Sunday, 4 July 2010

an afternoon in the 18th century...

decided to go for a bike ride down to Chiswick House today.  its the first time i've ever visited this wonderful house and garden - the architecture was inspired by ancient Rome when, after his travels around Italy on his "grand tour" in the mid 1700s, the the 3rd Earl of Burlington built it in homage to Renaissance architect Palladio and his english follower Inigo Jones.  it has an interesting history as it was once the "country" home of Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire (recently portrayed on film by Keira Knightley in The Duchess), has welcomed scores of famous guests, was once occupied by the Prince of Wales (in 1892), after the war became a mental institution and then after falling into disrepair was saved by English Heritage who have embarked on a major restoration programme to restore it to its former glory.  i'm so glad i've found this hidden gem and definitely plan to return again.
today there was an 18th century themed picnic and i spotted a few ladies in finery wandering the lawns - they must've been a bit hot as today was another scorcher fact a fair few dogs ended up in the water that runs through the property (with a waterfall at one end)...i wish i coulda gone in too to be honest.... 

i rode back along the river towards Hammersmith Bridge...spotted a few canada geese and managed to dip my toes in the cool Thames before heading homeward and enjoying a delicious rasberry and cream ice-cream along the way.

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