Visit the Kitchen that Inspired The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Courtesy of Seven Stories

Illustration from Judith Kerr's 1968 picture book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

The London kitchen that inspired one of the twentieth century’s most famous picture books for children is now open to visitors in new surroundings in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came To Tea – in which a hungry and thirsty (but also charmingly polite) tiger comes for an afternoon snack and then all Daddy’s beer – was first published in 1968 and has now sold more than ten million copies worldwide, inspiring a touring play and a film.
Kerr was born in Berlin but traveled to England as a young girl with her family to escape the Nazis, a childhood she wrote about in her autobiographical bestseller When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit. She died in 2019 but, with the wholehearted support of her family, a section of the kitchen has been removed from her home and has now been installed at Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books in Newcastle that has housed Kerr’s drawing archive since 2008.

Courtesy of Seven Stories

Judith Kerr's iconic kitchen, now housed at Seven Stories.

This means visitors will now be able to have tea in the iconic yellow kitchen that also featured in Mog the Forgetful Cat, part of her equally famous series inspired by the family’s feline. The exhibition includes the chalkboard from the kitchen’s wall, complete with Kerr’s note to remember to buy cat food, as well as the fitted storage cupboards and sink – interestingly, the drawers are white and the cupboard doors are yellow, reversed by Kerr for her illustrations.

“Judith Kerr’s kitchen provided the backdrop for so many of her well-loved picture books, and Seven Stories is so pleased to be able to display it, along with Judith’s artwork,” said Gillian Rennie, head of exhibitions at Seven Stories.
The installation was funded by SUEZ Communities Trust as part of the museum’s ongoing refurbishment project. You can watch a video of the kitchen being carefully dismantled and reinstalled on YouTube: