Saturday, 16 April 2016

A morning in Bethnal Green: Museum of Childhood & St Margaret's House Gallery Cafe

It's worth going to Bethnal Green just to go to the V&A Museum of Childhood and as a museum lover, that's all I have really done on past visits. It's a good museum and it's a lovely place to spend a couple of hours. Happily, I've now discovered a place to eat as well!

The Museum of Childhood is exactly what it says on the tin - toys, clothes, objects relating to childhood past and present. Seems great for children as well as adults - lots of interactive things and toys that can be played with etc. It's completely free and so far, I've not had to pay for any exhibition there either!

Museum of Childhood exterior

Beautiful floor tiles at the Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood interior

Lovely well loved lion

I had one of these yellow cats!!!!!!!!!!

This also looks familiar....

I LOVE THIS POSTCARD! I don't understand it...but prawn! It's giddy! Hoping you are the pink of perfection! Why is pink underlined?? I love it. I didn't spot any copies of this in the gift shop and I don't remember there being any information about this card. I should use the magic of the internet to track it down.

I also like this breastfeeding statue. I like the intimacy and tenderness.

The current exhibition (which is FREE) is very upsetting but important and I'd highly recommend it if you are in London. It's called 'On their own: Britain's Child Migrants' and tells us of the thousands of children who were sent abroad (mainly to Canada or Australia) between 1869 and as late as 1970.

The migration schemes were mostly run by charities and churches, who believed they were doing the right thing, saving these children from poverty (in reality, tearing families apart and abusing children). There are personal items and stories, letters, video, audio. Everything is clearly explained and I've learned so much. I had no idea such things had happened in this country and it is shocking that it continued until 1970.

One pair of letters really upset me. A letter from a mother asking for her sons back as she could now afford to look after them. The letter back is very cold and unfeeling and basically says the boys are overseas and she will need to pay for their return journey.

At the end of the exhibition they have set up a quiet space with a sofa and books where you can sit and reflect, which I found lovely. And I needed it after all that!

Leaving the museum and wandering around we enjoyed green spaces, blossoms and street art.

And a lunch discovery! The Gallery Café at St Margaret's House is a very nice, friendly, vegetarian/vegan café just round the corner from the Museum of Childhood. The prices are reasonable, the food is tasty and cruelty free and it's just a really nice place to hang out.

I had the Ethiopian stew, which didn't taste Ethiopian to me but was delicious nevertheless.

And these decadent beasts are vegan! The cake was amazing...too much icing for me though...I had to scrape mine off :( how wasteful.

A very lovely morning indeed :) I found it so easy to get there as well, in fact East London is much easier for me to access now so I have lots of exploring ahead of me!

A wonderful thing about living in a city is that there are always places to explore and things you don't know. What have you discovered lately?

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