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|
|Opening hours:||Daily 8am-11pm|
|Transport:||Tube: Temple/Charing Cross/Covent Garden|
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Things to do
Skate at Somerset House
Get your skates on. Somerset House's grand 18th-century courtyard is the stunning setting for an ice rink again this winter. No matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be the very definition of festive...Ice skating Until Sunday January 13 2019
Athi-Patra Ruga: Of Gods, Rainbows and Omissions review
Athi-Patra Ruga’s exhibition at Somerset House certainly justifies the reference in its title to rainbows. Each of the gallery’s Terrace Rooms is a kaleidoscopic mass of saturated colour. Ruby, fuchsia, turquoise, periwinkle, sunshine-happy yellow, this...Until Sunday January 6 2019
Good Grief, Charlie Brown! review
Anxiety, despair, dread, depression, fear, misery, alienation: a pretty standard Friday night, but an unusual recipe for a kids’ comic strip. ‘Peanuts’ is special, though. Over his tens of thousands of strips – syndicated the world over and read by millions...Until Sunday March 3 2019
Things to do
Smash taboos around periods, sex toys and burials at this interactive workshop and exhibition exploring how we design contentious objects. Join a discussion about design linked to sex, death and food led by Mara Pezzotta & Gianni Arduini (Pinximonio,...Exhibitions Saturday November 24 2018
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.
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