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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A very #hipstermuseum Christmas (festive jumpers recommended but not mandatory)

It’s that time of year again- the Christmas season is upon us and London you are looking absolutely gorgeous! To celebrate this festive time of year we have picked the most Christmas-y little museum as can think of to be our #hipstermuseum for December: the Charles Dickens Museum in Bloomsbury.

It might be a bit of an overstatement to say that Dickens invented the modern celebration of Christmas, but come on, a Christmas Carol? The snowy streets of ye olde Londontown complete with boisterous street urchins, hard-working clerks in top hats, women in their bonnets and bustles picking up ingredients for Christmas dinner? It’s Dickens all the way. And old Charlie’s home knows just what to do to celebrate the season synonymous with their namesake.

The Dickens Museum is the great author’s only surviving London home, now turned into a house museum full of paintings, furniture, and the all-important Dickensian relics from his book collection to his writing desk. The whole Regency-era family home vibe is given a Christmas gloss by way of holly, mistletoe and a subtly placed tree (see below). There’s just something about the old books, bright wallpaper and wood paneled rooms that feels oh so right this time of year.

Of course the Museum is not just about Christmas. Well really it’s not about Christmas at all. The rooms have been recreated to how they would have been during Dickens’ lifetime, and tell the very personal tale of his family life interwoven with facts about his literary career. The displays in the bedroom about Dickens’ very public divorce from his wife are particularly touching.

Following the winding stairs all the way to the upper floors you reach the recently refurbished areas which have made way for more exhibition space in the former servants quarters. Fear not lovers of domestic history, the basements makes a pretty good attempt at incorporating some aspects of service in Dickens’ home. Yet we can’t help but feel that maybe they let the designers go a little bit crazy. Surely this room would have been more interesting shown in period style like the rest of the house?

What has also come with the refurbishment is a beautiful little education area which is actually much much nicer than my flat. Plus my flat does not have free access to all of Dickens’ journal articles online. Or any exposed brickwork. (wistful sigh)
And in case you failed to notice our enthusing on twitter, the shop is looking absolutely gorgeous and full of all kinds of Regency and Victorian themed Christmas goodies. Plus, the entire place smells amazing as a result of being decked out in dried oranges and spices.


To make the most of their Christmas connections the Dickens Museum has gone all out with a smorgasbord of festive events to attend, including ‘A Very Dickensian Christmas’ held on the 24th, 25th and 26th of December complete with film screenings, readings and plenty of mulled cider. So what are you waiting for Christmas lovers? 

Visit http://www.dickensmuseum.com/ for more information on events and visiting.

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