South Kensington Art and Design

A couple of weekends ago I rugged up for a trip to South Kensington to visit one of the excellent museums in that area. I’d been wanting to go to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum since I’d returned so that was high on the list. The fact it was the last weekend of a small story themed design exhibition named Telling Tales just helped propel me there (as did a quick look at the queues outside the beautiful Natural History Museum).

Before I rushed into the crowded world of weekend gallery attendance I made a worthwhile stop at the South Ken outpost of the Hummingbird Bakery. I sat for a while with a coffee and red velvet cupcake and I highly recommend it. The South Ken branch is marginally quieter than the Notting Hill branch on a Sunday which means you can sit and enjoy your purchases without having queued out the door and down the street beforehand (which I noticed people doing in Notting Hill as that branch is in the market area).

Hummingbird cake and coffee

The cake tasted delicious....

Hummingbird red velvet cupcake

Just to really rub it in 🙂

I had a wander around as I used to live about 15-20 minutes walk away and spent a bit of time in the area many moons ago. There have been a few changes and Old Brompton Road now consists almost entirely of cafes and restaurants whereas I remember a few more outlet luggage stores. The area around the tube station does seem to be a good place to head if looking for places to eat. I also came across this lovely bookstore in Thurloe St.

Bookthrift South Ken

Piles of excellent books

Although it’s a discount bookstore, the items they have in stock are top notch and it was quite an effort to leave without weighing myself down with some purchases. And finally I made it to my destination – the actual museum. The V&A is a great place to go if you’re interested in art, design, costuming, textiles, sculpture and pretty much anything else decorative that you could imagine. It’s also free – which is even better.

V&A entrance

One of the better entrance shots - still not quite sure what I was aiming for

V&A dining room

One of the dining rooms - fancy huh?

V&A courtyard

entrance to the dining rooms from the internal courtyard

V&A detail

marble initials

V&A light sculpture

light sculpture in the entrance hall

Although I spent a good amount of time wandering around looking at the displays, the V&A is a huge place and I need to make a return visit when the medieval galleries reopen later this year.