Friday, December 17, 2010

Geffrye Museum Christmas Past exhibition - felt more like a sideshow

When all else fails, we turn to Timeout London to check out what to do over the weekend and that was exactly what we did a couple of days back. A quick browse through Timeout's Most Popular section turned out Geffrye Museum. "See how Christmas was celebrated throughout the centuries. How quaint and apt to do that just before Christmas so off we went trekking to Kingland Road that very afternoon.


Other than a host of Vietnamese restaurant, I never know Kingsland Road for anything else so imagine my surprise when we reached Geffrye Museum that sits less than a hundred meters from Song Que. The building (or should I say complex) with a wide front facade by Central London's standards was apparently a former almshouse and served as homes for a group of pensioners.


The rather inconspicuous entrance at the far left of the building led us to the Christmas exhibit. "Have you been to the Geffrye Museum before?" a staff queried at the reception. We shook our heads. "Well, the exhibit's this way down, toilet's here and there's a cafe towered the end," he continued. Simple enough and off we went.


The entire exhibition is laid out in a single row starting with a spartan display of how dining chairs have evolved throughout the centuries. Each room henceforth shows the layout of the dining area during the Christmas season. The more current 20th century settings are then found beyond the museum cafe/restaurant.

While it is interesting to witness the evolve of Christmas celebrations within homes, the exhibition felt like a sideshow rather than the main attraction. Perhaps it was due to the fact that the permanent exhibition is meant as be a showcase of interior displays since the middle ages and the only difference now is that Christmas decorations are put in place.


I wouldn't go so far to say that Geffrye Museum is a must visit. But if you do plan to drop by, try to avoid weekends as the narrow walkway through the room displays would be too crowded to make the visit meaningful.

Have you been to the Christmas Past exhibition at Geffrye Museum? How do you find it?

Admission free
136 Kingsland Road
City of London E2 8EA
020 7739 9893

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William K Wallace said...

I have never been to the Geffrye Museum yet. It is one of those places that I have always been meaning to go and check out, but for some reason I never have!

C K said...

Wow, that was fast. :)
I was just going through Timeout when this one came up. But like I said, it's not exactly the most exciting of exhibitions.