Yesterday saw the opening night of Museums At Night – a three-day event taking place at museums up and down the country. For a friend’s birthday, a large group of us decided to go the Garden Party at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill, South London. With tickets only £3, we were given after hours and child-free access to the Victorian museum with special events and performances taking place across the building and its grounds. We started off the pop-up bar – the Gin Garden – which featured natural cocktails from the Gin Garden herbalists. I opted for a rose and hawthorn cocktail which packed a punch, but tasted good. Although we had arrived pretty early and didn’t have to queue long, by the time we had ordered our drinks, the Gin Garden had proved quite a draw, with a long line of people waiting for get their gin on. With a drink in hand, we meandered from the gardens to Gallery Square inside and listened to the bossa nova and samba sounds of the musical trio Sambossa. Meanwhile, proving a huge draw to the Conservatory was a dance piece choreographed by Wayne McGregor and Random Dance. Seating inside quickly filled up, so people stood outside the building peering through the window to watch the action. The two dancers performed around the new art installation from rAndom International (the team responsible for the Rain Room at the Barbican earlier this year). Named Future Self, it was the UK première of the new installation, which allowed people to control the light with their movement. There were also poetry readings in the garden, film screenings and alternative tours of the museum so we were really spoiled for choice.
- Museums At Night takes place from 16 – 18 May 2013. To find out about a Museums At Night event near you, check out the Culture24 website. While some events are advanced booking only, there are still tickets or places available at some venues.
- Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ. Open daily 10.30am-5.30pm. Entrance: free. Nearest train station: Forest Hill. For more information, visit the Horniman Museum’s website.