These days there’s plenty of good coffee to be had in the neighbourhood, but when Chief Coffee opened in Chiswick back in 2015, it was something of a pioneer, joining the nearby Artisan in bringing speciality coffee to this part of West London. As well as the coffee, however, Chief Coffee also made its name with its pinball lounge, something which makes it stand out from the crowd to this day (the only other speciality coffee and pinball place I am aware of is Birmingham’s Tilt).
As I write, Chief Coffee is restricted to just its outdoor seating, which, in the sheltered Turnham Green Terrace Mews, is a delight. However, as of Monday next week (17th May) it will be re-opening both the first-floor seating area and the ground floor pinball lounge. And, even better, there’s a new Japanese arcade games room on the top floor that will be opening for the very first time!
The coffee is unchanged throughout, with Allpress’s signature blend on espresso, plus a regularly changing pair of contrasting single-origins from Workshop on pour-over through the Kalita Wave. This is backed up by a small selection of tea, plus sandwiches, savouries and cakes if you’re hungry.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Chief Coffee is just a couple of minutes’ walk along Turnham Green Terrace from Turnham Green tube station. Although a fairly busy road, Chief Coffee inhabits an oasis of calm towards the back of Turnham Green Terrace Mews, which leads off to the left about halfway down as you head south from the station. Although you can see Chief Coffee from the road and there’s an A-board at the entrance to the Mews, it’s easy to miss if you’re not paying attention.
Walking up the Mews, Chief Coffee is directly ahead of you, occupying a hundred-year-old building standing on the corner. A pair of tables, each with a low bench and a pair of fold-up chairs, flank a window, while to the left, Chief Coffee has a cut-off corner at 45°. This is where you’ll find the first-floor door, a solid staircase ascending the wall to reach it.
The Mews continues around to the left in a dog-leg, which brings you to the back of Chief Coffee. You’ll find another pair of tables here, this time with just two chairs each, flanking the back door. It’s even quieter here and, in the afternoon, shadier, while if the tables are taken, six low benches run down the centre of the Mews, flanked by some more modern apartments and offices. Although technically not part of Chief Coffee, I can’t see why you shouldn’t sit on one of the benches to enjoy your coffee.
Returning to the front, the main staircase leads to the front door, which brings you into a space that will, come Monday, once again be the beating heart of Chief Coffee, with the counter at the back on the right. For now, however, the seating is off limits, although you still order here, after which, take a seat outside and your coffee will be brought to you.
You can either return the way you came, or, more sensibly, turn left where a flight of stairs leads down along the back wall. This delivers you to the back door, although the stairs continue down, where you’ll find the toilet on the left and the pinball lounge on the right. This too is off-limits for now, but come Monday, the lights will be on and the pinball machines flashing and beeping away.
That’s not all, though. Returning upstairs (or going up for the first time if you entered via the back door), you appear at the back of Chief Coffee, the counter directly ahead of you. The stairs, however, continue up, doubling back on themselves to your right. At the top is a small landing, a door leading to the top-floor room, full of Japanese arcade games. This is a new addition to Chief Coffee, opening for the first time on Monday, 17th May.
Turning to the coffee, the ubiquitous Allpress blend is on an espresso-based menu offering the usual options. However, my eye was drawn to the Kalita Wave filters on counter, where Chief Coffee offers a pair of contrasting single-origins from Workshop, which change every week or two. My choices were the Yolanda Cabrera from Peru or the Mahembe from Rwanda.
I suspect that I would have been happy with either, but went for the Mahembe, which was served in the carafe, with a cup on the side, all presented on a wooden tray. This was a lovely coffee, quite subtle, but sweet and just as good cold as it was hot. I paired this with a late lunch of the last of the mushroom and spinach rolls, served warm with a small side salad and just as good.
|TURNHAM GREEN TERRACE MEWS • CHISWICK • LONDON • W4 1QU|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:30||Roaster||Allpress (espresso) + Workshop (filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:30||Seating||Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:30||Food||Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:30||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:30||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:30||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||10th May 2021|
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.
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