At long last, my friend and I were finally able to get into the Rain Room installation at the Barbican Centre on Saturday. For those who don’t know, the Rain Room offers you an opportunity to “control the rain”.
Here’s a blurb from Timeout London:
Contemporary art group Random International creates a digital installation that gives visitors the chance to experience how it might feel to control the rain. In ‘Rain Room’, the sound of water and moisture in the air gives the impression of being in the centre of an unpredictable downpour, without getting wet.
It was actually our third time trying to see this installation, the first time we arrived at 5pm, and thought we had plenty of time even if the queue would take about 2 hours. However, we apparently arrived too late and were turned away, despite the fact that the installation didn’t end until 8pm. A few weeks passed by, and still determined to see this installation, we trekked out all the way to Barbican again. We queued for 2 hours and finally got inside. But luck was not on our side! When we walked into the installation area, the employees informed us that the installation had broken down and that they were waiting for the technicians/engineers to come and fix it. About 20-30 minutes later, we were informed that they didn’t know how long it would take for the installation to be up and running again. The staff said it could take half an hour or longer, and one of the staff proceeded to take all our names down so to ensure that if we had to come back at another time, that we wouldn’t have to wait for 2 hours in the queue again. My friend and I decided to try our luck and wait it out, seeing as we travelled all the way to Barbican – twice! But about 40 minutes later, the installation was still not fixed, and we had no choice but to call it a day and head off for dinner.
We were finally able to experience the Rain Room on our third visit, and without the hassle of queuing – thank goodness! This has taught me that there really is a reason for the existence of the phrases “Third time lucky” and “Third time’s the charm” ! Anyway, to make the most of it, we stayed inside for as long as we can and milked it for all it’s worth by taking a ton of photos haha, but after about 45 minutes we were kinda sorta asked to make our way out lol.
Oh, and word of warning – they say you can’t get wet, but it’s totally untrue. My friend’s coat was soaking wet when we left, which had also seeped through to her clothes underneath and my hair and the back of my neck/neck area on my coat and top got wet too. The sensors are probably a little bit on the slow side. We spent the next 45 minutes trying to dry off in the nearest ladies bathroom using the hand dryers!
We also headed to the London Sculpting Festival in Canary Wharf. I really do have a thing for ice sculptures, not sure why but i’m just drawn in by them. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time as we didn’t arrive until nearly 5pm and it was freezing cold outside, so we skipped signing up for the free ice sculpting masterclass. Here are a few of my favourite ice sculptures that were there.
For dinner we tried out Cay Tre in Soho, a vietnamese restaurant. We both ordered the seafood pho, i found the broth a little on the salty side but other than that i loved it.
The pho wasn’t quite filling enough, so we headed to Golden Gate Dessert House in Chinatown. I ordered the mango ice cream cake which was massive – either it was the last two pieces and they decided to give it all to me or someone did a bad cutting job and some poor customer was given an oddly small piece of ice cream cake! My friend ordered the uji red bean matcha drink and the pandan layer cake.
It turned out to be a lovely day, albeit a freezing cold one – possibly exacerbated by the fact that we got wet whilst in the rain room, and then stood around ice sculptures in the evening.
♥ Veronica ~x