Dennis Severs House has launched a range of gift vouchers aimed at giving Londoners something to look forward to once the pandemic is over. The vouchers, which range in price between £10 and £70, offer culture lovers a range of attractive options for future events at the venue.
A £10 voucher offers standard daytime entrance to the house; £15 buy visitors a ‘Silent Night’ experience; a Curator Led Tour costs £50; and for £70 visitors can have the ‘Exclusive Silent Night’ experience.
The last option sounds particularly appealing. The Dennis Severs website describes the event as: “a magical wander through the house’s ten rooms after which you are able to sit by a roaring fire of your choice, champagne in hand and an opportunity to ask the curatorial team any questions you may have in an informal atmosphere.”
The gift vouchers can be redeemed at any time, and they are available to purchase now from the Dennis Severs House shop.
Dennis Severs House
The house in Spitalfields offers a magnificent insight into the lives of a rich Huguenot family living in London in the early 18th century. The group had begun to arrive in the city in the 17th century, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, which had offered protection to France’s protestant communities. Facing persecution, many fled to Britain, with a large number settling in East London.
The Huguenots did not arrive in the country empty handed, however. The new arrivals brought valuable skills and techniques to their new homeland: from new methods of silk weaving, to bold new styles of furniture and textiles. A Huguenot middle class quickly emerged, with many of the newly affluent families choosing to remain in Spitalfields.
Dennis Severs House represents a typical example of the kind of property that a rich Huguenot family would have lived in during the period. The building was purchased by Severs in the 1970s, with the ambition of bringing the venue back to life.
The Dennis Severs House Experience
Forty years on, and the building has been completely transformed. Now open to members of the public, the house has been meticulously and imaginatively refurbished to give the impression that a family is in residence. Visitors walk through a series of rooms, where furniture, textiles, sound and smell are used to convey the sense of a family at home.
A fictional narrative describes the house’s occupants, the Jervis family. Despite never being seen, the family can sometimes be overheard, giving the impression that they are busy in another part of their home. Meanwhile, the house offers a variety of clues to their presence: from the half eaten meal on the table, to the wig lazily placed on the back of a chair.
“Visitors begin to do what they might if indeed they had travelled through a frame into a painting: use what they sense to piece together the scene they had missed” says the Dennis Severs House website of the experience.
In common with all of the UK’s cultural institutions, Dennis Severs House was forced to close its doors at the end of March 2020 due to the Coronavirus Crisis. Now, with no idea as to when they may reopen, the company, like so many other cultural organisations, faces an uncertain future.
More information about the Dennis Severs House Gift Voucher Scheme can be found here.
For information on how you can help other cultural institutions in London, please click here.