Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Homes and Gardens: The Geffrye Museum

My mother doesn't often venture to London. She and her Gentleman Lover live in a yew-lined idyll in Rutland so why would they?!

This weekend was one of the rare occasions though, and to show them a good time we decided to take them to the Geffrye Museum. It's a 'museum of the home' and one of those fantastic places in London that are free but that no one ever seems to have heard of. Definitely worth a visit.

Housed in beautiful buildings that used to be almshouses, it's a series of 'living rooms' set up as they would have been at different points between 1600 and the present day. Each one includes lots of information about how people would have lived and used the different spaces of their homes.

Contrasting patterns

Elaborate wallpaper

There's also a garden set up in the same way, with different sections inspired by periods from the past.

Grapes in the herb garden

Trimmed hedges (which I thought looked like a big caterpillar)

On certain dates through the year they also do tours of one of the almshouse, which has been restored as it would have looked in the 1780s and 1880s. I think this was my favourite bit... you see almshouse all over London, and throughout the country, and I've always wondered what they look like inside and what it's like to live in one.

I made a pan bagnat (from this recipe) to take as a picnic. I hadn't made one before but it's a useful idea: a loaf hollowed out, stuffed with vegetables and cheese, and then pressed. Perfect portable food as you can make it, slice it, wrap it in cling film and then chuck it in a bag and it's pretty indestructible. It doesn't really matter even if it does get a bit squished!

Picnic modelled by mother

Today's other news: my sunflowers have buds, London isn't entirely filled with thieves and vandals, and this blog is definitely worth a read for a bit of light relief.

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