If you'd like an overview of British interiors and lifestyles of the past 4 centuries, head to this museum, housed in a series of restored 18th-century almshouses that escaped Hitler's Blitz. Period rooms are arranged chronologically, allowing you to follow changing tastes in the days of the Empire. You'll see the development of furnishings and objets d'art in English middle-class homes. The collection is rich in Jacobean and Georgian interiors and strongest in the Victorian period. In the 20th-century rooms, you'll see the richness of the Art Deco style and the bleakness of the utilitarian designs that followed in the aftermath of World War II. Newer galleries showcase the decor of the later 20th century.
The museum architecture alone is worth a visit. Gardens in front attract much attention, especially the herb garden. There is a design center, which showcases changing exhibitions of the latest works from contemporary British designers. There is also a cafe/restaurant.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010