Tag Archives: V&A museum

Westminster, Kensington, Victoria & Albert

Today Alberta left us to go back to Iceland, while Bonnie and I spent one more day in London together.

For me, this day was one of the least exciting days of my whole trip. I did like visiting Queen Elizabeth I’s tomb in Westminster Abbey, but otherwise, the Abbey largely left me feeling really underwhelmed.

I think part of it that I have such a love for stained glass – and you’d think I’d love the Abbey, because it has the largest collection of stained glass in England. But the thing is, the church is so huge, and the glass windows are so high up, that it’s not at all the same sort of glorious experience as I had at Salisbury Cathedral the last time I was in England. In Salisbury Cathedral, the glass windows surround you completely, and when the sun shines in through them, you feel like you’re inside a jewel box of pure heavenly light.  The Abbey just can’t compare to that experience.

I did like all the cool/weird/freaky carved faces. Which I can’t show you, because the Abbey doesn’t allow interior photography. The only pictures they allow are in the cloisters.

After the Abbey, we went to Kensington Palace. This, also, was a bit of a disappointment, because it used to have some of my very favorite historical fashion on display, but they had taken all of those away. What was up in its stead was lovely, but not what I really would have liked to see.

There was a very sparse collection of Queen Victoria items.  Some of her less-appealing clothing:

Some of her jewelry and items such as this mourning handkerchief:

And her paint box and some original artwork:

There were also some historical fashions made entirely out of paper. Cool enough, but as splendid as seeing Victoria’s wedding dress would have been!  Sigh.

Afterward, Bonnie and I said goodbye, as I was going on to the V&A museum, and then directly on to the train station for my sleeper train to Edinburgh, while she would be spending one more day in London, then traveling to Paris.

I don’t know…I was honestly expecting much more from the V&A as well. I didn’t see much in the costuming area that I really loved. I kept comparing it to the much more incredible British Museum and wishing I’d gone back there, instead.

My favorite part of the whole museum was a section I wandered into completely by accident – the plaster reproductions floor.

All the plaster casts were just so huge and impressive.  Like Trajan’s Column.  Wow.

And this. I don’t remember what it was, but it was beautiful.

I planned to stay at the V&A until they closed at 10pm, but after a couple of hours there, they brought in a DJ and he started playing the most horrible music. I couldn’t enjoy looking at any of the art while that racket was going on, so I just went early to the train station.  I was quite ready to leave London and travel to someplace new!