The Old Operating Theatre Museum is one of London’s little known gems. Located round the corner from London Bridge station, visitors have to climb up a single width spiral staircase to reach it’s entrance in the garett of St Thomas’s Church. Standard admission is £6.50 for Adults, and while this is pricey for a museum so small, the exhibits are packed in to provide surprisingly good value for money. I was inspired by Sarah’s trip in February, and her target of visiting the Telegraph’a 50 Most Unusual Museums in London.
The namesake of the museum is not front and centre but located round a corner off the main room in the roof space. Founded in 1822, the operating theatre was for female patients only and is now the oldest preserved one in Europe. The most fascinating aspect of this space is that it is a literal theatre, with stands for observing set up in a semi circle around where the operations would have occurred.
My favourite part of the museum were the Herb Garrett displays, showing the ingredients and tools used by the Apothecary (a historical pharmacist) during the time of the on site hospital.
At the centre of the main room is the Apothecary station, with beautiful old drawers, cabinets and a set of large scales. Anyone who has watched Friends will understand how great an apothecary table is!
The jumble of artefacts on display within the museum creates a ambience similar to a old junk or curiosity shop and may not suit the tastes of all visitors. I personally loved being able to take my time looking at every little jar or device on display. Everywhere you look in the Old Operating Theatre Museum was a delight for the eyes.
“Women Fashion Power” is a current paid exhibition at the Design Museum in London. It showcases the evolution of women’s fashion over the past 150 years, juxtaposed with their position and rights within society.
Curated chronologically from the Victorian era to present day, the collection highlights the changing silhouettes and styles found in women’s clothing. One of the most interesting aspects I found was the details about the Suffragette movement, and their use of colour and strategy to normalise Women’s Rights. From this time period onwards there was an escalation in freedom in the way women dressed,
The central feature of the exhibition was the showcasing of the style of current power women from Business, Arts and Culture. Significant leaders in their field such as Zaha Hadid and Grace Jones have donated the outfits that most make them feel powerful.
Overall the exhibition was enjoyable but not groundbreaking. At times it seemed relatively generic with it’s ‘fashion through the ages’ element dominating as a theme, something that has been done many times in the past. The most interesting elements were the non-clothing items, like magazines and anti-suffragette propaganda.
WOMEN FASHION POWER is open at the Design Museum until 26th April 2016. Standard Adult Tickets are £12.40.
The Blitz Party is a semi-regular night event in London themed round the 1940s wartime. We decided to go as a special New Years Eve treat – while the tickets were a bit pricey at £40 it was well worth the money due to the immersive experience and quality of the entertainment.
There is a strong suggested dress code encouraging everyone to put the effort in to match the era. I picked up this cherry print dress from Collectif in their 50% off sale. While more 1950s than wartime, I thought it was a more versatile piece I would re-wear to have in my wardrobe. To make up for the era faux pas, I rolled my hair around a headscarf and curled the rest to one side.
The event was held in some railway arches on Great Suffolk Street, near Borough tube station. As any Londoner knows, railway arches act as a great spaces for any big events. When we walked in we were amazed at the transformation – there were misty red hues over every surfaces, with fog and spot lights illuminating the bars and dance floors. The event comprised of two arches with different live bands, swing lessons and DJs in on rotating schedules, and another archway of a relaxed sit down bar area. There was also a smaller room between the two main dance floors which hosted a beauty station and bars.
To add to the atmosphere, the bar menu was made in the style of a ration book and had tasty 1940s style cocktails and champagne. Beer was also available, but fortunately that was very modern. I tried the Raspberry Collins and Mary Pickford throughout the night. The New Year was celebrated by a 10 second count down and an explosion of large confetti before heading right back into live swing belters.
For more information about The Blitz Party or to keep an eye out for upcoming events, you can visit their official website www.theblitzparty.com
© Shakespeare’s Globe
My first visit to The Globe was for a modern drama called ‘Holy Warriors‘, a retelling of the historical conflict of the Holy Lands. Richard the Lionheart is the play’s tragic hero, lamenting in purgatory due to his inability to reclaim Jerusalem and his own salvation after crusading against Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria.
Holy Warriors mixes the harsh facts of the crusades and their lasting impact on the Middle East through to the recent killings in Gaza, with hysterical if saddening cameos by Bush and Blair.
The second act see King Richard given a second chance within a modern setting, with the ultimate message being about the sin of pride, and how it has impaired leaders time and time again to show humility in exchange for peace.
The Globe is a simply delightful venue that I hadn’t had the pleasure of visiting before. I would recommend the play, but also that anyone who is visiting London to grab a ticket not matter what is on. All seats offer great views of the stage, ours were £15, the “cheap seats” and it didn’t impact our enjoyment at all. For those who needs a super thrifty evening, the floor standing tickets are only £5 each. Considering the hallowed history and the calibre of performance, this is one of the best deals in London.