Visit London Blog » design museum Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 16 Jan 2015 16:06:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Top 5 Easter Egg Hunts in London Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:13:00 +0000 There’s a cracking choice of Easter egg hunts taking place in London this weekend. Here’s our pick of the best:

Easter egg hunt at Kew Gardens
When: 20 Apr 9.30am-1pm
Kids can collect tokens from around the postcard-perfect gardens before receiving a yummy Easter egg from a giant Easter bunny. The egg hunt is one of many Willy Wonka-themed activities to celebrate 50 years of Roald Dahl’s much-loved classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can also make your own Willy Wonka chocolate bar and devise new recipes with the Oompa Loompas in the Inventing Room.
Cost: Children under 16 go free when accompaied by an adult. Adult tickets are £14.50.

Kew Gardens

Kensington Palace Easter Egg Hunt
When: 18-21 Apr
Children aged seven to 11 can follow a trail through the beautiful palace gardens and crack a secret code before guzzling the chocolate prize. Other activities include Easter bonnet-making, live performance and storytelling.
Cost: Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult. Adult tickets are £16.50.

 Bunnies on the Run at the London Eye

Bunnies on the Run at the London Eye
When: From now until 21 Apr
Help Edwin the bunny find his stolen Easter eggs aboard the London Eye. Suitable for kids aged four to nine years, the eggs-travaganza includes priority boarding and an activity pack including a magnifying glass and badge.
Cost: £24.21 per person

 Alternative Easter Egg Hunt at the Design Museum

The Alternative Easter Egg Hunt at Design Museum
When: 18-21 Apr 11am-4pm
Under fives can go on a bunny hunting trail through the Hello, My Name is Paul Smith exhibition, while over fives can crack clues. Hunters will be rewarded with a Rococo chocolatey treat at the end of their egg-cellent mission.
Cost: £1

 Kensington Roof Gardens

Easter Egg Hunt at Kensington Roof Gardens
When: 20-21 Apr 10-12pm
While kids go on the hunt for chocolate eggs in the Spanish garden under the watchful eye of the Easter Bunny, parents can relax with eggs-tra special chocolate-flavoured cocktails in the bar which boasts eye-popping views of London’s skyline. Finish the morning by enjoying Babylon’s traditional roast lunch.
Cost: The lunch menu is £27 for two courses, while children eat for £6 for two courses.

 More Easter events

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London Fashion Week: Fashion Exhibitions in London Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:00:25 +0000 From The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. Kylie Minogue, 2008. William Baker. The Surrealists collection, “Médée” gown Haute couture fall/winter 2006–2007 © 2008, Darenote Ltd. All rights reserved

The capital is gearing up for the start of London Fashion Week which begins on Thursday. But it’s not the only display of fashion finery in town.

Learn about fashion’s icons and see their fabulous designs at these fashion-forward exhibitions.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House

Explore the amazing life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow, the legendary fashion director who is credited with discovering and nurturing the likes of designers Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. Try to tie in your visit to Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! with one of the special related events, be it a free tour or the documentary about ‘the empress of fashion’ Diana Vreeland. Until 2 Mar

The Cloth. Photo credit: Anita Cobin. From the V&A exhibition Club to Catwalk

Club to Catwalk at the V&A

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s closes bang in the middle of LFW (on 16 Feb), so if you haven’t been yet, don’t miss your chance! This popping exhibition explores the creative explosion of London fashion during the 80s, and the influence of club styles such as New Romantic and High Camp. See outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, and discover the bold, experimental new looks being conjured by the bright young designers of the day, such as Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett and John Galliano. Until 16 Feb

Dress worn by Princess Margaret

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace

The changing styles of British fashion are brilliantly illustrated through Fashion Rules, an exhibition of rare dresses once worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Spot the nipped-in waist of the buoyant 1950s, the short hemlines of the defiant 1960s, the sparkles and shoulder pads of the outrageous 1980s – the Royals knew the fashion of the day, and made sure they followed it! Entry to the exhibition is included in admission to Kensington Palace, so save enough time to explore this remarkable building – we can’t guarantee you’ll bump into Wills, Kate and George though (even if they do live there!). Until 2015

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol at the Fashion & Textile Museum

Fabulous fashion would be nothing without fabulous textiles. In Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, the Fashion  & Textile Museum explores the history of 20th century art in textiles – featuring more than 200 rare pieces (many of which have never been seen before) by Salvador Dalí, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, among others. See how artistic movements such as Cubism and Pop Art influences textile designs, and how the public engaged with modern art through their clothing and home furnishings. Until 17 May

The Anatomy of a Suit at Museum of London

What makes a suit? Find out in the Museum of London’s free exhibition The Anatomy of a Suit. The museum’s experts have dissected a selection of retro suit jackets, picked up from London markets, to discover the engineering that lies within. Find out how clever tailoring and design can change the shape of the wearer’s body, and discover the trade secrets of the nimble-fingered tailor. Until 1 Jun

Paul Smith in his office. Courtesy of the Design Museum

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum

The Design Museum is celebrating the world and work of Paul Smith, acclaimed British fashion designer. In Hello, My Name is Paul Smith you can find out how his quintessentially British label began in Nottingham and went on to become one of the leading brands in the world – plus discover what’s next in store. Until 22 Jun

COMING SOON: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican

Ok, so it doesn’t start until April but we had to give a mention to this very exciting exhibition coming to the Barbican. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is the first major exhibition devoted to the acclaimed French couturier, and features more than 180 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments, including Madonna’s infamous conical bra and corsets, stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue and pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson‘s The Fifth Element. There’ll also be footage of catwalk shows, concerts, music videos, dance performances and Gaultier’s cult television show Eurotrash. Book now! 9 Apr to 17 Aug

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What’s On This Weekend: 16-17 November 2013 Mon, 11 Nov 2013 10:00:36 +0000

Strap on your skates this weekend as two of London’s most beautiful ice skating rinks open for the festive season, or for something a bit more magical Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter will be blanketed in snow from 15 November.

London’s Best Ice Skating Rinks

There are plenty of places to scrub up your Dancing on Ice skills in the capital this winter, but two of the most iconic locations, namely Somerset House (14 Nov) and The Tower of London (16 Nov), open this weekend. Tickets start at £8.75 at Somerset House and £11.50 at the Tower of London. Until 5 Jan

Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is going festive from 15 November. The castle and sets will all be redecorated using the actual props from the Christmas scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Fans can also see Harry’s first ever Christmas present – his invisibility cloak – and the hand-knitted jumpers that Molly Weasley gave Ron and Harry. 15 Nov-6 Jan

Christmas at ZSL London Zoo

The Christmas events keep coming this weekend as London Zoo rolls out Santa and his sleigh from 16 November. Kids can meet Santa and his reindeers, decorate gingerbread and prepare special treats and presents for the zoo’s other animals. Tickets to meet Santa are £25.50 for children aged 3-10 and £15.50 for ages 11-16. 16 Nov-24 Dec

Southbank Centre Christmas Market

Adults and children will both appreciate the treats on offer down at the Southbank Centre from Saturday onwards. More than 80 wooden chalets will set up along the river for the festive period, offering hand crafted gifts and traditional German market fare, including Glühwein, bratwurst and even chestnuts roasting on an open fire. 16 Nov-24 Dec

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum

If it feels a bit too early to be getting into the Christmas spirit there are some great exhibitions opening this weekend, including an insight into the career of British fashion designer Paul Smith at the Design Museum. Adult tickets start at £11.75. From 15 Nov

Large Hadron Collider at the Science Museum

For a more educational outing, the Science Museum launches its latest big exhibition on 13 November. Guests can immerse themselves in the world of CERN scientists, buried deep beneath the Swiss-French border in an effort to discover the elusive Higgs boson particle. Adult tickets are £10. From 13 Nov

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Disney’s Fantasia

Finally, you can revisit the weird and wonderful world of Disney classic Fantasia at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday as the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will accompany a restored version of the original 1940 cut, dancing broomsticks and all. Tickets from £30.50-45. 14:30 and 19:00 on 16 Nov

More London events

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Video: The New Design Museum at the Commonwealth Institute Tue, 24 Jan 2012 16:30:27 +0000

The New Design Museum from Design Museum on Vimeo. Film by

In 2014, the Design Museum is moving from its current location in Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington.

Designs for the site have been produced by two of the world’s most innovative architectural practices: John Pawson has redesigned the interior of the Grade 2* listed building and OMA has planned the surrounding residential development.

We’ll miss having the Design Museum here on our doorstep at, but look forward to the many exciting developments that will come with the new, bigger space in West London.

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Olympic Torch and Velodrome in Design Museum Exhibition Wed, 11 Jan 2012 17:36:47 +0000

The Olympic Torch, the London 2012 Velodrome and a piece of lace from the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress all feature in the longlist for Designs of the Year at the Design Museum.

A wind-propelled landmine detonator, virtual Tesco store and pop-up cinema (Folly for a Flyover in Hackney, East London) were also selected for the longlist.

The nominated products will be on show at the Design Museum from next month. The winners will be selected by a jury and announced on 24 April.

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Cameroon in London: African Football Kits for London 2012 Olympic Games Sat, 31 Dec 2011 10:43:08 +0000

The London 2012 football kits for 10 Puma-partnered African countries were unveiled at the Design Museum earlier this year. It was the perfect opportunity for us to look at the exhibition for our World in London blog project. Cameroonian artist Barthelemy Toguo was chosen to design his country’s kit, which features a lion’s head.

“This imposing animal is emblematic of Africa, simultaneously expressing forcefulness and serenity,” said Toguo. “It also suggests an ability to overcome any adversary, which is relevant to the nature of a sporting challenge.”

Cameroon’s men’s football team won the country’s first Gold medal at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, when they beat Spain in a penalty shootout. This year, the men’s team have been knocked out of the competition, while the women’s team have qualified for the 2012 Games.

You can buy tickets for the Olympic Football Tournaments at

Do you know anywhere else you can see Cameroonian culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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Five Funky Christmas Trees in London Thu, 01 Dec 2011 11:00:04 +0000 London’s feeling festive as Christmas trees spring up in public spaces around the city. While some venues have stuck to a traditional feel, others have branched out with trees made from cardboard and Lego.

St Pancras Station has unveiled the tallest-ever Lego Christmas tree, constructed by professional Lego builder Duncan Titmarsh out of 600,000 Lego bricks.

Ever-fashionable Claridge’s boasts a tree by Lanvin’s creative director Alber Elbaz, complete with marionettes dressed in Lanvin-designed Claridge’s uniforms.

Covent Garden has a hand-picked British tree festooned with red and white lights, as well as topiary reindeer, giant mirror balls and a nativity art installation.

Giles Miller is creating the world’s tallest cardboard Christmas tree for the Design Museum. See it in the museum’s atrium from tomorrow, Friday 2 December.

And the lighting ceremony for Trafalgar Square’s famous Christmas tree – donated by the people of Norway every year since 1947 – will take place this evening, Thursday 1 December.

What’s your favourite Christmas tree in London this Christmas? Let us know below or add your photos to the Visit London Flickr pool

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Design Museum to Host 2012 Sports Exhibition Fri, 30 Sep 2011 16:19:04 +0000 London’s  Design Museum will host a sports-themed exhibition in 2012 to coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Sports vs Design will explore the design innovations that have helped athletes to break records, and also look at cases where sports bodies have tried to limit the effects of new equipment.

The exhibition will celebrate both the function and beauty of sports design, featuring the work of designers, artists and photographers.

Sports vs Design is at the Design Museum from 18 July to 18 November 2012

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Open House London 2011: Former Commonwealth Institute Mon, 19 Sep 2011 16:00:41 +0000 Last weekend’s Open House London was a rare chance to get inside some of the city’s architectural highlights, many of which are usually closed to the public. This year, the two day event showcased more than 700 buildings across the capital.

I took the opportunity to tour the Former Commonwealth Institute in Holland Park, regarded by English Heritage as the second most important modern building in London after The Royal Festival Hall.

Displaying artefacts and information from across the Commonwealth, I remember the building primarily for its lifelike Inuit and skidoo, as seen aged eight. A few decades on, and now lacking its many exhibits, the building’s entire structure is visible, and it is a revelation.

Skylight at Commonwealth InstituteOpened in 1962, the structure is made up of a large central hall topped by a concrete “hyperbolic paraboloid” roof – think of a piece of paper suspended from two diagonal corners, and you get the rough idea. Two galleried floors wrap around a central marble platform, all atmospherically lit by modest skylights and the finest in 1960s pendants.

The building has stood empty since its closure in 2002, but is set to be revitalised thanks to the ambitious relocation plans of The Design Museum, currently based in Shad Thames.

Architect Rem Koolhaas will transform the space, with exhibition and educational areas, a 200-seater auditorium, restaurant and shop. Sadly the building will be closed to the public until then – so paraboloid fans will just have to wait!

Full Design Museum plans for the Commonwealth Institute are being finalised and submitted for planning approval in the next few months, and the new museum will open in 2014. Open House London 2012 is scheduled for 22 and 23 September.

What did you see at this year’s Open House London? Why not add your pictures to the Visit London flickr pool.

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Kenneth Grange at the Design Museum Wed, 20 Jul 2011 13:16:55 +0000 Kenneth Grange, Adshell bench, 1972 Kenneth Grange, Wilkinson Protector, 1991 Kenneth Grange, Rural Postbox, 1996 Kenneth Grange, TX1, London Taxi, 1997 Kenneth Grange, Instamatic 33 Series, Kodak Kenneth Grange, Intercity 125, 1976

You might not have heard of veteran product designer Kenneth Grange but you’ll almost certainly be familiar with his designs.

These include Intercity 125 trains, rural post boxes, London black taxis, Wilkinson Protector razors, Parker pens and Kenwood food mixers.

A new retrospective at London’s Design Museum gives an insight into the development of Grange’s products over the past 50 years.

The exhibition includes drawings, photos, prototypes and finished products. Some of the most fascinating designs were never produced, including a proposed Channel Tunnel train.

I was amazed by the scope of Grange’s work, and the number of items designed by him that have become part of my daily life.

Once you’ve visited the show, you’ll never use a razor, jump into a taxi or pick up a pen again without thinking about all the work that’s gone into designing it.

Kenneth Grange: Making Britain Modern is at the Design Museum until 30 October 2011

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