This quirky little museum is as fascinating and varied as the uniquely prized object whose artistry it seeks to chronicle. The simple fan is more than a mere fashion accessory; historically, fans can tell as much about craftsmanship and social mores as they can about fashion. There are 2,000 of them here, dating from the 17th century onward, often exquisitely crafted from ivory, mother-of-pearl, and tortoiseshell. It was the personal vision of Helene Alexander that brought
this enchanting museum into being, and the workshop and conservation–study center that she has also set up ensure that this art form continues to have a future. If your interest is really piqued, you can attend three-hour fan-making workshops on the first Saturday of every month (£20 for the afternoon, and you have to bring your own paper. Call ahead or visit the website for booking details). Afternoon tea is served in the café on Tuesday and Sunday at 2:45 and 3:45 pm—great value at £6.