The Geffrye Museum in east London gives a wonderful insight into how Londoners have lived over the years. It's a museum of English domestic interiors and has room sets from 1600 right up to today. Each period room in the Geffrye Museum is a fine example of how middle-class English folk lived at the time, with wonderful original furniture, textiles, paintings and accessories. Look carefully in each room and you'll find something you didn't see before, such as the chess set in the Regency room or the cord for calling servants in the Victorian room (it's to the left of the mirror).
When you get to the end of the period rooms you'll find the stairs and lift to the downstairs exhibition area which regularly changes. Exhibitions have included West Indian Front Rooms (living rooms), Domestic Archaeology and Ceramics in the City.
Don't worry about what to do with your days shopping bags as cloakrooms with free lockers are located right by the entrances so you can leave all your days purchases safely.
Something for Everyone
If you are looking for ideas to recreate a period room at home or just like looking round other people's houses (and who doesn't!) the Geffrye Museum offers something for all. They run special holiday events for children and have a full calendar of seasonal festivities. Christmas is an amazing time to visit as all of the period rooms are transformed for the annual Christmas Past exhibition. Give the Geffrye a call for the latest details on 020 7739 9893.
The Geffrye Museum is well used by local residents and the staff have built a strong relationship with local schools and colleges. Children can be kept busy with specially designed worksheets available to print before you go from their web site or just ask on arrival. Staff really do make a concerted effort to help you enjoy your visit.
The Geffrye Museum is set in 18th century almshouses (housing for the old, sick and poor). The building and grounds were saved in 1910, primarily to protect the garden at the front as the Hackney area was lacking green space, but by 1914 the Geffrye Museum opened. Why not take in the peace and calm while sitting on one of the wooden benches and let the children run around for a bit? Also don't miss the lovingly restored herb and period gardens behind the building open during the summer months (1 April - 31 October).
When you've had a good look round the museum and gardens, take a stroll down the road to 124 Kingsland Road to Troy café. Run by a seriously hospitable Turkish family they will always make you feel welcome whether you only fancy a coffee or a full hot meal.
136 Kingsland Road, Shoreditch, E2, which is not far from Liverpool Street station or Old Street station.
There is a bus stop right outside and local bus drivers will let you know when you reach the right stop. Buses also have an announcement for each stop and will say, "Geffrye Museum".
Museum opening hours:
Tuesday-Saturday 10am - 5pm, Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday 12pm -5pm.
Free. What more could you want?