8 reviews of Kenwood House & Museum (The Iveagh Bequest-English Heritage) (Not Concerts) in English
If you don't agree, leave; it's free anyway. Go out and enjoy Hampstead Heath.
If you don't enjoy that, seek help...
Great Staff!!!The guard in the room where Rembrandt and Vermeer are was my ideal. He was knowledgeable, articulate, passionate about the works in that room. I learned so much from talking to him. I wish all guards in museums were like he was. I often see guards just sitting around, almost looking bored, while surrounded by great art. Not this guard. He had obviously taken them all in - the paintings - thought about them, learned about them, and he loves sharing. The man who works in the gift shop was also very charming, taking his time to explain all the wines. Every staff person I spoke with was very patient and friendly.
I’ve been visiting Kenwood for years and it never fails to make me smile. Set in it’s own fenced area of Hampstead Heath, overlooking ponds and playing host to a series of summer concerts. The old brewery of the house has been converted into a restaurant with a walled patio outside to sit and enjoy your food. Pay a small donation and you can take a walk around the inside of the house and see Robert Adam’s famous library interior and the icing on the cake, the paintings of the Iveagh Collection. Unexpected are those who have turned out to deck the walls- Turner, Gainsborough, Frans Hals, Joshua Reynolds and last but by no means least and most especially wonderful, a Rembrandt self portrait. This has to be one of London’s best kept secrets and the scene for one of the nicest afternoons you can spend pretending you are in the English country side.
Looking from the outside at this white stately home in need of a paint job, you could never guess at the treasures kept inside. I used to visit the adjacent park for years, before setting foot in the house itself on one rainy Saturday morning. I was amazed to find Vermeer’s “Guitar Player”, as well as Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait” hanging on the walls inside. There are many other magnificent paintings on a display as a part of permanent exhibition, and the best thing is that entry is completely free!
That is one of the reasons I love London. What other city in the world would make such great works of art accessible to everyone?
Kenwood House is situated in Hampstead area of north London.
It is surrounded by green open space featuring landscaped gardens, sculptures (Henry Moore, amongst others), lakes as well as large woodland area, perfect for exploring on a nice summer day.
A great London freebie! Although Kenwood House is looking a little tired inside, the remnants of an past age is still enough to enjoy. The paintings alone make the trip worth while. Oustide the house really comes in to its own with beautiful settings at set at the north end of Hampstead Heath. A steep bank falls down to the lake where people can sit and take in the sun, the weather and the views.
The grounds were smart and tidy and the staff very helpful. There is also catering although we didn't experience these, a small shop for momentos and toilets.
Fantastic way to while away 2 hours in London!
Kenwood House is a magnificent house set in acres of peaceful parklands with sweeping and majestic views of London.The house has amongst its splendid interiors the wonderful Iveagh bequest of paintings.
Kenwood House is set in a leafy part of Fashionable Hampstead from where you can get a panoramice view over London and feel superior. But if you turn around and go inside, you'll encounter an enviable art collection that shouldn't be missed. Kenwood House was remodelled for Lord Mansfield by the great Robert Adam. Within hangs the Iveagh Bequest of paintings, including masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrant, Turner, Reynolds and Gainsborough, as well as the Suffolk Collection's magnificent portraits of Elizabethan and Stuart characters. It's a pretty stunning collection all in all and in an incredible setting, and all free, free, free! Excellent.
I’m not in the habit of going to stately homes, and it’s not really my thing. I got dragged round too many of them as a kid. But when I found myself here in the middle of a run it seemed churlish not to go in, especially as it’s free. First the outside space: there’s a café and some nice toilets down one end. I didn’t use the café, but it looked nice.
Inside the house there’s a couple of bits I especially remember. There’s a big room downstairs with some amazing paintings on the ceiling. Actually they were way too ‘romantic’ in style for my tastes, but still impressive. They were also a bit mysterious until I got the trick of this place: they have laminated cards outside the doors of the rooms with all the information on them. So you have to borrow one of those rather than read notices as you go round. Upstairs they’ve got several rooms full of old master portraits, many of which you’ll have seen. It’s interesting how many are not as detailed as you may have thought from seeing them on TV and in books. They trick the eye. Very clever that. I’ve got to admit to really preferring some lovely bits of furniture they’ve got up there.
When I was there they also had a black history exhibition that was very interesting. So, though not really my thing, I did enjoy my visit. If it is your thing, I’d recommend it. If not, and you are passing, why not?
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