Lancaster House

At one point during the Chiswell case, Strike and Robin find themselves at Lancaster House attending a Paralympian reception. Robin is dressed in her green Vashti dress, and Strike is a bit beaten up after an encounter with Jimmy Knight.

“Situated close to Buckingham Palace, this historic house offers a magnificent setting, a prestigious central location, and first-class facilities for all types of events and hospitality.” (

“’We shouldn’t be seen together any more tonight,’ he told her, as they passed over the threshold into a blaze of ochre, scarlet and gold.… But as she moved away from him, called after her: ‘Nice dress, by the way.’” (Lethal White, Chapter 32)

“The grand hallway of the mansion constituted a vast empty block of space. A red-and-gold-carpeted central staircase led to an upper balcony that split left and right. The walls, which appeared to be of marble, were ochre, dull green and rose.… The sky was visible through a huge and ornate skylight, supported by columns, was fading through technicolor variations that intensified the colours of the massive Venetian paintings of classical subjects hanging on every wall.” (Lethal White, Chapter 33)

“From here, the guests were ushered left into a long and spacious picture gallery, where the carpet was apple green and decorated with a rosette pattern. Tall windows stood at either end of the room and almost every inch of white wall was covered in paintings.” (Lethal White, Chapter 33)

“Unfortunately, the gallery walls were so densely packed with pictures that leaning was impossible, nor were there any seats, so Strike came to rest beside an enormous painting by Count d’Orsay of Queen Victoria riding a dapple-gray horse.”

Here’s an example of the painting by Count d’Orsay that Strike stood beside. Of course, it includes a white horse! Learn more about the painting here.

d’Orsay, Alfred; Queen Victoria (1819-1901), on Horseback; Government Art Collection;

If you’re interested in learning more about Lancaster House, there’s a lot of great information here.


Find Lancaster House on the map below.

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