Design Museum, London

Actually we didn’t eat here. There is a restaurant but it was closed – and there are several mixed reviews about Parabola, the in house restaurant run by Rowley Leigh. He has real form from Le Café Anglais in the nineties onwards. So, reviews are generally good. However, not that good. In fact, such were the reviews that it’s now closed and a new outfit has taken over.

Despite the lack of restaurant food the Design Museum is a triumph.

“…it is an exceptional achievement”

Moved from its crowded home on the South Bank to the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, the place really celebrates great design. Converted by John Pawson the sheer elegance and simplicity is a welcome contrast to the shoddy, dark and gloomy extension to Tate Modern. Materials are carefully chosen not only for their appearance but their maintenance and longevity [we know – astonishing for an architect…could be Otto Wagner] and there are as many people taking photographs of the inside of the building as there are of the exhibits. The main retained feature is the swooping hyperbolic paraboloid roof [hence the restaurant’s name] which you can appreciate from the upper gallery. Magnificent.

Although the building is wonderful, there’s as much fun to had [snob…ed] in going round the exhibitions spotting all those things you own – or did own but threw away as fashions changed. Mostly they’re quite good – and we wish we still had them all. Biggest loss: a B&O Beolit 505 black transistor radio from the early 1980s. Ebay here we come…

The Design Museum London

Beautiful roof…

Plywood kitchen…?

That B&O radio…we had a black one

Pawson at his best…


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