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“Awful experience viewing Frida Kahlo exhibition, noisy kids and lousy food”

V&A - Victoria and Albert Museum
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The Victoria & Albert Museum: The World Greatest...
Ranked #5 of 1,912 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: The world's greatest museum of art and design.The V&A's collections are unrivalled in their diversity. Explore historical and contemporary art and design, including works of art from many of the world's richest cultures. Admission free.
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 9 August 2018

I used to love the V&A when I was an art student living in London. It had a fabulous restaurant which people came to just for the food and not the museum. Oh, how it has changed, and not for the better. I kid you not, the central courtyard is now a kiddies' paddling pool. The restaurant is run by some dreadful chain called Benugo. The latte was lukewarm, the food was lukewarm and for 22 pounds I expect more. It got colder as I waited to hand over my cutlery as my server was engaged in a conversation with the manager about profit margins! Think I know where their priorities lie and it's not customer service.

Then, it didn't end there. I had a 1pm slot for the Frida Kahlo exhibition but because it was a cool day I was informed that all the V&A members had chosen my time-slot too, (they can come whenever they like) So a snakelike queue similar to one at an airport ensued. Could hardly get close to exhibits, kept bumping into people and to top it all, 3 kids on the floor sketching by the dresses exhibition so I couldn't read the inscription. I had come from the Netherlands to see this exhibition. Will never return to the V&A.

1  Thank Zerzura
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 9 August 2018

I visited the Frida Kahlo Exhibition with my two children aged 11 and almost 9. We have visited the museum on previous occasions and especially love the jewellery but this time we only had time to look at the fashion displays before we went into the exhibition which we booked it advance. Children were free.
It was very crowded and because there are a lot of smallish photographs and pieces of text to read at the beginning it was slow and especially crowded when we first went in. By the time we reached the final room of the exhibition with the costumes in it there was mostly plenty of room to move around and take your time.
It is an exhibition which takes time to look closely and read everything and my younger child wasn't as interested in this part but I did enjoy it. Learning about Kahlo's periods of intense pain and suffering following her accident and childhood illness was very moving and my elder child cried a bit. The costumes were very colourful and we enjoyed viewing them and the jewellery in particular. It was also good to get some background on Mexican culture and beliefs and fascinating to see some of the hand-painted votives in Kahlo's collection.
We visited the main gift shop and the exhibition shop. As ever, a lot of it is expensive but there are some nice things to buy. We also visited the cafe but it is very expensive. A can of coke is £2.25 - and it wasn't even cold - but they do offer free water. We bought two packets and crisps and two very small cakes and it came to £8.15. I couldn't really afford to eat there myself. My children had a brilliant time playing in the fountain outside, however; it was lovely to see so many children having fun and families and workers on their lunch break enjoying the garden and the sunshine next to the amazing buildings.

Thank Elisabeth E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2018

We made this one of our first stops in our UK trip and made sure to book the first entry of the day at 10am. We were not disappointed - the exhibition is beautifully curated and includes some wonderful footage of Frida, Mexico City and Frida's home.
We already had good background knowledge of Frida's life and I am sure this was beneficial as the exhibit too on more meaning. And as much as I normally avoid the ending merchandise exit, I did find this one to be well worth a browse.

Thank nprime2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2018

The exhibit was incredibly crowded. I traveled to London just to see it, and had to weave my way around the masses to even get a small glimpse of anything. The museum workers were shuffling people through like cattle, and there was no time to reflect, enjoy, or even read about the pieces. There was no photography allowed, but I noticed several folks openly taking cell-phone pictures with no museum worker intervention. As another reviewer posted- a HUGE let down. The V & A could have done SO much better.

1  Thank Rebecca H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 8 August 2018

We should have done our research before, but had just assumed that a museum with this name would have quite a lot of interesting items on display about Victoria and Albert. Although there is plenty to see here, there is disappointingly almost nothing relating to,them. Also, it was a very hot day and they do not appear to have air conditioning, or it was not working properly, as it was uncomfortably warm on the higher floors. Best part of the visit was the walk through Hyde Park to get there from Paddington.

Thank britseyeview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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