I don't know London suburbs very well, which is why I'm posting. We're living near Windsor, and we do go into London a bit, but the exorbitant ticket costs make it a special occasion thing. It's not a good value proposition to spend thirty quid on train tickets for a ten quid thai meal.
I was looking for suggestions for places we can drive to in the Western suburbs, sort of Heathrow-ward: the ones I'm working on so far are Hammersmith, Chiswick and maybe Richmond but there seem to be loads of burbs. French, Italian, Thai, Indian - pretty much anything as long as it's good in its class.
Happy to search through the board for reviews once I know what I'm looking for.
In today's Guardian, Matthew Norman gives a 9/10 for lunch at La Buvette, 6 Church Walk, Richmond. £12.75 for 2 courses, a couple of quid more more for three (and a bit dearer for dinner). Looks classic stuff - fish soup, coq au vin, etc. Got to be worth a punt - I'm sticking it on my list for next time I'm "dahn sarf".
As yet another Chiswick resident I'd add to the above (whilst also putting La Trompette at the top of my personal list), Indian Zing in Hammersmith which is getting good reviews, the Duke of Sussex gastropub on South Parade. Next door to the Duke is Le Vacherin - not as good as La Trompette, but would be second to it, My partner went to La Buvette recently and also recommended it - probably 7.5/10.
I'm a W3/W4 dweller and a big fan of eating locally (laziness is at the heart of this). If I had to recommend one single place it would be Sufi on Askew Road - a absolutely stunning Persian restaurant on the Hammersmith/Acton/Shep Bush borders. It was up for a Time Out award in 2007 (just a few months after it opened!) http://www.timeout.com/london/eating-...
I normally stay/eat around the Richmond area when visiting the National Archives, a couple of times a year. Some ideas:
The Devonshire - Gordo Ramsey gastropub at Chiswick. None too shabby but not brilliant.
Bingham Hotel, Richmond - had a scorchingly good meal there (and at a bargain price booking through Toptable)
Kew Grill, Kew - one of only two remaining Antony Worral-Thompson places since he put the rest into receivership the other day. Good steaks. Richmond also has a Groucho Grill which is not at all bad in my opinion for steaks (for a mini-chain)
Just across the river in Brentford is Pappadums. Much better than average Indian. I particularly enjoy the dosas.
Good Food Guide also has mention of Chez Lindsay at Richmond which, unsurprisingly, is French. I have never walked passed and it not be packed so they must be doing something right. That said, on the only occasion that I've eaten there, I was underwhelmed by the food (so I don't know if that says more about me or the local diners).
You might want to consider getting a network card - for an initial outlay of £20 you get a third off train tickets off-peak for up to four people. During the week there is a cap of ten pounds, but at weekends that doesn't apply.
In Hammersmith, lots of people recommend 101 Thai. I haven't got round to trying it yet but it's on my list.
A good resource for west London is Andy Hayler's site - he lives in Chiswick and so he tends to cover the area quite well. Sort his London site by area and search on W.4.
Obviously you almost drive through Southall on the way in wit lots of curry options - Brilliant or Madhus - both on Andy's list: http://www.andyhayler.com/restaurants...
Next time I am in the area I intend to try "La Trompette" as it gets such good reviews. And of course you also have Petersham Nurseries so you can try some good Aussie food courtesy of Skye Gyngell
You are not really that far from Woking. I've been told that there is a very good Chinese place there, but we haven't tried it as yet. It came highly recommended, but I don't know much else about it.
63 Old Woking Road, West Byfleet, Surrey, KT14 6LF
If you want a real blow-out, The French Table in Surbiton (not that far from Richmond) is a really fine place but one has to book so far in advance now. It beats taking the train, and I know just what you mean about the price of tickets. We have the same problem.
Surrey has about 3 or 4 Ghurka places, and they are all very good.. in Reigate, Dorking, Esher. Maybe these are too far from your area of interest, but the M25 makes things accessible as does the A3.