One of the few pubs in the country with two official names – it’s known as the Mawson Arms and the Fox and Hounds - this is the closest pub to Fuller’s brewery and a showcase for its beers at their freshest.
Fuller’s proud Victorian red brick plant, the only remaining historic craft brewery still operating in London, sits between the river and the A4 in Chiswick, right by the traffic-choked Hogarth roundabout and just across from the house once occupied by 18th century satirical cartoonist William Hogarth himself. A print of one of his most famous works, the diptych of prosperous and respectable Beer Street and degenerate Gin Lane, is displayed on the walls inside this pub, which site on the corner of the brewery site itself, part of a cluster of buildings where Alexander Pope once lived. The wisteria carpeting the walls of the former head brewer’s cottage just around the corner is thought to be the oldest in Britain, deriving from Chinese cuttings planted in 1812.
Despite its two names, originating when a previous landlord divided it into a separate ale house and a wines and spirits bar after misunderstanding licensing laws, the pub is now a single long space inside: bright, cheerful and comfortable with solid wooden tables and walls decorated in subdued colours and hung with old prints and brewery memorabilia. There’s a big screen TV at one end but plenty of space to escape from it. The pub has no outdoor seating but in summer you can take beer in plastic glasses into the little park across the way. Note the unusual hours – it’s closed in the evenings and at weekends though can be booked for private functions.
The pub attracts a mixed and unpretentious crowd, including brewery workers showing an admirable loyalty to their product, as well as locals and brewery visitors – it’s the usual starting place for Fuller’s guided tours, which can be booked at the brewery shop a few paces away. Children are welcome and there’s a relaxed but civilised feel.
Decent pub grub is served from noon to early evening including sandwiches, pies, veggie pasta and various hot specials, with main courses reasonably priced between £6 and £8. You’ll even find beery ingredients: ESB in the steak and kidney, London Pride and hops in the sausages, and Discovery in the fish batter.
Obviously this is a Fuller’s house and five of the brewery’s excellent cask beers are available permanently and at their freshest – including the relatively uncommon Chiswick Bitter besides Discovery, ESB, Gales Seafarers and London Pride. A sixth handpump dispenses a seasonal or special, and there are a few of the brewery’s specialist bottled beers too, including 1845 and London Porter, plus Honeydew on keg. There’s a reasonable range of wines and all the usual spirits, soft and hot drinks.
The Last Word
A must-visit for Fuller’s fans, especially as part of a brewery tour, and a great standby if you’re in the area, perhaps walking the Thames Path which passes close by, but watch those opening hours.