Eddie Saint-Jean is an arts/culture/heritage writer and the editor of London magazine What’s Hot London? He’s a London expert who writes articles and guides about the capital’s historical and cultural attractions.

London’s Cultural Centres

Somerset House

Somerset House is a sprawling arts centre with a fascinating history. This neoclassical-Georgian building forms a grand-looking quadrangle with an equally grand courtyard and hosts a wide range of cultural events throughout the year. Centuries ago, its undoubted magnificence attracted owners such as Elizabeth I and visitors like Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Read my article to find out more about Somerset House’s architecture.

Within its grounds, you’ll find the Courtauld Gallery which has a permanent collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist works. The Art Cafe just opposite the gallery is perfectly located for a coffee break or lunch.

For more about the Courtauld Gallery’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, read my article


Southbank’s blocky Brutalist architecture is its stand out feature. It gives it the look of a dystopian kingdom quite separate from the rest of London. But this cultural hub is also a centre for art, film, theatre, poetry and the performing arts.

In Southbank, you’ll also find the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, BFI Southbank, the National Theatre, the Hayward Gallery and a buzzing second-hand book market under the bridge and just opposite BFI Southbank.

For more about Southbank’s Brutalist architecture, read my article