Back in May, I was invited to a secret gig put on by bgo featuring acoustic sessions from up and coming artists who would all be playing the songs of Jimi Hendrix. Unfortunately I was unable to make this event. Sucks to be me, right? As I was not able to attend the secret gig, bgo instead asked if I’d like to go visit the Handel & Hendrix flats in London. I’d already taken The Boyf to visit on Valentines Day but I knew he’d be more than up for another look around Hendrix’s old digs.
Musician’s George Handel and Jimi Hendrix lived in flats next door to each other on Brook Street in Mayfair. They would’ve been neighbours had it not been for the 200 years that separated them. You’ll find the entrance to Handle/Hendrix at number 25. You won’t miss it due to the big blue flag. As you walk through the front door, there are mini facts on the walls either side of the short corridor. Walk up 2 sets of wooden, creaky stairs and you’re in Handel’s House which takes up the next 2 floors.
On these 2 floors you’ll find old paintings hung up on the walls (apparently there were over 80 paintings found in Handel’s home after his death!), ornate instruments and little cd players for you to listen to some of Handel’s compositions whilst reading up more about his life in London. Then, there’s the bedroom, with a massive 4 poster bed and luxurious red sheets.
Walk up another flight of stairs and you’ll find Hendrix’s flat.
This part feels much more like an exhibition as opposed to Handel’s House that just has a few information plaques on the walls. You’re greeted with one of Hendrix’s guitars, gloriously displayed in a glass box in the centre of the main exhibit room. The walls are covered in photos of Hendrix in his flat and scenes of London in the 60’s, along with lots of facts about Jimi’s time living on Brook Street. There are also video screens showing Jimi being interviewed in his flat as well as clips of some of his live performances.
When you’re done reading up on Jimi’s residency on Brook Street, you can move next door to number 23, where Jimi actually lived. They’ve done a really fantastic job recreating his bedroom to look exactly as it did nearly 50 years ago when Hendrix lived there. The only original piece is the oval shaped mirror over the fireplace. Everything else has been replicated from various photo shoots and interviews that all took place in Jimi’s actual bedroom! He really managed to make this his ‘first real home of [his] own’ with visits to the nearby John Lewis for cushions and curtains, and ornaments and other little knickknacks from Portobello Road market. Just outside of the bedroom, they’ve even managed to save some of the original stairs that led to the kitchen above. The room opposite has been used to showcase Jimi’s vast record collection.
Don’t forget to pop into the dress up room and gift shop before you leave!
The funny thing about Handel and Hendrix is that even though they were separated by 200 years, and they were both musically talented in different ways, they’re fashion senses have a bit of crossover with velvet jackets and lace trimmings.
A big thank you to bgo for the invite.
*I was invited to visit Handel House & Hendrix Flat for free, but rest assured, all opinions and words are my own and honest 🙂