After Dark at Chiswick House & Gardens Review

This week I made an impromptu visit to After Dark held at Chiswick house and gardens. I hadn’t heard much about it to be quite honest but when an email invite hit my inbox I was eager to see what they had in store.

Since I’m meticulous with timing we got there right on time but we weren’t let in for another 15-20 minutes. Apparently the organisers weren’t there yet. Not a good start.

After Dark Chiswick

After Dark Chiswick

Having been to an evening event held there last year, I knew that the walk to get to the actual start of the trail was quite a way in. My first impression was surprise, as they hadn’t laid anything out whilst you do this walk. Nonetheless I was with good company so it was ok walking down, but in hindsight I should’ve seen this was basically what I was in for for the rest of the night.

So the big clincher is that a light show set to a curated soundtrack by singer and songwriter of Kasabian, Sergio Pizzorno could be enjoyed. The lights marrying up with the music is underwhelming. I think they had expected it to be a mini rave within the small area outside Chiswick house. I’m not sure and if I’m honest I was more interested in turning my glow stick into a bracelet.

Moving on there were more underwhelming installations and truth be told some were just so shockingly poor that I couldn’t help but laugh. For example, the very sad pine (?) tree with a lit up barrier. How very exciting. 🙄

Chiswick After Dark

The website and press releases promise Terry’s orange hot chocolate and other fun activities such as Screen Print Your Own Wrapping Paper and Decorate A Set Of Christmas Baubles. Sadly I saw none of these.

Something I else noted was that the whole trail was very very quiet. There didn’t seem to be a lot of music accompanying the installations either surprisingly. Chiswick house and gardens is such a beautiful space and it could’ve been made so festive and magical.

After Dark Chiswick

After Dark Chiswick

The highlight of the trail for me had to be the giant moon installation. It’s a thing of beauty and one of those things that make you say ‘oh wow’ out loud, even if you don’t have an obsession with Space like I do. Accompanying it is the first sign of food/drink where you can get popcorn and candy floss. Other than that there is no food or drink along the trail.

The night walk ends with some street food and a play area for kids which consists of giant light up balls and some flashing hula hoops. By some I mean three vendors and one drinks van. Still no sign of that Terry’s orange hot chocolate! Considering I went on a Friday night, very close to the opening night I would have assumed everything would be in place and hyped up but it was in fact the complete opposite.

Would I recommend Chiswick After Dark? Absolutely not. Honestly save your money and buy yourself a bunch of glow sticks instead. They kept me much more entertained!

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