Turning the corner on to Henrietta Street, you can’t help but catch your breath. The sleek walls of the Georgian townhouses rise in an unbroken red-brick jigsaw from the cobbled street right up to the blue sky above. At the far end, the soft grey curves of the King’s Inns arch elegantly, all perfectly hewn granite and wrought-iron gates.
“Really, it was the place to be seen,” says Tracey Bardon, tour guide at 14 Henrietta Street, and lifelong local resident. Years before number 14 was open to the public as a museum, it was used as a performance space and event venue. One day, as Tracey was walking past, she saw the door open. “There was a woman on the doorstep and I said to her, ‘God, I’d love to have a look in there – can I?’ So I popped my head in.” A few weeks later, the pair bumped into each other and before she knew it, Tracey was working at reception in number 14. “It was just for the summer, but it was lovely – we even got to meet the President!”