Somerset House is a capricious space within London. It changes its flavour as the seasons change, sheds its layers like a snake to reveal something equally enveloping in each incarnation.
It being winter in our northern hemisphere, Somerset House has turned itself into a skating rink, as is its wont in these chilly months. What could be a grander place to glide gracefully along the ice than within the historic, romantically inclined courtyard? Centrally located on the south side of the Strand by the mighty Thames, next to Waterloo Bridge, it can make for a great pit-stop on your way to the Savoy, or for a more leisurely afternoon checking out the various exhibitions.
In the summer the Somerset houses an outdoor cinema featuring iconic film screenings, where you can enjoy an old movie on a blanket with a bottle of wine as the sunlight fades over the city. It is a great place for gigs and other cultural events and the fountains are turned on in warmer days, which give kids hours of delight in the spray. Attracting both local Londoners and visitors from around the globe, there is a wee bookshop and a good selection of cafes (the lovely Fernandez & Wells has just opened here) which makes it perfect for a well-placed break among the hustle and bustle along the Strand.
If you needed just one more reason to pay this grand dame of London a visit, Somerset House plays host to London Fashion Weekend beginning next week. There’s no more stylish spot to set a few new trends.
Anton can be found everywhere but his London home these days; he’s quite the international man of mystery (and trip research).