The original Somerset House was a Tudor palace commissioned by the Duke of Somerset. In 1775 it was demolished to make way for an entirely new building, effectively the first purpose-built office block in the world. Today it houses a formidable art gallery (the wonderful Courtauld), a beautiful fountain court, a terraced café and a classy restaurant. Having replaced the Hermitage Rooms and Gilbert Collection on the river side of the building in April 2008, the new Embankment Galleries explore connections between art, architecture and design with a series of temporary exhibitions; downstairs a ceremonial Thames barge illustrates the venue’s history. In summer, children never tire of running through the choreographed fountains. Family workshops take place at weekends and holidays, and in recent years Somerset House has hosted an outdoor film screen in summer and a wonderfully atmospheric ice-rink in winter.
|Venue name:||Somerset House||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Daily 10am-6pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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- An update of Les Liaisons Dangeureuses to the decadent world of whitebread Manhattan preppies. Hiding behind step-brother Sebastian (Phillippe), a notorious seducer, the equally corrupt but infinitely more subtle Kathryn (Gellar) schemes to avenge...Read more
- The film that first brought Miyazaki to international attention remains an animated achievement almost without parallel. The first half delicately captures both mystery and quietness as two little girls move with their father to a remote new home ...Read more
- A welcome fifteenth anniversary reissue for Richard Kelly’s intelligent, enchanting slice of ’80s-throwback Lynchian emo-angst. Jake Gyllenhaal is all glowering gothic intensity as Donnie, the wayward son of a well-to-do middle-American family who...Read more
- Cukor and Donald Ogden Stewart's evergreen version of Philip Barry's romantic farce, centreing on a socialite wedding threatened by scandal, is a delight from start to finish, with everyone involved working on peak form. Hepburn's the ice maiden, ...Read more
- ‘Bruges is the best preserved medieval town in Belgium,’ reads Brendan Gleeson’s impressed Ken. ‘It’s a fucking shithole!’ fires back his new, younger room-sharer and fellow hitman-on-the-run Ray (Colin Farrell). Thus begins the running joke of ex...Read more
- This nerve-shredding German thriller begins in the pulsing white light of a nightclub strobe and spends the next two hours taking us on a tour of Berlin as day breaks over the city. We follow a young Spanish woman, Victoria (Laia Costa, excellent)...Read more
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Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent
Life stinks. And to prove that, the East Wing of Somerset House has been transformed into ten abstract looking chambers – each given over to a different pioneering fragrance – for an interactive exhibition all about, you guessed it, perfume. It opens...Until Sunday September 17 2017
Things to do
Pizza Masterclass with Peroni Ambra
Roll some dough and create top-notch toppings at a traditional pizza making masterclasses led by acclaimed chef Francesco Mazzei on the Somerset House Terrace presented by Peroni Ambra. Learn how to roll out the perfect base, create an authentic Italian...Food and drink events Sunday July 30 2017 - Sunday August 6 2017
Things to do
North: Fashioning Identity
It’s time to cast your eyes away from the capital and turn your attention to our pals up North where it's not so grim after all. Those wind-swept, moor-filled climes have inspired some truly great photography, fashion and art – all of which will be on...Exhibitions Wednesday November 8 2017 - Sunday February 4 2018
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One of London's most innovative museums, I love the amount of thought they put into offering as much diversity as possible. There really is something for everyone (and many exhibitions are free) but it's also a great place just to sit and people-watch.
Great venue to visit or to go for a concert. Great in summer time also in winter. Definitely a place to visit in central London. Very interested!!
It is a stunning piece of architecture, especially so at dusk when it is lit. The Courtauld Institute of Art, part of the Somerset House, has one of the world's most respected collection of modern art. They also put on blockbuster exhibitions all year along.
Beautiful Building! The setting by the Thames is particularly picturesque. Hosts a range of exhibitions, concerts and film screenings - always something worth visiting going on.
Saw the Sony World Photo Awards here which was fantastic. The permanent exhibition is worth a look as well.
Indeed Somerset house has more happening then most people visiting London would realise. It is a true hidden jem which is ironic because it is also one of the larger buildings that are open to the public. A beautiful historic hosting some very up today events. As well as the family workshops a number of events for adults have been run in the evening which have been very well recived. An evening of no presure creative play with a glass of wine in one hand accompanied by sounds from chilled DJ's is a very plesent way to pass the time.