Friday, 30th June, 2023

Our first destination today was Chiswick House and Gardens. It is in a very nice part of London with lots of trees and wide streets. We had breakfast at Côte. This looked like it was going to be expensive (table cloths, linen napkins) but a full English breakfast was only £11.95 so it wasn't too bad financially and it was delicious! It's a chain so if we find another one, we will go there!

The current Chiswick House was completed in 1729 in a Neo-Palladian style. The estate covers 65 acres and includes a number of follies, glasshouses and formal gardens. The last permanent resident was William Cavendish who died in 1811. Until 1892, it was let to a variety of tenants including the future King Edward Vll. It then became the Chiswick Asylum for wealthy male and female patients. In 1929, it was sold to the local council and it is now managed by English Heritage. We were allowed to take photos in some (but not all) of the rooms.

The gardens are extensive and we enjoyed wandering around them particularly the Kitchen Garden. Unfortunately, the glasshouse and the gardens immediately in front of it were being used for a wedding so we didn't get to see them.

The Lake at Chiswick House

A Eurasian Coot with its chick

Looking up into the dome of the Octagon Hall

A ceiling

A detail of the fireplace

Another ceiling

Another ceiling

This gateway was designed by Inigo Jones.

The Elephant in the Garden

The Glasshouse

The Gates to the Kitchen Garden

This sounds like an interesting way to add new plants to one's garden.


Nearby is Hogarth's House. The English artist, William Hogarth, used it as his country retreat from 1749 until his death in 1764. It is a small, three-storey house which has been restored and is open to the public with free entry. Two of the three storeys were open. The mulberry tree in the garden is believed to have been planted in the 1670s and is the last survivor of an orchard. It still bears fruit!

A copy of William Hogarth's self portrait

Hogarth's Sisters

The Enraged Musician, 1741
The scene may be near St Martin's-in-the-Fields. The musician at an open window is covering his ears against the typical noises of the street. A ballad-seller chants, her baby cries, a milkmaid and other street-traders cry their wares, a small boy plays a drum and another urinates under the startled gaze of a small girl with a rattle, an itinerant oboist plays, a knife-grinder sharpens a cleaver, and cats screech on a roof.

The Mulberry Bush in Hogarth's Garden

We returned to our accommodation for a quick dinner before heading off to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, for a performance of Disney's "Frozen". This theatre had much better seating than we have experienced of late and the show included high quality singing and acting, and excellent special effects. Very entertaining!

This view of the theatre reminded me very much of the Melbourne Town Hall.

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, is certainly a magnificent building!

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