Lonely Planet review
George Frederick Handel lived in this 18th-century Mayfair building for 36 years until his death in 1759; this is where he composed some of his finest works, including Water Music, Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Fireworks Music . Following extensive restorations the house looks as it would have when the great German-born composer was in residence. Enter from Lancashire Court.
Early editions of Handel’s operas and oratorios, portraits of musicians and singers who worked with Handel and musical instruments are on the 1st floor; musicians regularly come to practise so you may be treated to a free concert. On the 2nd floor there are more exhibits and quite a good film with music. The staff attending the rooms are all Handel enthusiasts and wonderfully knowledgeable.
Funnily enough, the house at No 23 (now part of the museum) was home to a musician as different from Handel as could be imagined: American guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1942–70), who lived there from 1968 until his death. A blue plaque on the exterior attests to his and Handel's residencies; there's a small exhibition on Hendrix's life and music on the 2nd floor.