The Geffrye Museum celebrates the history of tea

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Alice-in-Wonderland themed tea bowls. Photo: Geffrye Museum

An exhibition of giant Alice-in-Wonderland style tea bowls to celebrate the history of Britain’s favourite drink is taking place in Hackney this summer.

This installation at the Geffrye Museum in Kingsland Road was set up as part of the Chelsea Fringe, a series of garden linked events linked to the Chelsea Flower Show.  Although the Fringe has now finished, the Geffrye exhibition, which features the giant bowls planted with tea-themed plants and displaying anecdotes of the history of tea, will last throughout the summer.

A spokeswoman for the Museum, which is dedicated to the history of the English home, said: “We have participated in the Chelsea Fringe for the last three years. We are delighted to be a part of it again.”

A team of artists and staff at the Geffrye worked alongside families of the Morningside Children’s Centre in Hackney, to help create the giant sculpture. Artist Bill Hudson helped children from the Centre decorate the bowls. The children then worked with a gardener from the Museum to fill them with the tea-based plants.

David Dewing, the director of the Geffrye added: “2014 is a big year for the Geffrye Museum, 300 years since the almshouses were built in 1714, providing homes for the poor, and 100 years since the museum opened in 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War.

“We are pleased to be part of Hackney’s social and economic regeneration; we plan to develop the museum in the next few years to get more of our collections on display and open our resources for more people to enjoy. In this centenary year we are both celebrating the past and embracing the future. We are encouraging as many Hackney residents as possible to come and take part.”

This summer the Museum is holding a learning and holiday activity programme for schoolchildren who make up a third of their visitors.

The tea exhibition, which is open everyday except Mondays from 10am to 5pm, is free of charge.

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