The dilemma of being a tourist is that you want to see spectacular things but you don´t want to go where all the other tourists go, right?
Now, in London there is a rather spectacular little museum that is not very well known. At least not compared to Buckingham Palace or Madame Tussaud´s anyway.
It´s the house of a lord who was one of Queen Victoria´s favourite painters in the 19th century. It´s called the Leighton House Museum and is situated in Holland Park. Surprisingly close to all the tourist hotels but still something of a secret (maybe the British want it all to themselves).
When you enter the hall you get the feeling that Lord Leighton really really liked tiles. I have to admit that I have a thing for tiles myself, but not quite to this extent. The hall was tiled from ceiling to floor and it was an amazing sight. Hundreds of 16th and 17th century tiles from Syria.
But it can be a shocking experience if you are only used to white walls and blond Scandinavian furniture...
The floor was also decorated with tiles – that might be transformed into a lovely knitting pattern.
On the top floor was Lord Leighton´s studio where he painted. Big windows let in the light that made it the perfect place to paint. But there was also the most beautiful stained glass windows.
I have to confess that you were not allowed to take photos in the museum, but I simply couldn´t resist. Before we went on holiday I had treated myself to a new compact camera (a Canon S95) – and it´s brilliant for taking pictures indoors in poor light. You don´t have to use a flash that would alert the staff who would come and tell you to put the camera away.
And I hope we have a deal here: I show you all these pretty photos and you come and visit me in prison if I get found out and have to go to jail?
Lord Leighton was also a collector of china plates and displayed them on the walls.
And when I saw this plate it reminded me of something else.
My Märta hat – that I made that before I saw the plate.
Even the ceilings in Lord Leighton´s house were decorated. More inspiration for a knitwear designer, I dare say.
So next time you visit London make sure you take the time to visit Lord Leighton´s house.
But don´t tell anyone else – we don´t want the place crawling with irritating tourists now, do we?