As I was meeting a local friend, Kate, for lunch, it seemed a good idea to not travel too far … in fact, to walk only as far as Pincho in Church Street in central Twickenham. The central shopping area of Twickenham isn’t particularly attractive but Church Street which, as the name suggests, runs down to a church, St Mary’s, is a pretty road full of interesting little shops, a number of restaurants and couple of pubs. In the summer, the road is often closed to allow restaurants to spill onto it and put out tables and chairs for people to eat al fresco. Pincho, at the far end of the road and opposite the church, has its own terrace and it’s a lovely place to sit in the summer, away from the rush and noise of the centre of town.
From here, it’s a short walk down to the river where you can view Eel Pie Island, famous back in the sixties as a venue for up-and-coming bands of the time like … the Rolling Stones, The Who and many others who became famous. Now there is a strong artists’ community and a couple of times a year various workshops and studios open up and you can cross the narrow pedestrian bridge on to the island and visit them. There’s also a lovely walk along the river and towpath to Richmond bridge – about two miles – and one I often do in the summer. There’s a lot of fascinating history in the area and you can find out about some of it in a little Twickenham Museum, just round the corner from Pincho, going towards the river.
Every time I go to Pincho I think, I must remember to come here more often. I’ve not been that many times but there’s a nice friendly and buzzy atmosphere in the evening – and also today at lunchtime. It’s a great venue for lunch because you can have any kind of meal or snack you fancy – from a selection of tapas (as Kate and I had today), to wraps (the one I saw at the next table, served with salad and chips looked good), salads, paella and substantial main courses if you’re hungry. There was a lunchtime deal on tapas and we decided to go for the 4 for £16 deal, i.e. paying £8 each. And, because it was Friday (or at least that was our excuse), we ordered a small glass of rioja each.
We ordered meatballs in tomato sauce, tiger prawns with white wine, garlic and tomatoes; also a tortilla with butternut squash and leeks, and chicken on skewers with a garlic yogurt dressing.
They were good tapas and certainly enough to fill us up at lunchtime. The service was also very friendly and efficient which always makes such a big difference to one’s enjoyment of a meal. I really must remember it’s there and go back again soon!