Monday, 22 September 2014

Open House London, Hampton Court

Open House London is a two day event where you can visit buildings that are not normally open to the public, such as 10 Downing Street and the Gherkin. With some of the buildings you have to pre-book or enter into a ballot, but it is all free. I decided to visit Hampton Court and view the Georgian House, otherwise known as the German kitchens. It is now owned by the Landmark Trust and let as a holiday apartment from £807 for four nights for 8 people.

We were taken on a guided tour by a very knowledgable volunteer and got to see half of the building. I am still unsure about what the other half is used for. The Georgian house was built by George I to house his kitchens. They are known as the German kitchens as George I was German (obvs). 

A couple of things I learnt on the tour are as follows:
  • Georgians laid their knife and spoon downward facing on the table, as they often used to wear clothing with lots of lace around the cuffs and it would catch on the cutlery if it were facing upwards. 
  • Georgians used to bring their own cutlery to dinners. People used to try to outdo each other with their cutlery, goldsmiths had a field day!

We also found out there used to be a primary school at Hampton Court palace until the 1950s! Open House London has finished for this year but it is on every year so keep your eyes peel for the 2015 list and ballots! Hampton Court is open all year round and at only 40 minutes on the train from central London it is well worth a visit.


  1. I love Open House but my fear of missing out means I always stay in the city to try and see as much as I can. Next year maybe I'll have to head further out as it looks like there are some great places. Lovely photos.

    1. Yes, you should venture further out of London, but equally I should go into the centre! I really need to put my name on the ballot for Big Ben next year! xx


© the small desk. All rights reserved.