Friday 29 November 2013

Shopping at the Museum

Like most people at this time of year I'm currently thinking about presents.

Each year at the beginning of the present buying season (about now in my case) I start to think about  where I'm spending our money. I want to shop ethically and responsibly and I like to try to support businesses I believe in.
In London we are spoilt for museums... but the hidden gem of the museum is the shop.  I love museum and gallery shops. It must be a throw back from school visits when the shop was always the highlight of the outing... but they are also often full of really well curated product plus spending at the museum shop is just another way to support the institution (that's the way I like to look at it). They are great places to do Christmas shopping.

Back in October the National Gallery invited me, Coco and Henry to crafty tea party - Coco and Henry got to try out some of the products they're selling for children this Christmas and I got to drink tea. Well, there was a bit more to it than that...

Coco and Henry getting stuck into some of the activities...

The National Gallery and Usbourne Books have some lovely collaborations, there are various sticker books and colouring books.
We love to do a bit of London culture (yadayada) between Christmas and new year in London - a lot of the galleries and museums run family/Christmas programmes but I'm wondering whether I could make Coco her own little trail by adapting this book?

They had some great arts and crafts stuff - all just that cut above the norm, from full craft kits to stencils, my love of fake taxidermy drew me to this paper tiger head which was in a selection of tiger products inspired by Henri Rousseau's Suprised! jungle painting.

And then there was lots of tasteful London stuff - ooh, rubber stamps (anyone buying for me)?

The colour in table cloth is a genius idea for Christmas day... I don't think this would be exclusively used by children in this house.

So much choice...  The pre filled paint pens that Henry and Coco have got it this shot were great. There were also some lovely heirloom type toys like this beautiful wooden Noah's ark puzzle.

And then we were treated to tea.

And even the tiger and the cat got to enjoy some food.
The Peyton & Burne cafe do cakes very well indeed - another good reason to shop in Museums, good cafes and, well, the Museum attached. 

I was a guest at the National Gallery event -  I accepted their invitation on the basis that I would and do shop there anyway (last years advent calendar is an example... or was it the year before). 
Thank you very much for having us, we all had a really great time.

I would also highly recommend the V&A shop, the Natural History Museum Shop, The Tate shop, Science Museum shop and the London Transport Museum Shop as great places to get good presents.
Any other good tips for where to shop this Christmas?
I'm hoping to get my Liberty fix in this weekend and maybe a visit to the Crafty Fox Market in Brixton... how about you?

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely LOVE the art trail idea - can we do it together?! A pre-Christmas treat with the kids? We could theme it - spot all the Christmassy paintings in the gallery...