Here’s a pleasant Messiah complex. This Mayfair building, the German-born composer’s home from 1723 (he was its first tenant) to his death in 1759, has lived many lives—before the museum’s 2001 opening, conservators chipped 28 layers of paint off the interior walls to uncover the original grey color. In its day, it was a factory for his celebrity: Handel would compose in one room, debut his work in another (there are still frequent performances; check the website), sleep in a third, and sell scores and tickets to the public from a ground-floor shop. None of the furniture was his, but Handel fans should investigate the composer’s collection at the Foundling Museum, where he was a crucial patron. In 2016, the museum expanded to encompass the top floors of a neighboring building, where legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix lived in 1968 and 1969. Here, in a cozy flat, his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham tried to give him his first stable home; here he made music and love, entertained, filmed interviews (which gave curators images to reconstruct it down to the last detail)—and played Handel records to absorb the genius of his neighbor across the centuries. But Etchingham’s nurturing efforts were to no avail; soon after they broke up, he died at age 27 in Notting Hill.
Handel & Hendrix Museum
25 Brook St., W1
Our Rating Hours Mon–Sat 11am–6pm, last admission 5pm Transportation Tube: Bond Street Phone 020/7495-1685 Prices Admission £10 adults, £5 children 5–16 (Handel House only: £7.50 adult, £3 child) Web site Handel & Hendrix Museum
Map25 Brook St., W1 London
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.