This month's Where To, takes us to an open house or two. One thing I definitely got from my mother is a need to nose around other people's houses. I actually never tire of it, and if this all doesn't work out, I am off to be an estate agent. One obvious way to get sneaking, is become a member of National Trust where you get to wander around your not so 'average' house, often stepping back in time to imagine what it was like. Rudyard Kipling and Jane Austen being some of favourite houses. I tried for some time to buy a house in Burwash, close to the Rudyard Kipling home. However, the flood risk and therefore insurance premiums, made it an impossible buy. But I do still think about that house.
A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit a 16th century Merchant's house in Hastings, which has been renovated and styled to recreate exactly what it would have looked like back in the day. This reminded me, of the amazing experience that is the Dennis Severs House in Shoreditch. Both houses will be open again at Christmas and I would urge you to check them out if you like this kind of thing. I would love to hear from you, if you manage to visit either of them. I have detailed below, some extra info on both houses.
Dennis Severs House
Dennis Severs' House at 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields is a beautifully immersive experience transporting you into the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century. The tour is conducted in silence, so if you are talker, you may want to get it all out before the tour. There is no information given, your are simply encouraged to use all of your senses to experience it as you wish and see what you see. It really is like stepping into a still-life photograph and a total overload for your senses, as the sights, smells and sounds of the house follow you through the tour. Leave the phone in the bag, this is about experiencing something first-hand, a rare thing nowadays.
https://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/The Annual Christmas Installation will return this year from the 24th of November to the 6th of January 2020 in all its festive glory.
A G Hendy - Tudor House, Christmas Tour.
This amazing 16th century Tudor House has been renovated to look as it did in the 16th century. In Alistair's words....The dark days of December provide and opportunity to experience first hand this fairy tale home at Christmas, lit by candlelight and with log fires crackling. Filled with the smells of spiced wine and wood-smoke and decorated with traditional Christmas decorations of blue fir and home-baked gingerbread, this is an enchanting experience.http://www.aghendy.com/
14th & 15th December
21st, 22nd & 23rd December
24th December Special Christmas Eve with Tudor spiced wine.
Back again this year, are the very inspiring Living Etc tours. Get to nosy around some of the most gorgeously styled and decorated homes for a day in London. I believe this year, they are taking place in North London. Apologies, I haven't given you much notice, as these start on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th. But certainly one to look out for, for next year. Link is in the subject heading, for more info.
Open House London
Visit London’s best buildings - This year the organisation Open House London have over 800 buildings, walks, talks and tours in the Open House programme. View the full building listings, find out important info about the event or plan your weekend by using our top picks and themes by visiting the address detailed below.
https://openhouselondon.org.uk/21st - 22nd September. (apologies this is late)