Alice’s Adventures in Guinnessland

Believe it or not, the title above is not about our intrepid adventurer’s descent into alcoholism, but rather an advertising campaign by Guinness. When exactly, I don’t think the sign said… but where exactly I discovered this little gem was the Museum of Brands, Advertising and Packaging ; a delightful little treasure-trove in Notting Hill.

Notting Hill is an area of London I never really spent much time in when I lived in the bustling metropolis. I popped there for Carnival one year and felt like I spent the day in Snoop Dogg’s lung. I imagine it’s like how Alice felt during her encounter with the Hookah-smoking Caterpillar.

For such a small place, there was lots to keep me and my friends entertained here. You never really credit just how nostalgic adverts and packaging can make you feel and how many questions it can raise, such as the earth-shattering: “What? Cadbury’s hasn’t always been purple?” (Answer: it became around 1910-1920, I think…). There was also an almost constant refrain of “Do you remember?” and “Have you seen this?”

Surprising too are the answers packaging can give us: “So, THAT’S what Tony the Tiger looked like before he started abusing steroids.”

I would have loved to have taken some pictures but alas, no photography was permitted. Below is an advert I’ve found via Google…

Doesn’t Guinness have the best ads ever?

This brings me nicely to the subject of the tea.  Here we are enjoying a refreshing cuppa.

Like the British Library, the tea was £1.30. I am beginning to think this is a standard price. As the cafe was sponsored by Twinings there are no prizes for guessing which brand of tea I was drinking. In a departure from the norm, Sam and I indulged in some refreshing Earl Grey, whilst George had a coke.

The service was the best yet. One of the staff, Miguel (hi Miguel!) really liked George’s pirate hat.

That’s what we like to see, staff interacting with the (oddly dressed) visitors instead of politely ignoring the bizarre headgear. Well done.

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