This is Birmingham U.K., of course. I have visited this museum, in the centre of Birmingham, many times. Sometimes just to look at the galleries; sometimes to take Liz’s grandchildren to a holiday activity; sometimes just to visit the Edwardian Tea Rooms where you can guarantee having a really good pot of loose leaf tea, in the most delightful surroundings, with Edwardian-style circular banquettes and large paintings and prints on the wall. The Museum is free which means you can pop in for a short visit as many times as you like; you don’t have to immerse yourself in paintings in order to ‘get your money’s worth’. I like a Museum like that, you are free to wander at your pace until you are tired and the return at a later date.
I bought this tea towel on a trip to the pre-Raphelite galleries in 2013, which included a visit to the tea rooms and a drop-in at the shop. The tea towel shows the imposing edifice of the Museum, typical Birmingham red brick, Victorian building. It was officially opened as the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 1885 by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) who appears a lot in my blogs, because he opened so many things. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has nearly a million visitors a year, ranking as 16th most visited Museum nationally, and 5th outside of London. Not only is the Museum home to the ‘Staffordshire Hoard’, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, but also to the logo from the top of the HP factory which was demolished in 2007. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is probably my favourite of the more traditional museums.
It seems appropriate to be able to blog about this tea towel today because yesterday I paid yet another visit to the Edwardian Tea Rooms. I was accompanied by Lyra and her grandparents. We were having a quick sandwich, piece of cake and cup of tea before meeting up with her mother. It had been a lovely day, bright sunshine, warm, not a cloud in the sky; we had been on one of the stretches of Birmingham’s canals (Birmingham has more miles of canal than Venice apparently, 8 more miles). Lyra’s mother, Jai (future inheritor of this collection of tea towels) was graduating from Aston University as a Doctor of Philosophy but the University have a lower age limit for people who could attend the ceremony and Lyra was too young, hence a bit of a day out before meeting up with her mother for loads of photos to be taken, more photos than anyone would ever need; photos in the centre of Birmingham, photos on Aston University campus, photos in the marquee drinking prosecco or a cold cup of tea. Lyra loved her mother’s gown and hat, had a dashing photo wearing the hat and another hiding under the gown. After the photo shoot, we all decided to retire to the Boston Tea Party on Corporation Street for a Vegan breakfast, three toasted sandwiches, a burger and a bowl of chips followed by tea for three, a white chocolate milkshake, two fruit juices and an Americano with soya milk. Great fun but was it the healthiest of diets? I don’t care, it was good, very enjoyable and a great way to celebrate a momentous day.
Click below to return to the Virtual Tea Towel Museum