Friday, 8 February 2013

Dennis Severs' House, London


There may not be a more surprising museum in London then Dennis Severs' House. I've been meaning to go for years but the restrictive opening hours (Sundays only, and the odd evening), and price (£10 for a 45-minute tour), weren't making it easy.

I should have gone much sooner. It's a beautiful, fascinating place.


The simplest way of describing it is like walking into a living still life painting. You're playing a sort of game with Severs. He's created a piece of artwork and a story around it - you enter an 18th Century house and interrupting the Jervis family. Each room you walk around, it's clear that they've just left, you've only just missed them, you can still feel them in the house.


You walk around the house with only a few whispers in silence, exploring each room and getting lost. You can feel a draft as you walk up the stairs, there's a half-eaten boiled egg in the kitchen, someone's left a small glass of port by the fire that's still burning, just a little.


If I tell you any more about Dennis Severs' House, it'll ruin the surprise. That's the best thing about this curious house in East London. It's an absolute joy, well worth queuing for and one of the most unusual things you could do with a Sunday afternoon in London.

4 comments:

  1. I recommend going in lead up to Christmas, it's even more magical with the decorations up.

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    Replies
    1. It was still festive when we went! On new year's eve eve. You're right - it was magical.

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    2. Yes, I just logged in to say the same thing! And I think going in the evening is far more atmospheric than a Sunday afternoon.

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    3. I'm so pleased I got to visit over Christmas, but didn't want to discourage anyone from visiting throughout the rest of the year. Who knows, maybe they have secret special things in Summer, that's all part of the surprise!

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