On the Sunday morning I left Pam and Gerald at the apartment while I went for a walk to the nearby Leighton House Museum.

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It doesn’t look very grand from the outside but once you go in it’s just beautiful. Leighton House was built by the Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton, who eventually became the President of the Royal Academy of Arts.

2012-12-16 at 12-52-41Leighton is often associated with the Aesthetic Movement, which was appalled by the ugliness of Victorian Britain and wanted to reintroduce a sense of beauty into the world through their art. Leighton House was designed to showcase Leighton’s art collection and also serve as his studio and home. This is the Staircase Hall.

2012-12-16 at 12-57-21The Library.

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The Narcissus Hall.

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The Arab Hall displays Leighton’s prized collection of Middle Eastern art.

2012-12-16 at 13-01-18Most of the tiles come from Damascus in Syria and date from the seventeenth century. The large wooden windows are from Cairo.

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The Drawing Room.

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The Dining Room.

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The Silk Room.

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The Bedroom. Leighton House has just this one bedroom with a small single bed for Lord Leighton. It’s almost like a monk’s cell compared to the other rooms.

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The Studio was the most important room in the house for Lord Leighton. It is large, bright and airy and is the room he spent the most time in.

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The large window floods the room with light.

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The screen acted as a scaffold for him to reach the upper parts of large canvasses. It was an amazing place to visit.

2012-12-16 at 14-03-23On my way back to the apartment I took a walk through Holland Park.

2012-12-16 at 13-51-17The Kyoto Garden is a Japanese garden donated by the Chamber of Commerce of Kyoto in 1991.
This was my last proper day in London as unfortunately I got sick and was in bed in the apartment for the next two days. This meant I couldn’t take part the other activities we had planned. Pam and Gerald had to go alone to the Royal Albert Hall on the Tuesday night for the Christmas Festival and they also made a visit to Kensington Palace whilst I was recovering. We didn’t make it to St Paul’s Cathedral nor did we take a cruise down the Thames to Greenwich. Luckily I was well enough to travel home on the train on the Wednesday morning.

Well, that catches you up on all the excitements at the end of last year. Again, I am sorry that is has taken so long for me to get to these posts.  Next week I hope to get into a regular posting habit again as we will be on the French Riviera for seven days! See you there!