Sometimes the best things in life are free, and an afternoon spent in the sun is most definitely one of those things. When I was recently in London, I took to the courtyard at Somerset House to sit back and relax, and let the world pass on by.


Somerset House is a large neoclassical building on the Strand, in central London, and overlooks the Thames River. The space inside is used for a variety of art exhibitions and programs, and there’s always something good going on, including the Courtauld Gallery, which has an important collection of old master and impressionist paintings. Check out my review of the Courtauld Gallery here.

As for Somerset House, when the weather turns warm and sunny, the courtyard is definitely where it’s at. Huge fountains provide a refreshing breeze as well as a place to frolic if you’re so inclined, while the perimeter of the space is lined with chairs and seating. There’s also a cafe here if you fancy a bit to eat or drink.

I spent one morning here by myself, taking in the city in the early hours, when people were making their way to work and starting their days. I love moments like this, and I got lost in my book. I read the most when I’m traveling, and love settling into a good book — paper please! — and I think Somerset House is one of my favorite places to do that.

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