THE EARLY DAYS

In 1800 John Soane designed Pitzhanger Manor, in then rural Ealing, as his dream country retreat. An invigorating walk from his city home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, it became a place to relax and entertain friends and clients.

Soane intended Pitzhanger to be a place of entertainment: Soane called the surrounding 28 acres of parkland (today Walpole Park) his ‘pleasure grounds’, while the faux Roman ruins in the gardens were intended for the amusement of guests. Soane’s Kitchen sits within Pitzhanger’s original walled kitchen garden.

Soane was famed for his elaborate, often theatrical dinner parties and soirées, hosting some of the greatest names of his time including the artist J.M.W. Turner and the future King Louis-Philippe of France. Soane’s Kitchen will bring this ethos of entertainment back to Pitzhanger, still today using produce from the walled kitchen garden.

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Pitzhanger is undergoing major conservation to return it to Soane’s original designs. The Manor will show off the architect’s idiosyncratic style and some of his trademark architectural ideas, from caryatids to the canopy dome on ceilings, and his use of light as an architectural tool. The newly refurbished Pitzhanger Gallery will display three ambitious exhibitions a year, featuring acclaimed contemporary artists, architects and designers.

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