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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Things to do
Now Play This
Play more than 50 games at this fun-filled weekend, from the lo-fi and familiar to the new and cutting-edge. Step into the 'Cabinet of Possibilities' where you can play unfinished game prototypes that never made it into the public realm, and get silly...Festivals Friday April 7 2017 - Sunday April 9 2017
Perfume: A Sensory Journey Through Contemporary Scent
The Thameside arts institution will be hosting an olfactory extravaganza this summer, bringing together a number of contemporary perfumiers who are pushing their scents in new, exciting and occasionally rather whiffy directions. Within the show there'll...Wednesday June 21 2017 - Sunday September 17 2017
The Robert Glasper Experiment
Halfway between J Dilla and Brad Mehldau, jazz-fusion pianist Glasper is one of a kind. With his band he mixes fluent technique with a peerless understanding of fractured hip-hop rhythms, favouring compact, minimalist chord sequences and hooky themes....Jazz Tuesday July 11 2017
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
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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.
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.