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Somerset House is a neoclassical building with a beautiful courtyard close to the river Thames. The design started in 1776, and the first wing completed ten years later. Nowadays, it is a location for many cultural events.
In addition to the cultural events organised inside the building, the courtyard also houses two popular events during the year. During the summer, there are open-air movie nights over 14 evenings providing a unique movie-going experience. During the winter, an ice rink is built as the main attraction for the Christmas event, which also includes a Christmas tree, hot drinks and some delicacies.
The location makes both of these events special; getting a ticket early is recommended.
Somerset House is the home to one of the two locations of The Courtauld Institute of Art. The gallery houses a collection of paintings ranging from early Renaissance to Post-Impressionism including Van Gogh, Monet, Gauguin and Rubens. It also contains the most extensive collection of Cézannes in the UK.
They have an excellent virtual tour available on their website allowing moving around in the rooms and zooming in on the paintings.
The closest tube station to Somerset House is Temple (Circle, District). Charing Cross train station is less than ten minutes away.