Sir John Soane´s Museum at Lincoln´s Inn Fields. I first read about it in an article about Swedish actor Peter Harryson and his annual trip to London. (I imagine it was a travel magazine.) He made it sound like a treasure palace of odd, wondrous things.
From the look of it, it was more office and exhibition space than a proper home. Soane was an architect and built the house himself. To me, it had the feel of a tomb more than a palace, not unlike Swedish doctor Axel Munthe´s villa San Michele on Capri, which we visited some fifteen years ago. It all those collections of mummies and gravegoods, tombstones and such, I think. Makes me cold all over, I can´t help it; it´s not conscious at all, more of a physical reaction. It´s so very Victorian to collect things like that; every man with means seems to have been an amateur antiquarian.
Soane - and his home - was quite famous even in his lifetime. He came from modest beginnings as the son of a bricklayer, trained at the Royal Academy where he distinguished himself as a very gifted student, got a scholarship to make his Grand Tour and was even knighted in 1831 after a fairly successful career. I got the impression that Soane was never at the forefront of architectural fashions, but rather a representative of the traditional, classic styles.
Interesting fact: the tomb Soane designed for his wife was the inspiration for the red telephone box that is such a classic British symbol.
We had never been in this part of town before, and Lincoln´s Inn Fields turned out to be a nice little park, with a densly populated lawn. There was a television crew there and the husband was approached to take part, something about asking questions to politicians. This happens to us often, that we are taken for natives, asked for directions and what not. He declined to go on British television.
And the day after, we went home. Not very many weeks later, we booked tickets to Heathrow for the summer of 2015. We still haven´t decided how to fill those two weeks, but I am beginning to think about it now. I guess it helps to have something to look forward to.