YOU won't catch me going to see the Terracotta Warriors or King Tut at the O2. It's not that these blockbuster exhibitions don't interest me, it's just that I like to grasp an opportunity when it presents itself.
So last week, while the rest of the country was shuffling round the British Museum Reading Room, I headed off to see the capital's own treasures, smug in the knowledge that I wouldn't be fighting for space with Middle England.
I started with my favourite culture spot, the VA. I can usually while away an afternoon here and that's before I even set foot in the shop but the noise from the building of the new gallery was a real concentration buster and I left without even saying hello to Tippoo's Tiger.
Never mind, the Natural History Museum is right next door. The cleaned-up exterior is a knockout but inside it's getting grubby and those crammed mammal galleries really need reorganising. (I'd forgotten London Fashion Week was going on in the museum's grounds; believe me, there was nothing inside the building nearly as bizarre as the fashionistas preening themselves outside and that includes the coelacanth).
It was time to try my luck with the smaller museums. Preferably those I'd (shamefully) never been to before.
I struck gold with the Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green. From the Egyptian paddle doll (1300 BC) and the Nuremberg dolls' house (1673) to automata, Scalectrix and model cars, there's something for both sexes and all ages. Best of all, there's plenty of space for children to stretch their legs and lots of interactive games to keep their attention.
You wouldn't want to take a child to the quirky Sir John Soane Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields too many precious objects for small hands to grab.
Architect Soane rebuilt three Georgian houses to make his home and the result is an Alice in Wonderland warren with cunningly placed mirrors and stained-glass windows designed to add to the confusion. …