delicious cakes in the garden centre’s outside café. Again, Alfie was made very welcome and managed to attract the usual throng of squealing-with-delight children (and a few grown ups!).
Looks like The Town Wharf will become a new West London favourite!