The London neighbourhood of Chiswick may be known for displaying many British middle-class features: Fairtrade coffee cafes, vegetarian restaurants and plenty of families with large prams taking up the entire pavement. What may surprise visitors is the neo-Palladian villa of Chiswick House. Visitors may think they have stumbled into the tranquil Italian countryside (until the heavy English rain makes them realise they are still in London).
The house itself is impressive. It’s cared for by English Heritage and an army of passionate volunteers and caretakers. Fans of Palladio will adore wandering the home both inside and out. Entry into the house is closed until spring of 2017, but the gardens are open all-day everyday and are free of charge.
It is in the gardens themselves where you’ll see many Chiswick residents going about their daily business – jogging around the greenery, walking their dogs and sharing tea and cakes in the Chiswick House cafe. Taking the classic architecture in stride shows how readily the residents have adopted this seemingly out-of-place Italian villa into their daily London lives.