Off the Beaten (Culture) Track
London is home to some of the world's best museums and while visits to the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, Tate Modern and the British Museum should form an integral part of any itinerary, the British capital also has an abundance of smaller museums worth exploring. With many located within easy reach of
The Old Operating Theatre, London Bridge
Hidden away in the roof space of what was once St Thomas’s Church, the little-known Old Operating Theatre museum harbours a strange past. At this site some 150 years ago, (occasionally) life-saving operations were performed in rudimentary style without anaesthetic. While the operating theatre takes centre stage the rest of the collection is also well worth a look. Row after row of instruments sit alongside strange Victorian contraptions for the hard of hearing while the Herb Garrett is vast collection of herbs with quirky, hand-written explanations of their medicinal use.
Wilton’s Music Hall, Tower Hamlets
A guided tour around Wilton's Music Hall offers a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of the world's oldest and last surviving grand music hall. Through the barley sugar columns and the faded glory of the interior one can still hear echoes of Champagne Charlie and past decadence. Tours are given by passionate heritage experts who work full time at Wilton's raising funds to save the building. This beautiful and atmospheric building is the perfect cultural stop just five minutes from the hotel.
V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green
A branch of the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green is home to its national collection of childhood objects, ranging from the 1600s to the present day. Ideal for visitors of all ages, rare doll houses, hand-crafted games and costumes sit alongside much-loved toys from 20th century. In addition, the museum runs temporary exhibitions and displays, activities, events and workshops. Its café makes for the perfect spot for adults to sit back and relax while younger visitors enjoy the interactive displays.
Whitechapel Bell Foundry, Whitechapel
Founded in 1570 and operating ever since, the Whitechapel Bell Foundry may just be one of London’s best kept secrets. The oldest manufacturing company in Britain is responsible for creating the Big Ben bell at the Palace of Westminster. Ask the Concierge Team to book a tour and explore the small workspaces and see how bells are casts.
Dennis Severs House, Spitalfields
Wander around the former house of artist Dennis Severs – a time capsule attraction in which visitors are immersed in a unique form of theatre. Escorted tours take in the ten rooms of this original Huguenot house which have been designed to recreated snapshots of life in Spitalfields between 1724 and 1914. With candles burning, smells lingering and objects scattered around haphazardly, it feels as though the inhabitants deserted the space only moments before.
Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square