These little pockets of west London are bursting with independent businesses to champion.

Britain is awash with beautiful, inventive and idiosyncratic small businesses to sing about – and never have we wanted to celebrate them more.

As part of a new series, we will be showcasing the best each region in the British Isles has to offer, from foodie brands to indie businesses to places to stay to shops to browse.

We will keep updating each guide. If you have a business you’d like to nominate, tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #GWGbestof.

In the series, we will also be dividing London into its finest neighbourhoods and villages. Today, we shine a light on Hammersmith, Chiswick and Barnes. Now that the world is opening up again, head to these happy London havens and help them thrive.

Food And Drink



Hack & Veldt




This deli opened in 2012, based on the grocery stores found in France. Its shelves groan with a cornucopia of upmarket jarred food, cheese and charcuterie, excellent craft beers, interesting wine, premium dog treats and baked goods from heaven. It is also where you find the best Flat White in Chiswick. We will leave you with three final words: Peanut Butter Blondie. Browse here.

Sam’s Larder




It’s always a joy when great people make a shop full of ‘things they love’, which is what restaurateur Sam Harrison did as his riverside brasserie was shut down by the pandemic. This tiny store, run by the charming manager Pete, fits more treats into it than you can believe possible. Alongside the perfect loaf of bread/pot of olives/pair of beeswax candles sits elegant tubs of ice cream and luxurious frozen meals made by the restaurant’s head chef. Browse here.

Patisserie St Anne




This bakery is a jewel in an otherwise unremarkable stretch of King Street in Hammersmith. Magic is woven on-site, using English flour, milk and cream, Belgian chocolate and French butter. Their baguettes are legendary and sell out fast; one of their quiches can make the difference between a good and a bad weekend; and their delicate tarts are unforgettable. Browse here.

Fashion



Aprilmae




The aprilmae founder knows a good frock when she sees one, having been the head buyer for contemporary womenswear at Fenwick. This new little shop is her contribution to the Chiswick community, in which she lives with her husband and two children. Her selection of wearable clothes from laidback brands – like Archivist, Bellerose and South Parade – warms the cockles of the fashion-conscious heart. Browse here.

Ridley




Wander into this lovely Barnes atelier and you will be hit by a riot of colourful dresses, skirts and kaftans. Each piece is individually made, customised in the style and print of your choice and tailored to fit perfectly. The brainchild of fashion designer Camilla Ridley it is a clever halfway house between bespoke and off the peg. This is modern luxury at its finest. Browse here.

Iris




This independent chain of boutiques sells ultra stylish clothes and accessories for women and children, making it perfect for the well-heeled clientele of Church Road in Barnes. Their edit of brands as well as their own label By Iris (which accounts for around 30 per cent of their sales) are so reliable that you just sort of know that anything you buy there will work. Browse here.

Lifestyle



Borough Kitchen




This pleasing little emporium offers everything the home cook needs for their kitchen and table. From the practical bottle-opener and cheese-grater end of the scale to the beautiful tablecloth and vase other end of it, Borough Kitchen’s wares are hard to resist. Set up in Borough Market in 2013, this shop keeps function, durability and quality at the heart of the things it sells. Browse here.

The Chiswick Lighting Company




A recent refurbishment has made this family-run, independent lighting specialist an even greater pleasure than it was before. The ready and conscientious advice is as excellent as ever; and now that the extensive stock – including a very pretty range of patterned lampshades – is quite so beautifully displayed, you’ll want to linger all afternoon. Browse here.

Foster Books




Boasting the oldest shop-front on Chiswick High Road, this charming little place has been a bookseller since 1968. Today it is run by a second generation of passionate bibliophiles. As Stephen Foster says: ‘With its original bow window, it is exactly how many customers expect an old bookshop to be.’ Foster Books specialises in first editions and hard-to-find, out-of-print and rare books but it also sells some great old pictures and fabulous greetings cards. Browse here.

By Becky Ladenburg
May 2021

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Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.

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