It may be hard to believe today, but Chiswick was chosen by Georgian artist and satirist William Hogarth as the setting for his country retreat. The city may have sprawled since then, but Hogarth’s house, and the ancient mulberry tree that stands in its garden, remain. Inside you’ll find many prints by Hogarth who, apart from being a self-taught painter and cartoonist, was also a great commentator on social injustice.
Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve
Unexpectedly, in the middle of this thriving part of London, sits a sanctuary for wildlife and people. Occupying a triangle of land once destined for development, Gunnersbury Triangle Nature Reserve was saved by the community and is now home to woodpeckers, newts, bats and butterflies. We think it’s a lovely place for a spot of quiet contemplation.
Chiswick House & Gardens
Just a 20-minute jaunt from our store is Chiswick House and Gardens. The magnificent house – one of the finest examples of neo-Palladian architecture in England – sits in 65 acres of gardens and parkland. It was, in fact, never intended as a house, but as a grand pavilion for the 3rd Earl of Burlington to display his collections of art and books. A walk in the gardens (which are free to enter) reveals a collection of some of the oldest and rarest camellias, housed in an elegant conservatory.
Sipsmith may be relatively new when it comes to making gin, but they believe in doing things the old-fashioned way. When they opened in 2009, they were the first traditional distillery in London since 1820. As evening falls you can take a tour, meet their copper stills – Prudence, Patience and Constance – where the careful art of gin-making is done, and of course, taste a few samples.