Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, lived out his last year in a quiet side street in Hampstead in northwest London. Based on detailed notes, he recreated his study here exactly as it was in Vienna, sofa and all, now home to the Freud Museum.
London Thing 17 of 1000: Visit the Freud Museum.
Sigmund Freud spent the last year of his life in London after escaping from Nazi-occupied Austria. Just before he left Vienna, he hired a photographer to capture every detail of his study so that it could be recreated in his new London home, famous couch and all.
What am I getting myself into?
The Freud Museum is one of the few left in a dying breed (I hope) of museums that don’t allow photos (hence the reason I don’t have any here), but apparently that hasn’t stopped people from taking selfies with that sofa.
The Freud Museum takes up the first two floors of the home, and it’s small (for a museum) but mighty. I loved imagining myself walking in Freud’s footsteps, or at least hoping that he plodded around wearing a pair of the Freudian slippers that are available in the gift shop.
This weekend it’s my turn to pick the part of London to explore. As I’ve always lived in a SW London postcode and have only ever worked in an EC, I’m thinking east … far east. Help me East Londoners, what’s your favourite haunt that direction?
Anything nearby to do when I’m done?
We started the morning with brunch at the beautiful Wet Fish Cafe in West Hampstead. This place is a preservationist’s dream come true (and definitely a foodie’s too).
The owners have lovingly embedded the site’s history into every part of the cafe’s atmosphere and decor, from reusing the signs from its fishmonger past to uncovering all of the art deco tiles adorning the walls, which made it feel a little like being in a wonderfully renovated Tube station.
(This is a compliment, I promise! A Tube nerd wrote that sentence.)
Visit: Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens. London, NW3 5SX. Tube Finchley Road.
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