The Far West: an eye on Brentford and Richmond

Hooray! London is your oyster is back with some news from London! After a good summer nap I went to London for a few days and discovered a whole area that really surprised me (in a good way). I'm a big fan of the East End, but I have to admit: West London can be quite charming as well. I could stay with a friend in Brentford (that's the far west in my eyes, you know) and that happened to be the perfect place to explore this area.

I stayed at Urban Villa, which is 'no ordinary hotel'. They offer great studios and apartments for a fair price. The building is amazing and the view (on a clear day) is magnificent. But it's the general atmosphere that made me like this 'hotel' so much. The design is beautiful and smart, the staff is very friendly, the rooms are full of light (floor to ceiling windows!), the bathroom is spacious and the lounge downstairs feels like your own living room. Downstairs you can order a healthy breakfast (think protein plate, smoothie, fruit salad) or a less healthy breakfast (almond croissant -nom nom- and a flat white) at Boki.

urbanvilla_1.jpg
urbanvilla_21.jpg
The view from the 10th floor at Urban Villa (own photo)
The view from the 10th floor at Urban Villa (own photo)

The advantage of sleeping in Brentford is you're so close to Richmond Park. This deer-heaven was already on my to do list for months, so I was very happy to finally go there. We borrowed some bikes at Urban Villa and cycled to Richmond. This route involved driving on the left obviously (not so bad actually, until you come across a roundabout) and a nice view on the Thames. Richmond Park is the biggest Royal Park in the UK (almost 10km2) and home to 630 deer.

Oh deer (photo by Daphne Ronse)
Oh deer (photo by Daphne Ronse)
Richmond Park (own photo)
Richmond Park (own photo)
Richmond Park (own photo)
Richmond Park (own photo)
Richmond (own photo)
Richmond (own photo)

Near Richmond Park there's Turner's View, named after Joseph Turner (the famous painter) who made a few paintings of this beautiful view.

The Thames from Richmond Hill, circa 1815 by Joseph Mallord William Turner (source: tate.org)
The Thames from Richmond Hill, circa 1815 by Joseph Mallord William Turner (source: tate.org)
Turner's view in Richmond (own photo)
Turner's view in Richmond (own photo)

More about my weekend in London soon!

Thanks Koen for being my guide for the day.