Two star - A pub interior of outstanding national historic interest
Listed Status: II*2 Bath Road
Tel: (020) 8994 3492
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Chiswick
Station Distance: 1900m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Chiswick) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
An early example of an 'improved' pub, designed in 1880 by the notable architect Norman Shaw for the illustrious Bedford Park Estate which boasts colourful interior tiling by William de Morgan.
This 'improved' pub is one of the earliest examples of its type, designed in 1880 by the notable architect Norman Shaw for the illustrious Bedford Park Estate. The Tabard is part of an Arts and Crafts block which included the Bedford Park Stores and a house for the manager. The exterior swing sign (with a different image on each side) is a replica of the original which was painted by Thomas Matthews Rooke, who was at one time a studio assistant in Chiswick to Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The pub's interior has been much altered over the decades with partitions and other fittings removed but the remaining features include impressive tiling designed by William De Morgan in the right-hand room and a pretty Delft-tiled overmantle in the left-hand room depicting lines from nursery rhymes Where are you going to my pretty maid and The maid was in the garden. There is also a fire surround in the right-hand room with a tiled painting above saying Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep. The pub's bar-back is said to date from a 1971 refurbishment and the snug area to the rear of the left-hand room is a fairly competent addition in the Arts and Crafts style. The room on the far left is not original to the pub and was brought into use from a neighbouring house at some point. The upper storey is home to the Chiswick Playhouse (formerly the Tabard Theatre).
The Tabard dates back to 1880 and was a pioneering 'improved' pub built as part of the Bedford Park estate, the first London garden suburb. The pub was designed by architect Richard Norman Shaw and is Grade II*-listed. The exterior swing sign (with a different image on each side) is a replica of the original which was painted by Thomas Matthews Rooke, who was at one time a studio assistant in Chiswick to Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Inside, particularly on the right, there is colourful Arts and Crafts tiling that covers the upper parts of the wall, which features snakes and blue birds by William De Morgan.
In the left-hand bar on the overmantel look for the pair of two-tile panels depicting nursery rhyme scenes, hand-painted in blue enamel on plain Dutch tin-glazed tiles which have descriptions 'Where are you going my pretty maid’ and 'The maid was in the garden’. Also, above another fireplace is another two-part tiled painting, damaged, with the description 'Little Bo-Peep fell fast asleep’. These were most probably designed by Walter Crane and decorated in the Morris & Co. workshops".
This pub retains two separate bars, although it also possible to move between them by two corridors, one behind the servery, and the other immediately in front of the bar counter. The bar back is from a 1971 refurbishment, but the counter looks original with a replacement top – note the ‘cupboards’ in the counter frontage to allow access to the beer engines.
The panelling is mostly modern. The pub has been extended to the left into a neighbouring house to create more drinking spaces. On the first floor is the Tabard Theatre (0208 995 6035), an intimate 79-seat fringe theatre which has been host to the likes of Al Murray, Harry Hill and Russell Brand.