The wettest, coldest summer on record has left most Brits more than usually grumpy and weather-obsessed, but it has ensured that England’s gardens will be looking deliciously green, even in the height of the summer. The theatrical grounds of the neo-Palladian Chiswick House (chgt.org.uk) to the west of London date from the early 18th century and are the stuff of fantasy. Inspired by Roman gardens and Renaissance landscape painting, they offer a perfected vision of nature, all curves and elegant vistas, studded with ornamental statuary, fanciful architecture and banks stuffed with flowering plants. Created by William Kent, under the patronage of Lord Burlington, Chiswick was influential on the designs not only of other great English landscape gardens but also of New York City’s Central Park. The café, designed by architects Caruso St John, won the Royal Institute of British Architects Award for best London building last year. From Chiswick you can walk along the Thames, following the rowing crews to Hammersmith Bridge, or stay in the area to have lunch in the pretty High Road Brasserie (brasserie.highroadhouse.co.uk).