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On the banks of the Thames just west of central London, far enough out to escape the crush and crowds you’re just getting used to, Chiswick is a low-key, upscale district, content with its run of restaurants, stylish shops, and film-star residents. No doubt its most famous son wouldn’t approve of all the conspicuous wealth, though; Chiswick was home to one of Britain’s best-loved painters, William Hogarth, who tore the fabric of the 18th-century nation to shreds with his slew of satirical engravings. Hogarth’s House has been restored to its former glory. Incongruously stranded among Chiswick’s row houses are a number of fine 18th-century buildings, which are now some of the most desirable suburban houses in London. By far the grandest of all is Chiswick House, a unique Palladian-style mansion born from the 3rd Earl of Burlington’s love of classical and Renaissance architecture—a radical style at the time.

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