I had the good fortune to visit the Magical Lantern Festival, when it took residency at the Chiswick House and Gardens.
This is a photo blog of my time spent there.
We booked an 8:15 pm time slot through Time Out offers (which means we got tickets at a cheaper rate than normal), allowing us plenty of time to get there after work.
We took the train to Chiswick and then it was just a short bus ride to the Chiswick House and Gardens.
Once past the ticket barriers, you enter through what is a food and drinks arena with a few mini installations giving us a glimpse of what to expect.
You then make your way to the various displays past an illuminated corridor.
It was a chilly night but we came prepared, wearing lots of layers and warm comfy footwear.
The exhibition is split into various sections and themes and you can choose to explore them at your own pace. There is no set time to exit, but do keep an eye on the directions, as in the dark, you might make a wrong turn.
All the displays are visually stunning. Each of them is uniquely designed, with much thought gone into their concept, execution, installation and lighting. You can really appreciate all the hard work that was put in and the results are magnificent.
Half way through the walk, there is an opportunity for a pit stop to try some flavoured toasted marshmallows and a coffee, which, after all that walking in the cold, is much needed!
The whole exhibit took us an hour and a half, but we did speed through some of them. For someone to really capture the whole experience, it would take more than two hours. Let’s say it definitely burned some calories for us – which were swiftly regained from glasses of red wine after!
The experience is definitely worthwhile if you have kids with you, but even as adults, we thoroughly enjoyed it. For a few hours, we were completely transported into this magical land, forgetting the stress of the everyday life.
Let’s not also forget the unique setting of the Chiswick House and Gardens, which lends itself as a beautiful backdrop for the entire exhibition.
The festival is now over, but it really added a lovely little sparkle to our evening and gave us a fascinating glimpse of an art form that is quite unique and different to anything we have seen before.