After having a pretty hectic New Years I thought we’d take things pretty easy this weekend. B’s been a fan of Bompas & Parr for ages, and it seemed the opportune moment to pay a visit to their popup exhibition ‘The British Museum of Food’, down at Borough Market. The weather wasn’t too great, so I wrapped myself in my Rains Jacket and turtle neck, and we headed out, stopping off for a bacon sandwich at the Refreshment Rooms in Peckham.
We arrived a bit early for our slot, hoping to to stroll round the market for bit beforehand, but of course, it’s closed on Sundays! Thankfully BMoF were happy for us to go in early. The first room is Choco-Phonica, a psychological test to see if sound affects the way we perceive taste. I’m not 100% sure it did, but I definitely enjoyed all the chocolate. Next was The British Menu Archive, a collection of historical and beautiful menus; our favourite was the PoW menu, hand written by prisoners at the Stalug Luft camp in 1944 – the PoW camp that inspired The Great Escape Film. Adjacent to the menu room was The Butterfly Effect, a room full of tropical plants, which was extremely warm with a humidity of around 80% – it was quite a shock walking into it dressed for winter! Bees are getting a lot of much needed publicity recently but this was a celebration of an unsung hero of pollination, the butterfly, and the room was full of them. Down the stairs is a collection of food and drink related art followed by Be The Bolus, a simulation of what it’s like to be swallowed – complete with headphones, vibrating massage chair and and film as you travel down an oesophagus.
It’s not the biggest exhibition in the world, but it only costs a fiver and it’s well worth it. The intention is to expand the museum to a permanent home using the funds raised through the bar next door – Alcoholic Architecture – a revival of Bompas and Parr’s infamous walk-through gin and tonic – it reopens on the 6th January and we can’t wait to get tickets!