Our Concierge’s Guide: A Sensory Exploration of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Rocco Forte Hotels

On a sun-filled spring day, take your family to the Victoria and Albert Museum, dip your toes in the cooling waters of its secret garden and explore an exciting world of art and design.

With its grand archway overlooked by the King and Queen of England, you’ll know when you’ve arrived at the V&A, a 15-minute drive from Brown’s Hotel. Set your coordinates for London’s Museum Mile to find the vast red and white brick building which holds the key to over two million treasures.

A sensory exploration of the V&A

If you’re visiting the V&A for the Donatello exhibition with your family, make your way to the Learning Centre on the ground floor and ask for a Curious Ceramics backpack, perfect for children aged between five and eight years old.

Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to feel, smell, hear and sense their way through one of the museum’s galleries. Making ceramics fun, clear instructions steer your family on a voyage of discovery. You’ll travel from China to the Netherlands via the ceramics of the Ming dynasty.

Begin with a game of guess the object. Close your eyes. Using just your fingers, can you work out what’s in the bag? Next, listen carefully. Can you hear the sound of the sea and feel the gust of a breeze to fill your sails as you set out across the ocean? Then, breathing deeply, inhale the scent. If your children need help guessing what the smell is, there’s a hint in the tall porcelain flower pot in front of you.

On a family trail

The Learning Centre is also the place to pick up a family trail. Using The Undiscovered Museum, match the photographs to objects like a marble staircase and a mosaic of a mythical beast. Look for patterns and hidden corners of the museum that even a regular visitor may have missed.

Go on a wildlife hunt around the galleries with Nature Explorers or use your mobile as your map and follow the trail which begins with the museum’s biggest object and takes you on a romp filled with dragons, bats, lions and a terrifying tiger. Alternatively, look through cut-out doorways on the pages of the Albertropolis Family Trail and follow in the paw prints of Jim, the dog who’ll be your guide.


Artist-led workshops to K-Pop dance classes

Families can enjoy free activities at the museum every day. During the school holidays, there’s even more on offer from hands-on workshops to storytelling and performances. 

One weekend your children can build a puppet with a prop designer while the next the whole family can show their moves in a musical-inspired dance class. Even parents and grandparents can cast off their inhibitions and let loose among Raphael’s Renaissance masterpieces. 

Whatever the V&A team has dreamt up for families, you’ll find many of the events are free and drop-in so you don’t always need to book. Most will require your family members to tap into their inner creative spirit and every single one will cast a new light on the V&A.

For more family adventures, talk to our team at Brown’s Hotel about our family rooms and fun activities. See what’s on offer for Rocco Forte Kids across all of our hotels, or find out what our Comic Concierge has in store at Hotel Amigo.

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