The Wallace Collection is one of London’s hidden gems, a small and beautiful museum with a wonderful collection of art, porcelain and armoury, housed in a fabulous London townhouse. I’ve been to visit many times and thought I was familiar with most items in their collection but their new special exhibition Gilded Interiors highlighted some stunning pieces I’d missed.
What a beautiful autumn we are having! September and October have been a delight and with the odd day’s exception, we’ve had sun and warmth beyond the season’s norm.
This Sunday in Hyde Park was wonderful and I’ve attached a photo to show the autumnal colours with a group of horse riders from the local riding school and one of the Serpentine lake at its best. It was the kind of day which you just want to hang on to as you feel winter approaching. Our clocks went back this weekend so we are now back on GMT which means darker afternoons and very soon it will be much colder.
After last week’s art fest, only one visit to report this week – to the Wallace Collection to see Damien Hirst’s new paintings called ‘No Love Lost’ . Very blue with skulls, lines and ashtrays so work that out if you can. The Wallace Collection has wonderful art, furniture, ceramics and armour and, as important to some, a lovely courtyard restaurant where we had a late breakfast to sustain us on our visit.
A couple of restaurant visits to report – one to The Criterion in Picadilly Circus which must be one of the most stunning dining rooms in London with it’s gold mosaic ceiling and marbled walls and welcoming bar. They call it neo-Byzantine and they’ve been serving dinners to everyone from Suffragettes to Arthur Conan Doyle for over 100 years. We also had a meal at Vasco & Piero’s Pavilion as Michael Palin recommended it and I believe every word he says! A good Italian meal was had but I prefer the Criterion as surroundings are very important to me and it’s hard to beat theirs.
I had a good afternoon exploring pubs in Victoria but all in the line of business as I have some Americans coming in today and they wanted to eat in a ‘proper pub’ ahead of their evening’s show in Victoria. It’s not an area with that much to offer but I’ve chosen 2 and will talk them through which style their prefer and report back on which one we go to next week! I took the opportunity of being in the area to revisit Westminster Cathedral, the home of Roman Catholic church in the UK. It’s a wonderful building and continued the neo Byzantine theme this week with its golden mosaics which are unfinished as they want each generation to add to the building. Dating from the turn of the last century it also has fine sculptures by Eric Gill and have a look at the photo of the exterior.
Off to meet my Americans so bye for now.