After the thrill of finding the smallest art gallery in Brighton, I was in the mood for something on a grander scale. So on a day out in London, I took a detour off Oxford Street to visit The Wallace Collection.
The Wallace Collection is a beautiful London townhouse, home to 25 galleries of treasure. It contains an amazing array of paintings, sculpture, furniture and armour. The artifacts were collected in the 18th and 19th centuries by the Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, and then bequeathed to the British nation in 1897. And now it’s free to visit, and open every day. What a gift. I can’t believe I never came here when I lived in London.
It’s a very beautiful place to visit, in parts almost like a grand country house than a traditional museum. It features works by Rembrandt, Canaletto, Velazquez, Rubens, Reynolds, The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals, and some especially fine horse armour.
We spent a couple of hours exploring, including a welcome sit down in the cafe. Actually, cafe is totally underselling it – the Wallace Restaurant is a French-style brasserie in a high ceilinged atrium. Your cup of tea is bathed in natural light, overlooked by trees and sculpture. Just beautiful. And not too busy either. Exactly my cup of tea.
How to get to The Wallace Collection
The Wallace Collection is at
London W1U 3BN
You’ll find it in the centre of London, a couple of minutes’ walk behind Selfridges on Oxford Street.
Open daily (including public holidays) 10am-5pm.
The main collection is free to visit, though there may be a charge for special exhibitions.
Currently running is Henry Moore: Helmet Heads, an exhibition tracing the sculptor’s fascination with armour. It runs until 23rd June 2019 and entrance is £13.50 for adults.
I am visiting somewhere new every month in 2019. You can find out about my previous travels here
Many thanks to Teen No1 for taking the pictures