The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History in London is unlike any museum we’ve ever visited before. It presents “an incoherent vision of the world displayed through wonder enclosed within a tiny space”, a Wunderkabinett if you will. Nothing is classified or organised as everything on display is deemed to be beyond classification. After a walk through the museum, we’re inclined to agree.
The museum is housed within a bar run by The Last Tuesday Society, which is “dedicated to subverting life, the universe and everything bored of the life and world it sees around it seeks to create a new world filled with beauty, wonder and the imagination”.
As soon as you step inside, you’re greeted by a range of oddities, including a large number of skeletons and stuffed animals. In fact, The Last Tuesday Society also runs taxidermy classes (you can learn how to stuff animals as small as a mouse or as large as a goat) and sessions on how to prepare and preserve organs & wet specimens such as hearts and brains. A range of lectures on a variety of obscure topics, cocktail classes and storytelling sessions are also run on site.
Our drinking partner for the night. Yes, the lioness is real.
If you’re not turned off by the idea of drinking and eating here, a focused menu of drinks and food is offered. Cocktails are reasonably priced at £8.00 a pop. We tried a variety of cocktails during the night, with our favourite being the “From Nina With Love”, which contained Monkey Shoulder scotch, smoke, sweet vermouth, a drop of lemon juice and chocolate bitters.
Another standout was “What makes the Monk”, which contained Benedictine D.O.M., peanut butter sherry, lemon juice and maple syrup.
Food wise, a selection of starters and more substantial options are offered. The cheese plate was excellent, with a good variety of English and French cheeses.
The cured meat plate was also very tasty.
On the more substantial side, a variety of exotic meat options are offered. We went for the camel burger, crocodile burger and kangaroo meatballs. The camel burger was delicious – gamey but not overly so with a subtle sweetness about it. The brioche bun had the right texture without being overly sweet too. The crocodile burger was tasty and more neutral in flavour. I hate to say it but… it tasted like chicken but with a more fishy texture. The kangaroo meatballs were also excellent. As Australians kangaroo isn’t exactly exotic however to the Englishman and Canadian at the table it was. The key with kangaroo is to not overcook it and the meatballs here had a really good texture to them and were full of flavour.
Moving downstairs is the museum proper, which costs £3.00 to enter. Words that came out of our mouths as we walked down the spiralling stairs and saw the contents of the cabinets for the first time included “wow”, “what the fuck”, “awesome”, “oh my god” and “this is fucked up”. This is certainly a situation where a picture is worth a thousand words so instead of blabbing on and trying to talk about the images, I’ll let them speak for themselves.
A fijian merman hangs from the ceiling.
A caged lion’s skeleton.
One of the museum’s many mummified specimens from around the world.
There’s something amiss about this collection of antique dolls.
Is it playtime yet?
A variety of books full of useful information.
Suitable bedtime reading for any child.
Along with a jar containing the piss of Russell Crowe, there was also a jar that allegedly contained some of Amy Winehouse’s poo. It’s clear to see why the classification of objects in this museum is impossible.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities & Last Tuesday Society certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve got an open mind and a taste for great drinks and food, visiting will provide you with one of London’s most unique and authentic experiences. Skip the West End chains and visit here instead – it’s the kind of place that the world needs more of.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History
11 Mare Street
London E8 4RP
Telephone: 020 7998 3617
E-mail: [email protected]
Wed – Sun: 11:00am to 10:00pm