We set out this morning to visit the Geffrye Museum. It is a rather beautiful space, created out of old almshouses, and is predominantly a museum which takes you through the world of interior design, showing you rooms from the 17th Century through to today. It has visiting exhibitions downstairs in a newly designed space which fits in beautifully with the old style of the almshouses, and which also houses a very nifty gift shop, a children’s activity area, and what looked like an excellent cafe. There is also a beautiful reading room and well stocked book shelves, and a gorgeous garden to look round.
If you are interested in interiors, or furniture, or how people lived and how living spaces have changed over the centuries, you will love it. If you just want somewhere tranquil to potter about in the middle of a busy city, you will also love it.
To get to the Geffrye Museum you can take an overland train to Hoxton and follow the sign posts from there, or go to Old Street by tube and take a bus from there, or, if the weather is lovely, like it was today, you can meander through the streets of Hoxton. It’s about a ten minute walk. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday 10-5.
We are very glad we chose to meander along in the sunshine, because while taking a short cut through the achingly trendy Hoxton Square we came across a fantastic diner called; ‘The Breakfast Club’.
We were lured in by the fact that they served pancakes for breakfast. We indulged, and oh my word, it was an indulgence. The children had maple syrup and bacon with theirs. I had fruit and cream with mine.
They were delicious, and the portions were huge. The two little ones could easily have shared a portion, and even Tilly and I struggled. The coffee was good. The juice was freshly squeezed and the service was super swift and friendly, even if we did have to sit round a corner near the loo because I don’t think we exactly fit the clientele they were looking for.
It is the kind of place I love, an old warehouse space with stripped wooden floors, mis matched furniture and the like. I particularly liked the fact that the plates were enamelled tin. I love enamel ware.
And the place was a kind of hymn to the Eighties, which may well have been why I felt so at home there. Reliving my childhood.
There was a Pac Man and Galaxians machine against one wall. They have film nights where you can watch such glorious Eighties classics as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Back to the Future – all of which I love.
The toilets were billed as ‘girls and boys toilets with the smallest disco in the world.’ The communal space was painted black with a glitter disco ball revolving above you, and cheesy Eighties pop blaring out. The toilets were all wall papered in different cartoon character paper. Oscar chose He-Man. I went for The Fraggle Rock one. None of us liked Strawberry Shortcake.
We all loved it, and can’t wait to go back for another visit. We texted Jason a picture of our pancakes. He texted back:
Then we texted him a picture of the He-Man toilet, to which he replied:
After our Hoxton adventure, we zoomed over to South Kensington and met our friend Gina at the V&A. We had tickets to see their exhibition: “Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the Eighties.’
We were clearly having an Eighties themed day, which was fine by me, because I am so old, not so much fun for everyone else.
It was a good exhibition, not a great exhibition. I think last year’s ball gown exhibition was much better in terms of curation and range. This could have been a lot more imaginatively staged. It was actually fairly traditional in terms of what you saw and how it was shown, and we didn’t stay very long in comparison to how long we were there for last year’s exhibition.
We headed over to the tube station to have lunch at a place we tried to eat at last year but which was so rammed we couldn’t get a table. It’s called Muriel’s Kitchen. The food was delicious, but the portion sizes were weeny, and I hated the way that a main course was simply what it was, if you see what I mean. Tallulah had salmon, and it was just a piece of salmon with some dressing on a plate. Everything else had to be ordered as a side dish, and prices were not particularly cheap. An average main was between £10 and £12 and side dishes were £3 and up. I had the smallest Greek salad in the world for the princely sum of a fiver.
After lunch we tubed one stop to Sloane Square and went to the paper art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi Gallery is about five minutes walk from the tube station, down the King’s Road, and is completely free to get into, whatever exhibition is on.
We loved this exhibition. There were some amazing collages and more traditional sketches and drawings, along with some more abstract installations. One in particular, which the children told me was a dragon, was a huge suspended creation made of kites. Another was a city made of tiny cardboard houses suspended on wires.
We ended the day sitting outside Patisserie Valerie in the sunshine, eating cake and drinking tea and talking and talking and talking until our jaws fell off, and the children got tired of talking and finished all the cakes and went and got drenched playing in the fountains in the sunshine.