Leafy west London, palladian villa Chiswick House, built by the third Earl of Burlington in 1729, gardens designed by architect William Kent and the birthplace of the English Landscape Movement – so far, so English.
This spring it also hosted The Magical Lantern Festival, during which the grounds were illuminated to celebrate Chinese New Year. An hour long trail comprising life size sculptures, a ten metre high recreation of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, an undulating 66 metre long dragon, terracotta army sculptures, and a Tree of Life lantern mixed with oversized flowers and mushrooms to create a fairytale scene. 2016 is the year of the monkey, and was marked by a lit waterfall and a Mount Huaguo lantern as the setting for a recreation of the Chinese fable.
The event was pretty, pleasing to the eye, but lacked any cultural explanation or artistic power to justify the £16 price ticket. Created by WeLi Creative, it was the first year of the event, and given how popular it proved to be, may well end up being a regular occurrence in the diary of family fun.