Handel & Hendrix in London

Visit Jimi Hendrix's Flat

Jimi Hendrix's London flat is now a permanent museum
••• Hendrix's flat at Brook Street, London. © Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images

We've always known the Handel House Museum on Brook Street in Mayfair had been the home of another famous musician: Jimi Hendrix. Yet, the funding to make the space a tribute to both wasn't available for many years.

But from February 2016 the Handel House Museum officially became Handel & Hendrix in London. This includes a new permanent exhibition on Hendrix's life and the highlight is the chance to go inside his third floor flat.

It seems incredible the two iconic figures in musical history lived, wrote and played in neighboring buildings, separated by a brick wall and 240 years.

25 Brook Street

This elegant Georgian townhouse was where baroque composer George Frideric Handel lived and worked from 1723 for 36 years. He wrote many of his greatest works there - including Messiah. He died in his second floor bedroom in 1759.

23 Brook Street

The third floor was Jimi Hendrix's home in 1968 and 69. The living room, which also has a bed, has been restored to the way it was when Hendrix lived there with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham.

He was already a well-known star while living here yet Etchingham has talked fondly of the couple shopping for carpets and curtains at John Lewis on Oxford Street.

Many musicians, photographers and journalists visited Hendrix here yet there wasn't a rock star state of chaos as you might expect. Kathy and Jimi were both houseproud and Jimi had been trained well in the army so the bed was always made.

Kathy would tidy up his scribbled notes and put them in the cupboard under the stairs.

They both enjoyed drinking tea, watching Coronation Street, shopping at HMV on Oxford Street and looking after Pussy their pet cat.

Hendrix greatly admired Handel – he went to HMV on Oxford Street and bought Messiah when he discovered his Brook Street address had been Handel's too.

Classical music students would ask to see the flat and Hendrix always obliged.

Handel & Hendrix in London

The footprint of the building has been extended, a new performance spaced built and a lift/elevator installed.

The recreated Hendrix flat is the star of the show but other rooms for visitors on the Hendrix floor include an introduction space with photos, listening posts and the Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar owned by Hendrix. This was the guitar he used at home to compose.

There is also a small room set up to look at his record collection. A wall of LPs can be admired and you can flick through copy records at the 'LP Bar' organized alphabetically and then by musical genre too. Some of Hendrix's own records will be added to the display in late 2016.

Inside the living room it has all of the little extras that make it home and that tell a story. The Mateus Rose wine bottle on the bedside cabinet is because Hendrix would order wine from the restaurant on the ground floor (Mr Love) to be delivered to them upstairs. Copies of Melody Maker (a weekly music newspaper) are because he was regularly seen in the Press and many of the photographs were taken here in the flat. Barrie Wentzell was a freelance photographer for many music papers from 1965 to 1975 and he took some of the most iconic photos of Hendrix right here.

Both Handel and Hendrix came to London to become a star so it's fitting that a museum to these two musical legends is in London. This is the only Hendrix home in the world that is open to the public.

Contact Information

Handel & Hendrix in London
25 Brook Street
Mayfair
London W1K 4HB

Open seven days a week.

Official Website: handelhendrix.org