Packed with theatres and music venues galore, Ealing boasts a wealth of options for culture vultures. While the West End theatres are just 40 minutes away by tube from Ealing Broadway station, it’s worth booking front row tickets at some of the local venues and eateries.
When it comes to diving in to the culture of this alluring area, start with Questors Theatre – the largest amateur dramatic playhouse in Europe – where a mix of classics and original works are staged. Look out for two-for-one ticket offers on some nights. For food and drink enthusiasts, the Grapevine bar provides some high quality refreshments, as evidenced by its appearance in the 2013 Good Beer Guide and winner of the CAMRA National Club of the Year 2012.
Opposite the theatre is Walpole Park, where several festivals are held during the summer. Choose from jazz, comedy, blues… and even a celebration of beer! But if you fancy a more hands-on creative experience, try one of the many workshops on offer at arts space OPEN Ealing. You can take part in life drawing classes, learn how to do printmaking or even sharpen your singing skills.
There are plenty of good restaurants in the area. For something a bit different try the Polish-run Café Magnolia, where you can feast on homemade dumplings and a wide selection of cakes. Those watching their waistline might prefer Japanese restaurant Sushi Hiro, open every day except Monday (when the fish market is closed).
If your tastes then turn to something a bit stronger you’ll discover Ealing has a great range of pubs. Head to one of Ealing’s prettiest pubs, The Grange; it has a secret garden and a beautifully decorated summer house – ever so bohemian. Yet The Grange’s menu might be the star of the show, with some fantastic interpretations of British classics, such as the London beer sausage and mash (which has to be sampled to be fully appreciated) and the delectable mushroom and herb crumble.
For something a little more upbeat, with a focus on trendy cocktails and sophisticated décor, head to The Avenue and enjoy the extensive drinks list available. On the weekends the cool bar is usually buzzing to the sounds of live soul, jazz and DJ nights.
Finally, to enjoy a drink in one of the area’s most impressive locations, head to The Drayton Court. Formerly a Victorian hotel, this pub has numerous bars and rooms across the building but in the summer there’s only one place to be. The beer garden here is almost an acre in size, and very likely the largest in west London.
After all of that glitzy gallivanting, you’ll no doubt be exhausted and ready for a well-earned rest. Thankfully, London boasts a great selection of hotels, both luxurious and affordable. If you’re on the lookout for something budget-friendly, there are a number of affordable places to stay in Ealing, most of which are within easy reach of all attractions – and it’s just a nine-minute walk to the Ealing Broadway tube station. After a great night’s sleep, you’ll be suitably rested and ready for a new day’s adventure.
With so much on offer in the area, from the glamour of the West End to the finest restaurants, how will you spend your break in Ealing?