I have just enjoyed a special weekend in London, spent with some dear friends from Australia. We had limited time, but I could think of no better place to take them than to the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. This is, without doubt, my favourite museum and is a wondrous cornucopia of, what feels like to me, idiosyncrasy and mania.
Sir John Soane was a ‘rags-to-riches story; and he became a successful and wealthy architect, who designed the Bank of England and many more splendid buildings. He also spent his life and wealth indulging his passion for collecting ancient artefacts; which he did with great dedication and success; and the highlight of which is the unique and very beautiful alabaster sarcophagus of Pharaoh Seti l of the 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom.
I had booked a guided tour of the museum and it was fabulous. My friends were fascinated and enchanted, and have since gone home to tell many of their own friends about it
– advising them that, should they find themselves in London, they too must make time for the delightful, curious, stuffed-full and unique home of a very interesting character – Sir John Soane.
We went on to enjoy lunch, a visit around the British Museum (where they asked I show them the Egyptian sections) and finished our day with drinks outside a restaurant in the lovely spring sunshine – and I was very pleased with the day I had given them.
However, without doubt, the highlight was the Sir John Soane’s Museum. And as I have been known to say many times – if you have not been – then do go; you will love it!