Victoria and Albert Museum, London
I will take any chance to spend time in London’s big museums when they’re quiet (preferably when they’re empty) especially when that chance also involves indulging my slight obsession with history and the Tudors and my new-found appreciation of lectures. So Tuesday night was especially lovely.


I spent the evening at the V&A to hear historian, writer and Historic Royal Palaces curator Tracy Borman talk on Thomas Cromwell. The talk compared the Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies with the one in real-life, the latter having been meticulously researched and cross-referenced for Tracy’s book Thomas Cromwell: The untold story of Henry VIII’s most faithful servant.
The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, V&A Museum, London
The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, V&A Museum, London
The lecture was held in The Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre – a beautiful Victorian theatre deep in the heart of the V&A, which was completed in 1869 and is Grade I listed. A dramatic half dome sits at the front of the theatre and full-length portraits of artists like Da Vinci, Raphael and Holbein stare down from both sides of the stalls.

The theatre is hidden deep in the museum – to get to it you have to take a side entrance and then go through several beautiful galleries full of the elaborate exhibits and striking paintings that the V&A is known for.

Also, since it was just before 8pm when the lecture finished, said rooms were now closed and I couldn’t resist dawdling back and stopping on the way to admire the room’s treasures without the crowds.

And if this is the kind of sneaking, dawdling and lecturing I can do, then I’ll definitely be going right back for more.

Nearest Tube: South Kensington

More information: vam.ac.uk/whatson

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Victoria and Albert Museum, London