The Tiger Who Came to Tea at Bateman's

The Tiger Who Came to Tea exhibition banner

Get up close to the beloved artwork from Judith Kerr’s much-loved children’s classic picture book, 'The Tiger Who Came To Tea', at Bateman's in East Sussex. Saturday 7 September – Sunday 3 November 2019.

This article was written about the 2019 exhibition which has now finished at Bateman's. 

We’re delighted to present The Tiger Who Came to Tea 50th anniversary exhibition at Bateman's. The exhibition has been originated by Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books.

First published in 1968, The Tiger Who Came to Tea had sold over five million copies by 2008 and been translated into eleven languages. Set in the family home of author Rudyard Kipling, displays of Judith Kerr's illustrations will delight all tiger-loving generations.

See illustrations from Judith Kerr's 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'
Children's illustration of a little girl hugging a smiling tiger
See illustrations from Judith Kerr's 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Alongside facsimiles of original artwork from The Tiger Who Came to Tea, notes and sketches, we're displaying an exclusive selection of original artworks from some of Judith Kerr’s other books. You'll be able to get close to original illustrations from the Mog stories, When Hitler Stole Pink RabbitThe Crocodile Under the Bed, and several others.  

" I determined never, ever to put anything in the text that the child could already tell from the pictures. Why should they struggle to read something they already knew?"
- Judith Kerr

As well as celebrating favourite stories, you'll have the opportunity to explore Judith’s childhood and her experiences of having to escape Germany as Hitler came to power, how it felt to be a refugee in Switzerland, then France before finally settling in London in 1936. Judith writes about these experiences through three semi-autobiographical novels for older children in her Out of the Hitler Time trilogy, through the story of her alter ego Anna.   

The exhibition gives a unique insight into Judith’s life and work, including access to childhood drawings where we discover how Judith developed into the artist and story teller we know today.

Author Judith Kerr alongside 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'
Judith Kerr next to the 'Tiger Who Came to Tea'
Author Judith Kerr alongside 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

For Families

Discover Sophie’s room from the story where children can sit on the bed and listen to a recording of the tale before visiting the Tiger in the kitchen downstairs.

Little ones can enjoy interactive play with a life-size tiger in the kitchen. Delve into the dressing-up chest and grab a mini stripy Tiger or Mog onesie, have fun making 'tea' in our fully interactive play kitchen, as you sit with the tiger, a great opportunity for a family photo.

October half term fun

'The Tiger Who Came to Tea' trail
Sat 19 Oct- Sun 3 Nov 10am -4pm
Discover the tiger related activities around the garden and spot the tigers in the house.
£2.50 per trail (normal admission applies) with a prize at the end

Half term craft days
Wed 30 & Thu 31 Oct 11am-4pm
Make your own tiger and pumpkin themed items to take home with you.
Crafts from £2.50 (normal admission applies)

Open every day, 10am-5pm

Join us every day of the week from Saturday 7 September - Sunday 3 November, for tiger-themed fun. The Tiger Who Came to Tea anniversary exhibition will delight visitors of all ages throughout the autumn as well as offering the perfect half-term adventure in October with themed family activities. 

While you’re at Bateman’s, why not try Tiger themed goodies in The Mulberry Tea room- and find the stripy veg growing in the garden.

Please note: last entry to the house and exhibition is at 4.30pm.


Normal admission applies, under 5's and National Trust members are free. Please see our full list of admission prices on our homepage, family tickets are available.