U3A Historic Houses Group had a Grand Day Out in London this month, in the lovely Blue Plaque area, north of the West End.
The Rudolph Steiner House was interesting and unusual. Designed to be different, it is a reflection of the Swiss Philosopher’s wish to keep to a simple, individualistic style, influenced to a minor degree by Art Deco and avoiding all symmetry.
As the brochure says, the House offers “a programme of spiritually oriented events in a unique and stunning architectural environment.”
Our next stop was at The Wallace Collection in Hertford House, Manchester Square, the former townhouse of the Seymour family, the Marquesses of Hertford. Built over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, it is one of the finest and most celebrated collections in the world.
The internal wall coverings are of richly coloured brocades and decorated well with beautiful oil paintings notably by Rembrandt, Cannaletto and Fragonard. Typically, the rooms are furnished with gilded furniture, together with small sculptures and highly-prized porcelain. The whole house seemed rather crowded, and the newly-opened Cafe in the Atrium was an enjoyable place for lunch and, (if discretionary) people-watching (!) There is no entrance fee at either of these Historic Houses.