Pretty City London Book Review: The Chiswick Guide

Wednesday, 16 May 2018


foster books




We all know about London's little gems. The colourful mewses in Notting Hill. Leafy walks beside deer in Richmond. Trendy coffee spots in Shoreditch. Pubs and restaurants dressed up in flowers in Marylebone. We all know where to find popular Instagramable locations in London. But thanks to Siobhan Ferguson aka @prettycitylondon we are always inspired to find postcard-worthy sceneries.

You must have heard about @prettycitylondon by now. It's one of those accounts that make you feel better about living in an overly priced capital city. The account has been sharing and reposting glorious London photos for a few years now. And finally, there's a book to go with it.

I was lucky to grab a hold of Pretty City London: Discovering London's Beautiful Places. But as a born-and-bred Londoner I thought I'd be turning the pages muttering "been there, done that". 

There are a few occasions I can accept being wrong and I'm glad I was in this case. I read this book as a tourist. I bookmarked places that I've never been to before. I thought I knew everything about my city. What Ferguson does so exceptionally is to capture undiscovered and hidden locations.

As the popular saying of Samuel Johnson goes, "when a man is tired with London, he is tired with life". This book is a representation of this quote. There is so much more to see than what you think you know. Yes, London would be boring if we stayed in the grey and cosmopolitan central. We would be tired of seeing commuters and office workers everyday. The Pretty City London book encourages us to stir away from the hustle and bustle.

Ferguson brilliantly described London as a cluster of little villages. There was a particular 'village', that is only a few miles away from me, where I haven't explored yet. This book made me realise how vast London is. Some areas such as Chelsea and Soho are so popular but there are quieter places that exhume just as much beauty. So I decided to use this book, as a travel guide and take an outing to Chiswick.

I made a note of Ferguson's Chiswick Insta-worthy recommendations. My friend, Mairead, and I started off our day at No.197 Chiswick Fire Station. A hotspot for their gorgeous interior and equally as gorgeous food. The staff were so lovely. They didn't mind us overstaying and pretending it was our dining room. The restaurant was bright and airy with comfortable seating, it had a Scandinavian homely feel to it. 

Next on the list was to snap Foster Books shopfront, which was a few doors down. This Instagrammable bookshop is quaint and archaic. It is a family run business that displays an extensive list of literature. They even had books going for £1. 

Back towards the direction of Turnham Green tube station, we popped into an eco-friendly shop. They sold everything from steel straws to non-harmful washing powder to bamboo toothbrushes. I will 100% be returning there as I am trying to up my game on zero waste products. It was like an adult pick 'n' mix. Get hold of a paper bag and you can gather up your own granola or make a collection of different types of herbs and salts. No plastic packaging would be found here. 

Cassius & Coco, which Ferguson said it was a 'must-go'. It's a small shop crowded with quirky items as well as trendy plants. Ah, the plants. Mairead said the shop could have been mistaken for my room. I bought a piece of wrapping paper that I think is too nice to give away. I want to frame it when I re-decorate my room. 

Turnham Green Terrace is filled with charity shops. I used to be a fan of second-hand shopping, back when I was experimental and more creative with my style. I had to pop my head into a few shops because, as you know, the best charity shops are found in affluent areas. I bought a cute cream and knitted cardigan with a green hem. Sounds very Grandma like, but I can imagine a Scandi blogger pulling it off. 

Strolling around in Chiswick had to be one of my favourite afternoons of this month so far. It's not busy or hectic like Notting Hill or Covent Garden. It's so leafy and picturesque. 

The Pretty City London book did not fail at showing London's hidden gems. I don't why bloggers are shooting in the same location all the time. There are more beautiful areas!

A message I learnt from the book is that; beauty exists everywhere.


pretty city london

no 197 chiswick fire station

no 197 chiswick fire station

no 197 chiswick fire station

no 197 chiswick fire station

cassius and coco

cassius and coco

the old cinema chiswick

the old cinema chiswick

the old cinema chiswick

st peter's square chiswick

kara chelsie

st peter's square


chiswick

pretty city london

chiswick






*I was kindly gifted this book, however, all the views and opinions are my own.



No comments:

Post a Comment