Firstthing you notice about The City Barge is the location. It is a bit of a trek to get to — a ten minute walk from Gunnersbury station — but this is part of its charm. Perched on the banks of the Thames in Chiswick, its prospect over the water provides beautiful views from the restaurant and bar and from the few tables outside.
Recently refurbished and re-opened, the brand new interior now boasts Ant & Dec as locals, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s beautiful inside, all exposed wood beams and smartly set tables. We share a Foie Gras terrine to start, complete with the most amazing spiced oranges on the side. For main the roast pork belly is tender and juicy though perhaps could use a little more flavour and crackling. Then also the cannon of lamb, which is stunning. Quite simply. Dessert was a moist and sharp lemon and poppy seed cake and a rich sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream.
If gastro-pubs are your thing then The City Barge is the one for you. It’s reasonably priced right down to the extensive wine list, the food is excellent without being too fancy or showy, the views and décor are lovely, and the waiters are perhaps the friendliest we’ve encountered for a long time, which always goes a long way. It may be a long trip out there, but on a sunny summer day it will be a trek you won’t regret.
The City Barge, Thames road 27, Strand-On-The-Green, London W4 3PH