This weekend Frenchie and I had the pleasure of visiting one of our favourite places in London. I didn’t know about Chiswick House until Frenchie introduced me to this beautiful place on a warm summer day. The gardens here were created by Lord Burlington and William Kent and set around a glorious 18th Century House.
Here I am in front of Chiswick House – the first and one of the finest examples of neo-Palladian design in England. Tip: Remember to wrap up warm and put on your wellies (or comfy moonboots) It is a bit muddy…
To my surprise I found out that this time of the year the historic gardens of Chiswick House are being illuminated with 60,000 light bulbs in 1,500 traditional Chinese lanterns to welcome the Lunar New Year. Now in its second year, The Magical Lantern Festival replicates a journey along the ancient Silk Road. Here, you will discover magnificent life-sized and oversized lantern scenes, which represent and highlight this significant route of trade and culture from Europe to Ancient China.
The lanterns have been brought over from China and the show’s designer, Ian Xiang of Weli Creative, told Reuters that the Silk Road, which has been a link between China and the West for 1,000 years, is being revived. “So you can find loads of the famous stories and landmarks along the Silk Road, for example, stuff from modern London, across Europe, Middle East, central Asia back to ancient China.”
It is possible to go and have a look at daytime – but honestly the lanterns deserve to be admired in the dark, when they are lit
It’s getting darker now. Let the show begin…
I was so exited about my magical lantern adventure. Words can not express how beautiful it was
This is a full-size replica of the ship that Chinese Admiral Zheng used on his trade explorations
All of the lanterns are related to the Silk Road representing Europe, Central Asia, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, India and Ancient China
The children loved the giant Panda bear (and so did I)
Colourful scenes from India, Asia, the Middle East and the tale of Aladdin featuring a giant lantern genie
Remember to look out for the giant fire rooster, celebrating the new zodiac animal for a new Chinese New Year
Butterflies symbolising good fortune and best wishes
Chinese opera characters
I just couldn’t help myself taking pictures of almost everything, I saw! This truly is a magnificent festival – and definitely worth a visit. (Tip: Children will love it as well as adults)
This was a popular place to take pictures…
As well as beautiful light installations, there is also a virtual reality area, an ice rink, a pop-up ice bar made entirely of ice and plenty of street food stalls, including steak sandwiches from Cattle-Axe, Japanese street food form Notso and smoked meat galore from SmokoLoko.
There is nothing better than a cup of mulled wine to keep you warm!
I was pretty cold, so remember to choose wisely when getting dressed for this experience…
I really enjoyed the Magical Lantern Festival and most certainly will be back next year. Remember it is only open for a few more weeks, so you need to book your tickets soon if you want to experience this amazing event! (19 Jan 2017 – 26 Feb 2017)
The festival is open Thursday to Sunday 5pm to 10pm, with last entry at 9pm. Details of tickets and more information can be found at magicallantern.uk.