Living in Chiswick: Olympic snowboarder Aimee Fuller’s guide to the area that has ‘everything going for it’
Aimee Fuller is a professional snowboarder and broadcaster who has represented Britain at two Olympics. Here’s why she loves living in Chiswick
hen I’m not travelling I call Chiswick home. I love its quaint, villagey vibe down by the river but at the same time you can get into central London or out to Heathrow so easily. It’s a small community in a big city and for me it’s got everything going for it.
I was actually born and brought up in Kent — I learnt to ski at Bromley’s dry ski slope. I moved to London six or seven years ago and I now live in a two-bedroom rented flat. I like to be in an environment where I feel safe, comfortable and happy, and Chiswick does all that.
Best eating and drinking
There are a lot of options in Chiswick, but I do really like Megan’s at the Flower Market, which opened recently on Chiswick High Road. It’s the kind of place you can go to for a good breakfast after a run, or go in the evening and dress up a bit.
Soho House outpost High Road Brasserie is a good place to meet someone for a coffee if you’ve got a meeting.
There’s also a little Lebanese restaurant just down from Turnham Green station, Beirut Street Kitchen, which is small and intimate. The food is amazing, and it’s really good value.
There are so many pubs along the river that its hard to pick a favourite, but I do like The City Barge.
Where I work out
I love to go for a run along the river and being outside in all weather. I often run on the stretch of tow path between Chiswick and Kew bridges; if I’m feeling energetic I’ll continue on to Richmond.
I pop to the gym in central London between meetings but local options include Virgin Active, West 4 Gym and Snap Fitness.
For a culture fix
There is something really majestic about Chiswick House and Gardens and although it is off a really busy road it is still a very tranquil spot. They also have a fantastic cafe. Everyone I bring there always loves it.
To commune with nature
On a sunny day I head just across the river to Kew Green, 30 acres of ancient open space framed by trees. It’s a really good place to go and sit and there are also some really good pubs around the green to get a drink, such as The Greyhound and The Cricketers.
I do like to shop locally and I really like the Grove Park Deli on Fauconberg Road. It’s really nice to know where your fruit and vegetables are coming from and if I am working from home, I might treat myself to one of its home-made salads and a coffee at lunchtime.
I use public transport to get around and I can get the Tube, Overground, or mainline train into central London or Heathrow. The cycle lane on Chiswick High Road is fantastic, too, because you can jet up to Kensington High Street in 15 minutes if there’s no traffic.
Somewhere like Heathfield Gardens, which is tucked away just south of Turnham Green and between Chiswick High Road and the river. It’s a happy medium between the two, with big period, semi-detached houses.
Something you only see in Chiswick
The Boat Race is an annual event where history is made, and it brings people together, which is what I love about sport. The final stages are around Chiswick Bridge, where loads of people come to watch.
What’s the catch
The traffic is heavy and property prices are high. I guess it is the price you pay to live somewhere so accessible to one of the most powerful cities in the world.
In three words
Green, lovely people, gateway to the city.
Aimee Fuller is part of the BBC Sport team covering the Beijing Winter Olympics, February 4-20
There are some terrific options in Chiswick. For primary-age children Grove Park Primary, Strand-on-the-Green Infant and Nursery School and Belmont Primary get top marks from Ofsted.
All the rest are rated “good”. For secondary, Chiswick School holds a “good” Ofsted report and international families could opt for the fee-paying International School of London, while the high-performing St Paul’s Girls’ and St Paul’s are a short school run away.
What it costs to live in Chiswick
Average flat price: £553,079
Average house price: £1,488,840
Average flat price, pcm: £1,990
Average house price, pcm: £4,533