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Magnificently Breathtaking

I booked this ticket a couple of weeks ago after doing some research on the House. Arrived early... read more

Reviewed 2 October 2018
Tabby L
,
London, United Kingdom
Visited as part of Open House

Gorgeous no doubt. The interior and architectural design is just breathtaking. Even the miniature... read more

Reviewed 26 September 2018
genibre69
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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All reviews spencer family green park princess diana guided tour state rooms palm room blue badge guide painted room eighteenth century restored to its former glory open to the public golden palm house tour tour lasted about an hour london residence knowledgeable guide guide book
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Reviewed 2 October 2018

I booked this ticket a couple of weeks ago after doing some research on the House.

Arrived early and in time for the 2pm slot. There were only four of us and we had the very knowledgable Ingrid. The tour lasted for an hour and we were taken through eight rooms. For a London mansion, this one is definitely palatial. The attention to detail was immaculate. The fireplaces, the chandeliers and the furniture are all exquisite. Many items are originals and some are on loan, whilst others are equally impressive replicas.

It’s humbling to know, the amount of effort that has gone into restoration. For example, restoring one of the fireplaces, took nearly 3000 man hours. The craftsmanship is breathtaking throughout the house and it has been painstakinglyrestored to its former glory. You can hear the gasps of amazement from the tour members, especially the Palm Room, which has gilded wall panels. It is this which gives it a regal feel.

The Only downsides were it’s over all way too quickly. It would have been nice to stop for a little longer to absorb all the details at a more leisurely place. Plus Coffee shop would be nice. Understandably, it is a working house Monday to Saturday for corporate and private functions.

No photos are allowed to be taken inside.

1  Thank Tabby L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2018 via mobile

Gorgeous no doubt. The interior and architectural design is just breathtaking. Even the miniature of the Painted Room in the women’s loo is exquisite! But it’s a plain ripoff that no photos are allowed inside (except the loo!) especially when it usually costs £15 (!!!) to enter. A total ripoff in that regard.

Thank genibre69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2018

Well worth visit. The house has a long history and has been very carefully restored to its former glory.

Thank Gillian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2018

Off the main road but the garden faces Green Park. It is seldom open to the public so plan ahead and reserve if you can. Well worth a tour and some really neat features like the Palm Room you won't see elsewhere. We also got the garden tour, not much but you get to see the better side of the house and balcony.

1  Thank yahootraveler64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2018

Be sure to book your reservation in advance as the house is only open for viewing on Sundays.

The small group tour (given by a Blue Badge guide) was fantastic and a must see if you want to learn a little bit more about The Spence Family of which Princess Dianna is a member as well as Georgina Spencer or perhaps better known as the Duchess of Devonshire, who lived during the 17th and 18th centuries.

1  Thank Mel611j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2018

He didn't have to do it--but when Lord Rothschild took a long-term lease on Spencer House from Earl Spencer (brother of Princess Diana) for office purposes, he also spearheaded a painstaking twenty-year restoration of six of London's most glorious State Rooms. Like the only room remaining in the UK decorated by "Athenian" Stuart. And the Palm Room. The story of the restoration rivals the story of the house.

I didn't do it until I got back home, but It helps to have read Amanda Foreman's biography called Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (which won the Whitbread Prize and was a best-seller) and/or to have seen the film The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. This Duchess, whose grandfather and father built the house, was a Spencer, the most dazzling woman of her day, about whom it was said that every man England was in love with her, except her husband. Sound familiar?

At least I knew what Althorp was, when several of the group (both British and American) revealed ignorance. Our very high-level guide did not flinch, and in the best British tradition of sang-froid, soldiered on, without the least condescension. Her brisk and well-polished talk was an excellent example for all house museums.

The garden has been restored and is open only on some May/early June Sundays, in conjunction with the house tour. Check the website and plan ahead. Designed by Henry Holland (son-in-law of Capability Brown), who also worked on the house, it is London's best example of the high-level 18th century private city garden. You are handed an extensive plant list and planting plan and given a talk by one of the expert landscapers.

Advance tickets are essential and easily bought on the website.

2  Thank mrsagf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2018 via mobile

Small group tour which is great, very friendly knowledgeable guide and tour moved well and timely. The house and decoration/restoration are first rate. Lovely location beside Green Park and the Mall. You really experience the sense of how the family lived. No tours of backstairs tho if you are looking for that.

Thank FerrisToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2018

Only open on a Sunday Morning, this is a must see if you would like to know more about The Spencer Family History! The rooms are fantastic and the tour guide was not just knowledgeable but you could tell she cared about the building! We were a group of eleven adults and probably had 20 on our tour so perfect. A four minute walk from Green Park Tube Station if you walk through Green Park for about two minutes and see a very small walkway/tunnel on your left which takes you directly to the street Spencer House is in. The views over Green Park from the building are also lovely. A recommendation for lunch after your visit would be Dukes Hotel just two minutes away, another gem!

Thank Dawson24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2018

I did not go inside.
The exterior has a beauty which reflects the status of the owners.
It was designed by John Vardy and built 1756-65. the fact that it took 9 years to build is indicative of its quality, as an example of English Palladian architecture.
Its siting is fabulous overlooking the mature trees of St. James' Park.

1  Thank Vincent D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2018 via mobile

It may only be open to the public on a Sunday but if you are in the Green Park area then it is worth going on one of the tours to find out about one of London's hidden 18th century palaces. You will learn a lot about the life of the aristocracy and wealthy from the 1750's onwards to the present day uses of the impressively furnished house.

Thank Grapefan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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