Spencer House is one of London’s finest surviving 18th-century town houses. It was originally built for the first Earl Spencer in 1756 (the ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales). They passed it down through the generations, until moving out in 1925.
It then became home to various institutions, including the auction house Christies, the British Oxygen Company and the Economist Intelligence Unit. In 1987 it was bought by the wealthy Rothschild family, who lavished £18 million on its restoration.
In order to view the rooms and gardens of this Palladian mansion, you have to take a supervised tour. The house is still a domestic residence, so many of the rooms are closed off to the public.
The decoration and furnishings are lavish, to say the least – with gilded roofs in the Great Room, and a floor to ceiling book case in the library. The Palm Room is another delight – with Egyptian columns and gilded fronds.