Many of our residents find themselves on a never-ending search for cultural enrichment, and who could blame them? After all, Pinks Mews is just a short stroll from the world-famous British Museum. However, what many of Holborn’s cultural connoisseurs might not realise is that there is one more hidden gem in their radius.
One of the UK’s most celebrated British architects created an eclectic museum filled with hand-picked treasures from his numerous adventures, and the most fascinating part of it all is that he went as far as to negotiate an Act of Parliament to preserve the home exactly as it was after he died.
Short on plans for a rainy afternoon? Spend some time exploring this beautiful Georgian property which has essentially been frozen in time. Its most charming trait is the rather quirky arrangement of some 40,000 curiosities; many are on display, but others can only be seen by appointment.
Once Upon a Time…
Sir John Soane was an exceptional man – an innovator, a visionary and the neoclassical architect responsible for the Bank of England and the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Supposedly quite the character, he had a passion for the ancient Mediterranean, so much so that his London home became not only an architectural studio but a showroom overflowing with his archaeological finds. To ensure his wish to preserve his home was respected he invited his pupils sketch it, making it the best-documented interior in the world.
A New Way of Seeing & Exploring
For those of you who are always itching to know more, there are expert-guided tours available for booking. These tours take a closer look at the extraordinary treasure trove, as well as its selected paintings, sculptures and books. And for those on the hunt for something a little different – perhaps a side of fun with your history – we highly recommend a “Soane Late” experience. These experiences now include a well received gin-infused evening and an equally popular candlelit tour.
A Treasure Trove of Historical Objects
Soane was able to create this extensive and bewitching collection thanks to a curious eye, well-trained to discover the spectacular, as well as a long string of zeros in his bank account.
As we experience the peak of British winter, take this as an opportunity to uncover some of the beauty hidden in Holborn. But be warned: as Instagram-able as this home is, photography is strictly prohibited, so take a step back from your phone, and simply soak up what the museum has to offer.
Sights to Tick Off of Your Bucket List:
- Sarcophagus of Egyptian pharaoh Seti I
- Soane’s prized Apollo Belvedere
- Satirical works by William Hogarth examining complicated views on morality and society
- A marble capital from the original attic of the Pantheon in Rome