In the 19th century, London’s prosperous bourgeoisie settled in the neighbourhood of Holland Park and started to build extravagant houses to show off their wealth. A walk in the area will give you a taste of the architectural trends of the time: the more imposing and spectacular the better, the emphasis being on prosperity rather than good taste.
In Addison Road, at the number 8, stands the Palazzo Debenham, built for the shopkeeper Ernest Debenham. It displays an extravagant Italian front of blue and green bricks. This is the most sumptuous house of the neighbourhood, but many of them are worth a look.
On Melbury Road, a few minutes away, one of these mansions, Leighton House, is open to the public. You can visit it for a few pounds and have a glimpse of what the interior of these villas are like.
Nearest Tube: Holland Park