Do you look at buildings and wonder what they look like inside?  Just me?  Well if you too love to look behind closed doors, London Open House 2017 is for you.  Once a year places that are usually closed to the public open their doors for FREE.  The teens are off on a Scout camp and so Mr CW and I meandered through Belgravia and St James, on the way we saw some pretty impressive stairways and doors.

London Open House 2017

Belgrave Square is surrounded by large white wedding cake houses. Number 1 is home to the Romanian Cultural Institute and this rather magnificent staircase.

London Open House 2017

Next door is the Argentine Embassy which is furnished much as I imagine it would have been when it was the town house of the Earl of Pembroke.

London Open House 2017

After gawping at the opulent interiors of Belgravia we headed over to St James to look around the Royal Overseas League buildings which overlook Green Park.  This is the Crinoline Staircase, so called because the bannisters bow out to allow for the passage of voluminous skirts.  Right at the top, a fearsome tiger’s head snarls down.

London Open House 2017 goes on until Sunday 17 September, if you are free and within reach of London, why not check out the website to see if there are any buildings that you fancy looking around.  London Open House is an annual event you can see what we saw last year by clicking here.




  1. September 17, 2017 / 12:07 am

    What a grand old house, that stairwell is quite something

  2. September 17, 2017 / 12:08 am

    Great images! Love the patterns and the swooping lines.

  3. September 17, 2017 / 12:11 am

    Amazing looking architecture – great use of lines in the design.

  4. September 17, 2017 / 6:42 am

    How fabulous! I’d love to explore places like that. I love the little fact about the curved banisters. #MySundayPhoto

    • September 17, 2017 / 10:03 am

      There are only two such staircases left in London!

  5. September 17, 2017 / 6:50 am

    Hi Catherine, what an interesting place to get to explore! Even more so because it’s usually closed to the public. The photos give a definite sense of grandeur.


    • September 19, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Very grand, I think that I could live in one those houses if you forced me (and gave me the staff to run it)

  6. September 17, 2017 / 7:46 am

    Oh no, I’ve missed Open House again! No time to visit today. Glad to have seen your photos though. Goes some way to making up for it. I once went to the Foreign Office buildings. They are a must see and astounding to think Margaret Thatcher was all for bulldozing them.

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      We saw the Foreign Office one year, it is stunning.

  7. Susanna Bavin
    September 17, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I want a crinoline staircase!

    • September 17, 2017 / 12:42 pm

      Then you shall have one!

  8. September 17, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    I think my first comment got lost somewhere. I had no idea you could wander around embassy buildings or that they looked so regal!

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Makes me think that maybe a career change is in order!

  9. September 17, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    These shots are fabulous. I love investigating old buildings. The staircase is stunning. #mysundayphoto

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      A quick review of photos of previous years reveals that I take many many pictures of staircases

  10. September 17, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Such opulence and grandeur! If seen some fantastic buildings during item house it really does give your a glimpse at some architectural gems #mysundayphoto

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Silly thing is that if they were open all the time I would probably never get round to visiting

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      It would make an excellent novel!

  11. September 17, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    Wow, what a place… Love the history in it too, Open day sounds great! 🙂 #sundayphoto

    • September 19, 2017 / 4:08 pm

      Open House Weekend is great, we saw the Foreign and Commonwealth Office one year, well worth queuing for

  12. September 17, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    That’s good that it lasts the full week. In Oxford, it was only a weekend.

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