If you’re in London, whether like me you’re a native, or whether you’re a tourist, it only seems right to head to to the Museum of London; But firstly, how does one spend time at a museum, whilst making it an entire day worthwhile. Located near Barbican station, a great way to start is at the Barbican Cafe on Beech Street. Grab your coffee and an arts-newspaper, or better yet, grab one of the barbican pamphlets and begin planning your very cultured, very exciting summer! Once your heart is content, like mine was only yesterday, it only feels right to head to Whitecross Street where you can immerse yourself in street-food (11am-5pm Thu, Fri) and street-art.
The community gardens behind Whitecross Street is the perfect place to brunch and lunch. It’s a community garden where “where residents of the Peabody estate have become actively involved in looking after their outdoor communal spaces” -(social life) and what a place to get actively involved in a discussion with some lively locals, or relax amongst the vegetables and flowers.
You can always head back to the Barbican for an exhibition, (my latest was The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk– 9 April 2014 – 25 August 2014 ) which, as you’ll see from my previous posts. It’s an exhibition not to miss and you have another fifteen days to catch it.
From the Barbican, in just under fifteen minutes, you can walk to the Museum of London. Spread over two floors, it’s not as big as some of London’s favourites, but does not lack what the bigger museums have. And if anything, this museum has its specialties. Currently on display is part of the in a room dedicated to the engineering of the piece. Videos and photos accompany the cauldron, and it captivates each passer-by, firstly by the booming sound as you pass the corridor, and secondly, by the accompanying exhibition.
The museum features everything from a small village, to various ruins and artefacts, fashion and the darling ‘Pleasure Gardens’ room based on a quaint time in British history:
“As London became more built up in the 17th and 18th centuries, Londoners began to need open spaces to relax in. Pleasure gardens were built at the edge of the city and were privately run. The most famous were Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.
The people who went to the gardens were the highest in society, including members of the royal family. They went to be entertained and to escape from the noise and pollution of the city. There were also pickpockets and prostitutes, who frequented the gardens and gave them a truly mixed atmosphere.”- Museum Of London
After sitting in the gardens, watching the film and admiring costumes, you begin to fall into the modern days of London, before exiting in the shop, a clever little architectural decision it so seems. In just one day, it’s easy to get immersed into London arts and history.