Waaaay back in June, it was time for the second Crafty Cuppa of the month so I headed up to London for the day. My plan was to do a whole bunch of tourist-y stuff before lunch, then head over to the Natural History Museum where we were meeting at 2pm. Unfortunately I had a bit of a slow start that day - I can't remember if this was due to laziness or me needing to get something done before I left, but whatever the reason the end result was the same: I got into London much later than expected and didn't have a lot of time to spare before I'd have to hop on the Tube and head NHM-wards.
Only having time to squeeze in one thing from my planned list, I picked visiting the Handel House Museum. I'm not at all interested in classical music so you'd think visiting the home of a famous composer wouldn't be my cup of tea... but I was really looking forward to it after after visiting the Foundling Museum earlier this year and learning a bit about Handel's life and philanthropic work. Plus, like the Foundling Museum, the Handel House Museum is another place I can get in free with my Art Pass. Hurrah!
The house is just off super-fancy New Bond Street, with the entrance tucked round the back of the building.
You go down a little side street...
... turn right, and there it is.
When you arrive at the house, there's an introductory video to watch but I skipped this because I knew I was going to be short of time. Once you've been introduced to Handel and his work, you can explore his house and then look round the exhibitions in the adjoining building (where Jimi Hendrix once rented a flat!).
The rooms have been restored and furnished with pieces that are similar to ones known to have been owned by Handel, with lots of portraits and other pictures on the walls relating to his life and work. In each of the four rooms, you learn about a different period of Handel's life - there are detailed information sheets that tell you about the composer's life and about all the objects and art in the rooms.
Now, sitting and reading lots of facts about a long-dead composer and his life in Georgian London is not for everyone but I loved it and I got so absorbed reading the interesting sheets in each room (and making notes, because I am that much of a nerd) that I totally forgot to check the time... and all of a sudden I had to rush to catch the Tube! So, no time to look round the exhibition but maybe I'll pop back in another day?
I got to the Natural History Museum just in time (phew) for the Crafty Cuppa.
I was joined by Julie, Carina and Fiona and it wasn't long before we were nattering away about making and blogging while enjoying a cuppa and some very yummy cake in the museum's cafe. The plan had been to wander round the museum but unfortunately it turns out the the NHM is very stuffy on a hot day, so we decided to go for a walk instead.
We checked out a photography exhibition at the Royal Geographical Society...
... then walked through Hyde Park...
... and visited the Sackler Serpentine Gallery.
Finally, after much walking and chatting we headed to Kensington High Street...
(I held everyone up so I could cross the road to take a photo of this building - typical blogger behaviour - isn't it delightfully bonkers?)
... then said our goodbyes at the Tube station and headed homewards.
Such a lovely afternoon.
PS There will be two more Crafty Cuppas happening in August! You can see the dates & some more details here and I'll be blogging the full meet-up info at the start of the month. Carina & Julie (as part of the &Stitches team) are also hosting a stitch-y picnic on the first weekend of August which looks like a lot of fun.