What better way to spend some time at the weekend getting a bit of a walk, a chewy dose of architecture both classical and top notch contemporary, combined with quantities of fantasy as well as a refueling stop in a café. You’d think it a tall order from one location, Chiswick House has it all and more, best of all it’s free! A well kept secret, it’s a bit of a surprise when you come across it tucked beside the beginning of the roaring M4, the mighty artery that takes you west out of London.
A wonderland of framing gateways, temples, obelisques and grand avenues of statuary. With it’s romantic lakeside walks and secluded corners I’m sure the park encouraged all sorts of secret liaisons. Hogarth’s house is just over the wall, I love to think of him observing the goings on. Surely they must have inspired his paintings, particularly a couple of fruity ones, ‘Before’ and ‘After’ in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, great for a giggle on a bleak drizzly day. Judging by the evidence on a balmy sunny afternoon I can reliably inform you it is still having the same passionate effect on people.
All that and a café with awards for architecture. It’s as special as it had to be to fit in this location, it teases the senses, a bold chunk if building which remains light, a reinterpretation of a colonnade, solid yet ethereal