It was one of those rare moments where it was sunny in London on a Saturday and I did not want mine to go to waste, so I did what I had never done before – I took myself out on a date to the museum.I hopped on to the tube to South Kensington. My first stop was the Natural History Museum – bad idea. It was full of families (now I really do love and adore children but when they insist of barging rudely in front of me on the movement mirrors, the scales, the DNA microscope and anything else I find no such joy in them), so I lasted a few minutes in there.
I walked across the road to Victoria and Albert Museum and from when I walked in I knew I was going to be in there for hours when I realised that not only was there a fashion display, but jewellery, medieval items, sculpture, Asian and Buddhist art and historical pieces, a room dedicated to Raphael and everything you could ever want to see in any museum. If you love the decorative arts from jewelry and fashion to furniture and ornamentation, then this is the place. This is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to now cover 12.5 acres and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. Now I have to say as I was busy happy snapping away its when I realised that there were tombs and effigies – a story for another day on how I managed to spook myself out.
I topped my date by having a meal in the cafe. I was told by one of the museum staff that the cafe is the best of all the gallery cafes in the UK. It is located in the Morris, Gamble and Poynter Rooms, which formed the first museum restaurant in the world and were intended as a showpiece of modern design, craftsmanship and manufacturing. The surroundings are sumptuous and the food good – certainly an excellent choice for an elegant but informal lunch.
I would highly recommend a visit to this beautiful home of art.