Bringing the concept of the ‘third place’ to the Ealing community, Charlotte’s W5 is writing an exciting new chapter. We caught up with founder Alex Wrethman to discover why he’s excited about this addition to Charlotte’s Group, and what he thinks about British cuisine…

What is the ‘third place’ concept and where did you get the idea for Charlotte’s W5?

I wanted to create an environment that catered for local residents and filled the gaps that were missing in their day-to-day lives.”

The venue (a converted old stable block) is a great space and provided the perfect opportunity for an idea I’d been formulating for a while. Having listened to customers at Charlotte’s Place and friends in the local area, I wanted to create an environment that catered for local residents and filled the gaps that were missing in their day-to-day lives. Whether that be somewhere to work freelance, hold business meetings, host a party, or just somewhere to sit for hours with friends outside of conventional mealtimes, the ‘third place’ concept provided for this.

Charlotte's W5 third space

Charlotte’s W5 provides the ‘third space’ to West Londoners

So you wouldn’t call Charlotte’s W5 a restaurant?

Not really. ‘Restaurant’ implies you have to go for a meal; similarly, ‘bar’ suggests only drinks and subpar food. ‘third place’ is the closest thing to expressing what Charlotte’s W5 offers, which is a social space for the community. When a local resident says, ‘This is just what we need in Ealing!’ that’s the best reward I can get.

Charlotte's W5 Third space

The menu is seasonal and designed to make the most of great British produce

Tell us about the inspiration behind the menu…

There’s a huge drive right now towards locally-sourced ingredients and we source as much as possible from producers we know and trust.”

British cuisine isn’t as recognisable as, say, Italian or French, because we’re writing our own story and it’s changing all the time. Our lack of cuisine heritage means we’re not wedded to particular traditions and so we can take influences from all over the world. That’s the technique – the other half of cuisine is the ingredients. There’s a huge drive right now towards locally-sourced ingredients and we source as much as possible from producers we know and trust. We took Coca Cola off the menu because we just don’t know what’s in it.

Charlotte's W5 Third space

Don’t miss the craft gin selection

Gin fans are well catered for at Charlotte’s W5 – why the focus on gin?

Aside from flying the flag for British produce? Gin has recently seen a huge resurgence in popularity and it’s a very approachable spirit to lead with. Gin is all about botanicals and flavours and is light and versatile; perfect for playing around with in cocktails – at Charlotte’s we are as gastronomic with our drinks as with our food. We use the craft stuff, rather than the big brands.

What are your current favourite dishes on the menu?

The Burrata, Butternut Squash Salad, Pine Nuts & Sage is a great combination, and the Truffle and Artichoke Risotto is just really well done – risotto is a hard dish to get right.

Charlotte’s W5 | The Old Stable Block, Dickens Yard, Longfield Avenue, Ealing W5 | Open 8am ’til late

Read what we thought of Charlotte’s W5 here.

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