Set on a residential street in the affluent neighborhood of Holland Park, the interior of the house of Lord Frederic Leighton (rbkc.gov.uk/museums) is a Victorian aesthete’s fantasy of the orient, combining antique Syrian tiles, Egyptian lattices and Turkish woodwork with contemporary papers and silks. Works by the artist and from his collection are on view throughout the house. This summer they are joined by other 19th century and pre-Raphaelite works from the John Schaeffer Collection, including John William Waterhouse’s epic Mariamne (1887) and William Holman Hunt’s voluptuous Il Dolce far Niente (1866). This latter canvas, which is thought to portray an idealized amalgamation of a succession of Holman Hunt’s lovers and models, will form part of Tate Britain’s major pre-Raphaelite exhibition later this year. You can walk among the birds that inspired the peacock colors of Leighton’s interior in neighboring Holland Park, the gardens of a (now partially destroyed) 17th century mansion once owned by the aptly named Lady Rich. A perennial favorite, the nearby Ladbroke Arms (capitalpubcompany.com) serves decent food to a well-heeled local clientele.
Next 5. Coram’s Fields