Design Museum and Kyoto Garden


I had time to spare in Central London today, so I thought I’d pop into the newly relocated Design Museum. I hadn’t visited the Design Museum in quite some time, it used to be in a relatively small building in Shad Thames, so it was good to see it getting bigger premises in Kensington, right next to Holland Park.


Now I’m a bit of skinflint and I wasn’t going to pay for any of the paid exhibitions, so there wasn’t actually that much I could see. As far as I could tell (I may have missed something, although I don’t think so), there was just one (deceptively larger than I originally thought it was) area looking at things like transport, phones, old Macs etc. It was interesting to see and it was good that there was some hands on stuff, although it was pretty crowded, so good luck getting on it.


For me, the highlight was the building itself, although I know pretty much zero about architecture, I know what I like and I can appreciate nice big open modern airy buildings and most of the Design Museum certainly fits that bill.


I think though, that I am very much a V&A girl at heart and although I’m capable of going to a museum like, say, the Natural History Museum, without whining internally that it’s not the V&A (okay, as far as the Natural History Museum is concerned maybe there is a little internal whining, as the V&A has no massive queues to get in, changes it’s exhibitions a darn sight more frequently than the Natural History Museum does and has infinitely better shops and eating places), with the Design Museum, obviously there is a little overlap between it and the V&A and I couldn’t help but compare it unfavourably. And as well as the display material, I found that the restaurant looked a bit nondescript and the shop, although extremely nice looking, was pretty much completely out of my price range.


But hey, nice building (maybe I should rename this post ‘Jo bitches about a newly relocated museum that probably hasn’t had a chance to completely establish itself yet, so be fair girl’).


Anyway, as I was pretty much already in Holland Park, I thought I’d go and have a look because I don’t think I’d ever been there before. I particularly wanted to see the Kyoto Garden.


Now London’s doing pretty much the dictionary definition of London weather in December today, i.e. drizzly and the sun’s definitely missing in action, so I wasn’t exactly going to see the Kyoto Garden at it’s best but it was still pretty nice. I thought the koi carp were particularly relaxing and the over friendly squirrels were cute.


There were also peacocks, did you know that peacocks roosted in trees?


Although there was one braving the ground.


So, to summarise, the Design Museum wasn’t that bad, although it certainly hasn’t made my list of favourite London places to go. Kyoto Garden was nice and is the sort of place I can imagine I’d go quite often if I was in the nearby area more often (which I’m not), seeing the garden in the spring or summer is definitely now on my to do list though.

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