If you’re in Greenwich and you enjoy pretty antiques, I recommend visiting the Fan Museum. Housed in two listed townhouses dating back to 1721, the Fan Museum is the first of its kind in the world. For £4 per adult (free if you’re an Art Fund member or London Pass holder), you’ll be able to see a collection of fans and learn the art of fan making (the museum also offers fan making workshops). The Museum has a collection of over 5,000 fans from the 12th Century to the present day, some of which are on permanent display, while others are displayed on a temporary basis for various themes. Currently, in honour of the Museum’s 25th anniversary, the Museum’s finest fans are on display until 5th June, including a fan painted by Salvador Dali and a Swan Lake-inspired fan by Sylvain Le Guen.
Throughout the museum, you’ll find fan motifs wherever you look!
On the main floor (permanent exhibition), you’ll find the newest acquisition: a 1590’s fan that could have belonged to Queen Elizabeth I!
Upstairs, fans line the mirrored walls in glass cases so that you can admire the details on both sides of the fans. Each feature intricate designs on the leaf and monture.
Love what you see so far? Go to the museum for more!
Once you have seen all the lovely fans, you can visit the Orangery at the back of the museum for afternoon tea, cream tea, or just a pot of tea (for £1.50!). It has been voted as London’s best value place for afternoon tea at £8 per person (£7 before April 2016). (Cream tea is £4.) Afternoon tea consists of a pot of tea (or coffee), a scone with cream and/or strawberry jam, and two kinds of pastries (Victoria Sponge, brownie, lemon drizzle cake).
What I loved best about the Orangery is the painted murals, transporting visitors to an outdoor garden with a view of the Japanese-style garden. And because it’s a Fan Museum, you’ll find a fan left on the railing!
Question of the day, do you use a fan? Vote below!
Address: 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ER
Hours: Tues-Sat (Bank Holiday) 11-17:00, Sun 12-17:00