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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From the memoirs of a cross-dressing Lesbian in Jane Austen’s era to the day in the life of a UNICEF worker in Yemen, have a nosey through diaries from 1400BC to the present day at ‘Dear Diary’, an exhibition celebrating the ways in which we’ve used diaries...Exhibitions Until Friday July 7 2017 Free
Mat Collishaw: Thresholds
The latest in an ever-growing number of artists to try their hand at VR technology, Collishaw has recreated one the earliest ever photography exhibitions – when pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot presented some of his pictures at a school in Birmingham...Digital and interactive Until Sunday June 11 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
Average User Rating
4.6 / 5
- 5 star:18
- 4 star:5
- 3 star:1
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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.