Pathology Museum: Sacred Tarts

Children beware, the Easter bunny has a dark side and I’ve found it at St Bart’s hospital. St Bart’s is a working hospital , so I was a little confused to find myself roaming its corridors, as well as my iPhone maps, looking for the location of an event normally associated with fluffy chicks and bunnies. Lo and behold, I turn an isle and bump into Roman sarcophagus. No, really. It’s like the ‘nightmare before Easter’ and I’m half expecting Jack and Sally to jump out. Up a few flights of stairs and tucked away is Bart’s Pathology Museum, recently opened and only open to the public on special event days. The Grade II listed museum houses more than 5,000 eerie-looking medical specimens, over three mezzanine levels. And, right slap in the middle of these jars of ancient organs and abbesses, as well a good few skeletons (including that of John Bellingham – assassin of Prime Minister Spencer Percival), is an Easter cake fair, ‘Sacred Tarts‘. Forget sprinkles and edible glitter, this is something else altogether.  At one end of the room, looms an almost life-sized head of the Virgin Mary…. made out of sugar, further down, a giant rosary made entirely out of cupcakes. Incredibly detailed paintings of the pope adore lollipops, and for small change you can eat a candied shroud. It might sound a bit macabre, but in contrast to the sickly sweet Cadbury’s Easter I’m used to, this couldn’t be more welcome. As well as picking up some unusual gifts, the talent on show from the bakers and confectioners was awe-inspiring. Choccywoccydooda, eat your heart out. Nibbling on stained glass window cupcakes and chocolate bleeding crowns, people seem completely at ease facing skeletons of conjoined baby twins and bodily deformities. Somehow, it seems to work. Or, perhaps it’s the very moreish Monk’s Milk cocktails on sale (Benedictine liqueur, topped with milk and fresh ground nutmeg, served with the body and blood of Christ, of course).