Tag Archives: Museum of London

museum of london docklands

Bridge at Museum of London, Docklands

Bridge
27 June – 2 November 2014
Bridge is the largest art exhibition ever to be staged at the Museum of London Docklands. Drawing on the museum’s significant art collections, the exhibition will feature rarely seen contemporary and historical artworks, alongside photography and film to consider the significance of bridges within London’s landscape.

museum of london docklands
Museum of London Docklands

From Hungerford to Blackfriars, Westminster and Millennium, Bridge also looks at how London’s bridges allow people to move around and experience the city. Thomas Heatherwick’s ambitious ‘Garden Bridge’ proposal, playing with the ideas of destination and crossing will feature, along with other debates and issues confronting London and its bridges today.

museum of london docklands
Museum of London Docklands

 

FREE ENTRY

Mon-Sun: 10am – 6pm

Closed 24-26 Dec

Galleries begin to close at 5.40pm

Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4AL

Find out more at http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/docklands/whats-on/exhibitions-displays/bridge/

How to get there: DLR (Docklands Light Railway)

 

 

 

The Museum entrance is two minutes walk from West India Quay.
By DLR: West India Quay
By Tube: Canary Wharf
By Bus: D3, D7, D8, 277, N50, D6, 15, 115, 135
By River: Thames Clippers – 10-15 minute journey on a Thames Clipper riverboat from Bankside or Maritime Greenwich Pier to Canary Wharf Pier. Call 0870 781 5049 for times and prices.
Plan your journey using the TFL website http://tfl.gov.uk
Parking – Paid parking nearby
There is a Vinci car park behind the Museum on Hertsmere Road.

What you can see nearby:
Canary Wharf – Financial District of London outside the City of London aka the Square Mile
A great number of sculptures, some permanent, some temporary…all amazing!
a short journey via the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich will take you to the O2 Arena where you can take a ride in the Emirates Cable Car (closed during bad weather)
a short journey on the DLR will take you to Cutty Sark for Maritime Greenwich, Royal Observatory and Green Park

remember to download your FREE #3DIL App today for Android Apps http://bit.ly/1049ZSl info on #LondonEvents & much more
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A note for overseas visitors: From July 6th buses on all London routes will no longer accept cash.
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/buses/cash-free-buses?intcmp=17374

Please check their website for details of how to buy a ‘Visitors’ Oyster (travel) card.
http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/oystercard/product/oyster-card.html

Types of refund
Oyster cards no longer needed
If you no longer need your Oyster card they’ll refund any remaining pay as you go credit, the remaining value of any Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass season ticket and the deposit, if you paid one.
To get a refund you can:
Take your Oyster card to a Tube station ticket office
Post us your Oyster card
Call Customer Services 0343 222 1234
08:00-20:00, Monday to Sunday including public holidays
Please note this does not apply to Travel Cards, one day or otherwise. It is only for Pay as you go Oyster Cards.

Please note that I am not an agent for TfL, I am merely informing you of this change. any enquiries please head over to their website.  Have a great stay in London

Dickensian Cookery Workshop at Museum of London

museum of london
Museum of London - my favourite museum in the city

The Museum of London is by far and away my favourite museum in London.  I have spent and can spend hours just meandering through the galleries going from 5,000 BC and on into the future.  The museum offers a fascinating glimpse into London over the ages and you can wander through a mock-up of a house from Caesar’s village near Heathrow or alongside a Roman living room to a Victorian Street lined with shops typical of the era, view quirky reminders of the 60’s & 70’s and a projection of London if the waters rise as expected….basically London would be swamped!!

museum of london
Roman villa sitting room at the Museum of London

I am always on their website to see what is happening in the life of the museum and I recently discovered that they were offering Cookery Workshops from different decades in the life of London, from the Roman era, Saxon and Georgian times to the Victorian period .  Now, I am fascinated by Charles Dickens so decided to book myself onto the Dickensian workshop!  What fun!!

The workshop was hosted by Dr Annie Gray who was dressed as a Victorian cook in all her finery.

museum of london
me and Dr Annie G

The workshop was well attended by both men and women of all ages and we learned all about the vestiges of Georgian dining and how the Victorians changed the face of dining with their airs and graces and crispy white linen covering tables groaning with silver cutlery, candelabra, trees and more china than than China can throw a stick at! :)  How moulds in all shapes and sizes were invented to create food which was then presented to look like something it was not…figure that out if you can! However, it all went pear-shaped (pun intended!) as the Edwardians stepped in and the utterly mad formal dining morphed into a more relaxed style.  However, the focus last Saturday was on the Victorians and we learned how Queen Victoria was a manic eater and would finish ALL her courses…usually up to 7 from starters to dessert within half and hour which meant that as soon as she finished the table would be cleared and if you had not yet eaten you left the table hungry…good for the diet and would probably explain all the waif-like figures squeezed into whalebone corsets that span no more than two hands-width!  I am so glad I did not have to dine with her Majesty….what a travesty to leave all that food behind.  And most certainly she did not have a waif-like figure.

museum of london
Queen Victoria

So after the lecture we moved over to some tables set up at the back of the room to make a lardy cake…..oh lordy! A lardy cake?…never heard of that before…..but apparently it was very popular with the poorer folk as it requires very few ingredients and makes a nice solid (and I mean solid!) meal.  So aprons on, sleeves rolled up and amidst much laughter with our partners in crime we set about mixing the ingredients….now there are three things you need to know at this stage….1.  I have not baked a cake or made bread in the last oh say 12 years maybe and 2. I love squelching my fingers through gooey substances so this was right up my alley.  I dived in hands first with enthusiasm and began to mix and swirl and squelch the flour, yeast and water into a nice sticky ball of goo.  Then it was all hands on deck as we thumped the ball of dough onto a board and my partner Marilyn began to knead the sticky mass into something that resembled a decent lump of dough.  We took turns I am pleased to say and boy did I enjoy that…so much so that I have decided to make one at home! :)   In no time at all we had a marvellous ball of dough and set about with rolling it into an oblong shape.  From there we spread soft lard across the middle third and a layer of currants, a good sprinkling of sugar and a decent amount of spices. Then it was fold the second third over the middle and the third third over that and roll again….and so on at least 3 or 4 times till we had a lovely jubbly round of dough filled with lard, currants and sugar and spice!

museum of london
Marilyn kneading the dough
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currants, sugar and spices
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starting to take shape
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and we rolled and we rolled....(the rocking came later!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now I can reveal the third thing you need to know is… 3. I love raw dough and find it a travesty to cook it when it tastes just yummy as it is….I was certain that not much of the mixture would actually find its way home to be baked.  So dough rolled and ready to go we cut it in two, each packing a portion into a plastic container for the journey home and went back to our tables for a demonstration on how to mix a Madeira cake Victorian style, how to make ice-cream in a bucket (seriously) and how to make a mean gin punch that definitely bears repeating at home! :) I had 3 glasses of the stuff and left the event well merry on my way!  Which probably accounts for the fact that I got my head horribly muddled and ended up walking from the Museum of London all the way across the city via St Paul’s Cathedral (please note)

museum of london, st pauls cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral viewed from Bow Lane en-route to......

…..the Monument, across London Bridge and all along Borough High Street to Borough station in the mistaken assumption that the station was in fact Bermondsey and in zone two!  It was not Bermondsey but Borough Station and is in zone 1.  What en eejit!!!  I mean seriously!!  LOL!!!  If I had had my facts straight I could have hopped on the tube at St Paul’s and shaved at least 45 minutes off my journey to the O2 Arena for the show we were going to see that night…..urgh!!!

war of the worlds O2 arena north greenwich
...the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one he said....

But I digress….

While we were watching the demonstration given by Dr Annie Gray, and learning about how to make all these yummy goodies as well as snippets of gossip about the Victorians and Charles Dickens (ya thought I had forgotten about him!) I noticed that the container holding my dough had started to rock from side to side.  Initially I thought I was rocking the table (I was leaning on my elbows) so I moved my elbows off the table.  However, the container continued to rock, so I thought perhaps the table was wobbly so gripping the edges I tested the stability of said kitchen item only to find that it was solid as a rock….which meant that the rocking motion of the container was in fact the container rocking.  Hah!! What is going on here?  This continued for about a minute or so and then a weird creaking sound emitted from the container.  By now I was totally perplexed and not just a little bit freaked out….what the hell was going on?  The rocking had increased in intensity and then with a sudden pop that made me jump the lid of the container popped off!!!

museum of london lardy cake
the lid popped off with a loud thwock!!!
museum of london lardy cake
....time to call in the ghost-busters!!!!?
museum of london lardy cake
...by now I was certain this dough was getting ready to climb out and walk off on it's own!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

In double quick time I jammed the lid back on with a solid thump and pressed the edges down firmly on all sides….to no avail.  With a loud thwock the lid flew off and the dough rose up and up and up!!!! By now I had finally sussed out that of course the dough had yeast in it and of yes….yeast makes things rise! :)   All I can say is that we must have kneaded the dough exceptionally well for it to rise like that….and it didn’t stop there.  In due course the dough rose so high that it became clearly evident it was not going to be contained in one container so I had to get another…..and so the top of the morassy mass got lopped off and plopped into a 2nd container.  LOL.

Thankfully by now the dough had begun behaving in much the same way for many of the other participants and it wasn’t necessary to call in the ghost-busters after all. :)

So once the demonstration was over and we had sampled a previously baked lardy cake, a slice of the Madeira cake (I loved how Dr G used her fingers to mix the eggs and sugar together…so deliciously messy!), a small scoop of the ice-cream made in a bucket and the damn fine gin punch that bears repeating again and again….we said goodbye and went our merry way, or should that be weaved our merry way…..?  Whatever! *rolls eyes*

The course was good fun, I thoroughly enjoyed getting my hands moocky and sticky with dough, I ate a fair amount of it before I left the museum and a fair amount on the way to North Greenwich.  The poor thing did not in fact get baked that night or the next….we only got home at midnight after the show and I started my next assignment in Petersfield that afternoon, so the lardy cake travelled from the City of London to North Greenwich, then to Richmond and St Margaret’s, thence to Clapham Junction and Petersfield and by now very bubbly and gooey again, finally made it into the oven on Monday afternoon!!!  Glazed with honey and scored it resided in the oven at 200 degrees till cooked right through and no sooner did it come out the oven than it was consumed….while hot it tastes just delicious!

museum of london lardy cake baked
my lardy cake looking suitably yummy fresh out the oven and into my tummy!! Okay so not the whole thing...

A bit about the lardy cake:

Lardy cake, also known as lardy bread, lardy Johns, dough cake and Fourses cake, is a traditional rich spiced form of bread probably originating in Wiltshire in the South West of England, which has also been popular throughout the West Country and the southern counties of England including Oxfordshire and Suffolk. However, in most south-eastern counties it is completely unknown…..see what did I say…never heard of it before!The main ingredients are freshly rendered lard, flour, sugar, spices, currants and raisins. Lardy cake can be eaten at any time of day as a snack, but is most commonly consumed in the afternoon with tea or coffee. Lardy cakes are very rich and sweet and eaten traditionally for special occasions, high days and holidays and harvest festivals.  Best eaten freshly baked and still hot straight from the oven.  (some of the info ref wikipedia with thanks).

And that ends my foray into Victorian/Dickensian cooking…..definitely to be repeated.  If you are interested in participating in one of the Museum of London’s cookery workshops….visit their website for more details. I am not sure though if they will be holding more of these workshops in 2013, but there is always something interesting to get involved in at the museum.

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after 10 years – my Top 10 favourite places in London

Having lived in London for the past 10 years I have grown to love the city with a passion.  When I first arrived, as a tourist I did all the top attraction recommendations.  Over the years particular areas and places have become top favourites and I find myself visiting them again and again.  There are so many places that are completely fascinating and worth seeing, but you would need a lifetime to see them all.   So to give you an idea of what I consider to be the best places to visit; here is a list of my top 10 favourite places in London.

St Paul’s Cathedral, City of London

st pauls cathedral, city of london, favourite places in london, 3 days in london
my absolute favourite of all the buildings in London; St Paul's - the pearl of London

Museum of London, London Wall

The Guildhall, City of London

the guildhall, history of london, city of london history, 3 days in london
the Guildhall - 800 years of history

Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, Westminster

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Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster aka the Houses of Parliament

The George Pub, Southwark

the george inn, national trust, southwark, geoffrey chaucer, 3 days in london
The George Inn, Southwark - the last coaching inn in London

Tower Bridge and the Thames

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Tower Bridge

Tower of London, Tower Hamlets

things to do in london, 3 days in london. what to see in london, tower of london
Tower of London....surely a magical place to visit

Waterlow Park (watch the video) and Hampstead Ponds

Hampstead Ponds at sunrise in autumn

Natural History Museum, South Kensington

things to do in london, 3 days in london, museums in london, natural history museum
The Natural History Museum, South Kensington

 

Neal’s Yard

the ever so delightful Neal's Yard

There are of course many, many wonderful places in London and I have a very long list of places I visit again and again….but of all the places I have been, there are by far and away my favourites.  If you have been to any of these places or have a top 10 favourites, do share it via the comments,  & if you enjoyed this post please feel free to share it.

things to do on a rainy day in London

Oh me Oh my!!! here you are with just 3 days in London and it’s raining!!!! Now what? You can’t go watch the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, no point taking the Hop-on Hop-off bus, unless you enjoy sitting in a downpour and getting soaked! Can’t stand in the queue at The London Eye (for the same reason) and the sheltered area around Big Ben will be jam packed with other tourists determined to catch a glimpse!
What can you do when its raining in London?

Well lots really! There are a multitude of museums, most of which are FREE to visit:
The London Museum (City of London & a must see)

the national gallery london
the entrance of the National Gallery London

The British Museum (Russell Square – Picadilly Line)
Natural History Museum (South Kensington – District & Circle Lines)
The Science Museum ( same as natural History Museum)
Victoria & Albert Museum (as above)
The National Gallery (at Trafalgar Square)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

then you have the more quirky museums:
Hunterian Museum (Lincoln’s Inn Fields – near Royal Courts of Justice)

the huntarian museum london
inside the Hunterian Museum

 

Sir John Soane’s Museum (Lincoln’s Inn Fields)
The Clockmakers Museum (near Guildhall – City of London)
Pollock’s Toy Museum (Scala Street – off Tottenham Court Road)
The Petrie Museum (University College London, Malet Place British Museum)
amongst many others.

Then there are the paid attractions you could visit:

Madame Tussauds (Baker Street – Bakerloo and Jubilee Lines)
The Clink Museum (Southwark)
The London Dungeon (London Bridge – Northern Line)
The Tower of London (although a lot of this is also outdoors (Tower Hill – District & Circle Lines)

the tower of london
inside the Tower of London

You could also enquire about bookings for the Theatres in the West End, many have last minute special offers.

With hundreds of places to visit, museums to meander about and shows to enjoy….there is never a day when you could say “there is nothing to do!”.

London has it all.

Museum of London

Wow! What an amazing museum! The Museum of London charts the history of this wonderful city, from when ice covered the land right through to a projection of what the city would look like if global warming escalates and the water levels continue to rise!  All this is set out in a series of exhibits and displays that blend seamlessly from one to the other.  I had intended visiting for just an hour, having no idea of what to expect and stayed for 3!!

Museum of London
the Museum of London, an unforgettable experience

London before London – c. 450,000BC – 50AD.  We are used to thinking of London as the nation’s capital and one of the world’s great cities, so it is difficult to imagine a time when it was otherwise, and yet the city was only founded on the banks of the Thames less than  2,000 years ago.  Around 450,000 years ago the ice tipped the river into it’s present valley.

Museum of London
Thames River escarpment

 The exhibition starts with fossils, some that date back over 450,000BC to a time when land masses were still connected and the animals of the time could move freely.

Museum of London
elephant foot fossil c. 350,000BC

There are artefacts that go back thousands of years that offer a fascinating glimpse into life in those days.

Museum of London
artefacts from c. 300,000 BC

On your walk through time, you get to see how it must have looked when the first hunter-gatherers appeared,

Museum of London
the first of the hunter-gatherers

an example of a Saxon hut,

Museum of London - 3 days in london
example of a Saxon lodging

how the Roman’s shaped the city,

Museum of London 3 days in london
a Roman soldier

about the plague, and fires and war, all of which affected and shaped the city.  There is a visual example of Caeser’s camp near what is now Heathrow, a wattle and daub hut, trees and an auditory recording of birds singing,

Museum of London 3 days in London
a glimpse of Caesar's camp near what is now Heathrow
Museum of London 3 days in london
Caeser's camp at Heathrow

then how by the mid-5th century London was a delerict ruin.  How kings and queens shaped the city, a ‘pleasure garden’ – ladies and gentlemen of the 18th century out walking in the parks,

Museum of London 3 days in london
the pleasure garden - the outfits were stunning

the war years – a cinematic reminder of how terrifying it must have been to live through bombardments from the skies, the nightly huddle in underground tube stations, houses burning and the spirit of  ‘get on with it and make do’ that permeated British society in those days.

The fun of the 60’s and 70’s,

Museum of London 3 days in london
a Vespa scooter

people who have shaped the city and famous names born here.  There is a phenomenal array of objects that make up the display.  If you have not yet been to visit this fabulous museum….why are you waiting?  It’s free, it’s situated on what was the boundary of the city imposed by the Roman’s and there are parts of that wall still standing and on display.

Museum of London
part of the old Roman wall

here is a link to the museums website with loads of info and how to get there.

By tube: Barbican, St Paul’s, Moorgate
By bus: 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 25, 172, 242, 521

Nearby you can find the Postman’s Park –

Postmans Park
Postman's Park

a tranquil garden where you can find a memorial to commemorate heroes of the city;

Postman's Park
G F Watts's memorial to heroic self-sacrifice - Postman's Park

people who over the last few hundred years have sacrificed their life to save another.  The park is a short walk from the museum.

Postmans Park
the entrance to the park is just to the left of the church, as viewed from the museum of london entrance
Postman's Park memorial
part of the memorial to commemorate the bravery of ordinary citizens