In 2011, the former Shepherd's Bush library on Uxbridge Road reopened as the Bush Theatre, and now holds regular innovative performances in its small auditorium. Whether you're there to see a show or not, the café-bar in the entrance hall is a pleasant place to stop for a bite to eat, especially if you're after a reprieve from the endless chain restaurants at the nearby Westfield shopping centre.
You can choose from a good selection of sandwiches, salads and soups, or opt for the cooked daily special – such as stew or curry - from the chalkboard. Drinks-wise, there is the usual offering of soft and hot drinks, and there are beers, wines and spirits too, including local Sipsmith gin and vodka, straight from the nearby west London distillery.
With a huge bookcase filling the back wall, the main dining area has stuck with the library theme. The bright, high-ceilinged room has an array of chairs and sofas set upon a large rug-filled wooden floor. After ordering at the bar, you can settle in here, or if it's a sunny day venture out into the theatre's "secret garden". An arrow points you past the auditorium and out to the back, where wooden benches are positioned between randomly strewn oil drums. Out here you can chill in the sunshine while the Hammersmith & City line tube trundles past Shepherd's Bush Market, and arty types chatter and strum casually on their guitars.
With a belly full of tasty food and drink, you'll be ready to take on Westfield for an afternoon of shopping, although as you leave, it might be hard to resist buying a ticket for an upcoming theatre show. Prices start from only £10 and there is a manned counter at the back where you can find out more. The theatre's website has details too, or you can follow their Twitter updates @bushtheatre. It is also possible to hire the theatre's spaces for parties and events, and being located at 7 Uxbridge Road, it is a centrally placed venue, right near Shepherd's Bush Green and opposite the tube station.