No. 17 Dickens Yard: The Bar Ealing's Been Missing
Not long ago, your day-into-evening options near Ealing Broadway were roughly zero. Food-wise there was a handful of the usual chains, the ever-gorgeous Santa Maria pizzeria, a handful of alright pubs.
But not so much bar-restaurant action. You know, somewhere you could grab a bite, but that bite might segue into a few drinks, and the drinks could get a bit rowdy, and the music could get a bit louder, and your friends could drop by and pull up a few chairs, because it's not like this is a restaurant, exactly, and it's less formal.
There wasn't much of that in Ealing. But now there's No. 17 Dickens Yard. Downstairs garden, upstairs terrace. Decent-priced drinks list, or decent for zone 2. Our guest, an Ealing local, reports a good buzz on weekend afternoons-into-evenings, DJs upstairs and sofas pushed back and buggies stacked to one side (this is still Ealing, people, there will be buggies anywhere that buggies aren't expressly forbidden). On the edge of the fancy, new, still-slightly-underfilled Dickens Yard complex, it's covering all the ground from breakfast spot to daytime workspace to after-work watering hole.
And that's what this is. Treated as a straight-bat restaurant, it'd be underwhelming — our array of small plates from the spring menu run from good stomach-lining at fair value through to just-okay. That takes in some nice-but-underseasoned fishcakes, some dry-ish falafels and a big pan of nice mac and cheese that would be a generous-sized main course — as a £4.50 starter it's mammoth.
But if you go to No. 17 Dickens Yard for the rhubarb negroni — a worryingly-easy-to-sink version with a layer of tart smoothness over the usual bittersweet punch — and the big terrace, and maybe a pan of that mac and cheese? There's probably no better place in Ealing to be al-frescoing.
No. 17 Dickens Yard, Unit 17 Dickens Yard, Longfield Avenue, W5 2TD.
Last Updated 29 April 2019