Where artists find their muses

London’s neighbourhoods, streets, hotels and museums are a source of inspiration for many artists.

From Walter Sickert’s often gruesome depictions of Camden to Turner’s dramatic images of the Battle of Trafalgar, artists have turned to everyday life, the city’s history, and often some very random places to find their muse.

The Coach and Horses has long been a favourite with thesps and artists. It also has a reputation for debauchery thanks to former patrons George Melly, Francis Bacon and Jeffrey Bernard. The latter used his experiences at this Soho pub, most of which involved extreme inebriation, as fodder for his weekly Low Life column for The Spectator.

Denmark Street has been associated with musicians since the 1920s. Home to numerous rehearsal and recording studios, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix recorded here. The Kinks song Denmark Street summed up their experience with “You go to a publisher and play him your song/He says ’I hate your music and you hair is too long/But I’ll sign you up because I’d hate to be wrong’”. Denmark Street is also where Elton John composed his first hit, Your Song, and where the Sex Pistols made their very first demos. Malcolm McLaren’s project lived in a flat above the studio till they could no longer make the rent. The musicians frequented the Giaconda Café, and it was not uncommon to spot David Bowie and Joe Strummer glugging tea here. The cafe still stands today, renamed the Giaconda Dining Rooms.

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