Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Thirty one hours in London

I am back from a little mini-break with my Mum in London, practising my skills in Extreme Art. This is what we did.

Fisrt ( and I suppose before our thirty one hours officially started) we enjoyed a very civilised full breakfast on the train. Checked in at the Kingsway Hall Hotel (mini review: chosen for its fantastic location for our plans, hotel perfectly comfortabe nothing special 7/10) and headed out for the latte  and cake at the London Review of Books

 with a quick pit stop at Blade Rubber stamps next door to see the African Gallery at the British Museum so I could revist and show Mum my favouriote works:

El Anatusi's metal kente cloth and the Christian Aid Tree of life made with decommissioned weapons.
Then to the special exhibition there The Kingdom of Ife . (mini review - interesting enough for half an hour but at £8 would have been overpriced save that given all the other times I've ben to the museum for free we did not begrudge paying for once! 7/10).

From there to my beloved October gallery to see the calligraphy panels by Rachid Koraichi (Mini Review: This gallery never ever disappoints. Beautiful series of inspiring panels. Lessons in simplicty, repetition and variation. Eminemetly stitchable. 10/10). Usually they have a cataolgue for about £5 and I always buy them as they have never had an exhibition which has not inspired me. But this time only a book of poems illustrated by him  at £17.50. I resisted as money is flowing housewise at the moment. But I  regretted it, came home and checked Amazon. £12.76. It is on its way!

A quick nip to the London Graphic Center to pick up some leaftlets about airbrushes and get a sale assistant to explain the ranges (more expensive than I thought - an item for post new studio building I decided) . Then, back to the hotel to paint each others nails, watch Wimbledom and get dressed up. Dinner at the Covent Garden Grill ( mini review: good for people who need interesting but plain food for allergies. Leather seat ripped. Got orders totally wrong and then charged us for the wrong meal and the right meals as well. Did give Mum balloons becuase I said it was her birthday. Food 6.5 / 10)

Mum was reluctant to just leave the balloons and as we walked out the door a little boy was passing with his parents. My Mum asked his Mum if he would like them and as my Mum went back into get them the boy's Mum showed me a deflated baloon she was carrying that the boy had just burst, to his dismay. You can imagine how pleased he was with the four helium filled replacements!

Then to the whole point of the trip. Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to see Placido Domingo in Simon Boccanegro. (Mini review:  about 25/10)

Mum managed the gym for a bit before I even woke up (shame on me) breakfast then to the National Portrait Gallery - unplanned but we were passing so we chose one room (40) to see portraits of William and Harry including this one .

Through Trafalgar Square to see the Fourth Plinth ship in a bottle made out of African Dutch wax prints by Yinke Shinabore and then through my beloved St. James Park to the Queens Gallery at Buckingham Palace for the exhibition about the art collection of Quenn Victoria and Prince Albert.

(Mini Review - did you know Queen Victoria had a budget of £2000 per year to buy art and often didn't have enought money to buy what she wanted. I warmed to her! I found this exhibition suprisingly interesting - especially the flat pack throne from India! 9/10)

We then grabbed a cab to the V&A to meet up with best Quilting Buddy Lesley and her sister Claire who had just been to the Quilts Exhibition which is where we headed. (10/10  Obviously. Even though I had seen it already.) That left just enough time to get a taxi to Tavistock Street. Or at least as near to it as the Gay Pride traffic controls would let our driver get. The pristine Trafalgar Square we had been through a few hours later was now filled with rubbish strewn on the streets (0/10). So we walked the rest of the way to find the Primrose Bakery

 which turned out to be nothing all that special but which I had wanted to find since I bought their cupcake book and realised it was close to the hotel. And then 'twas time to collapse onto the train and read House magazines!


Gerrie said...

I love, love Anatusi's work. What a great trip with your mum!!

Kristin L said...

Wow -- what a great trip. I'm definitely ringing you up if I ever get back to London.

Rachel said...

Gosh, you kept busy, didn't you. Sounds like you had a really great time!

Working Mum said...

That is doing London on speed! You muat have worn your mum out!

Not too impressed with the Primrose Bakery, next time could you visit the Hummingbird Bakery for me and give it a review? I've got their cookbook (very odd recipes, but seem to work) and would like to know what it's like.

Notice I've totally bypasssed the art......

Lisa Walton said...

Wow - you have just inspired my itinterary for my few days in London next month. OMG - did I say next month - that it scary.

Deborah Boschert said...

My review of your blog: 10/10!

June Calender said...

Enviable outing with one's mum! I checked out the portrait of William and Harry -- Brits know how to ennoble their princes! That looked as delicious a a couple of your foodie pix.