The other loves of my life – art, food, and friends. It’s amazing how much you can squeeze into 2 1/2 days of London; x1 crazy uber experience, x5 exhibitions, lunches, dinners, catch-ups with friends, cakes, coffee, cocktails, ice-cream, markets, and many cups of tea! Here’s a few highlights from our trip…
1. RAUSCHENBERG exhibition
I first came across Robert Rauschenberg’s (an influential figure of the modern art world) work when I was on a family holiday in Berlin back in 2006. I immediately fell in love with his silkscreen prints, the topical and thought-provoking images of his subjects and the sculptures made up of items collected from the streets. If you have the chance please go – it’s worth the visit.
2. Tom’s Kitchen Deli @ Somerset House
Delicious selection of salad, sandwiches, and soups. I had a mackerel salad with some pickled beetroot; kale salad with walnuts, apple, and celery; and a potato salad with rosemary and Pancetta. As you can see it was a massive portion (I think the plate of salad was around £7-not too pricey). Eilidh and I then shared some sweets for after mmm – chocolate brownie and a Bakewell tart. The pastry in the tart was thin and crisp and the filling was almost sponge like – very well baked! And the brownie was rich in chocolate, needless to say it was indulgent. The other selection of cakes were quite unusual…something to consider in my next bakes. A nice little cafe set within a beautiful Neoclassical building. Tom’s Kitchen Deli
3. Jinjuu Korean Restaurant @ Mayfair
A nice stylish restaurant in Mayfair which I think is perfect for a dinner date or like me dinner date with 4! I ordered the fried tofu Bibimbap, a rice dish with some vegetables, shredded seaweed, and a fried egg on top (with runny yolk). It was served in a hot stone bowl with separate chilli sauce to mix in with the rice. I found it a bit too spicy for my taste so I only added half the amount. Happy hour cocktails wasn’t too bad also so I had a cheeky one and it was rather tasty…
4. Newport Street Gallery
A new gallery opened in 2016. This building was built to showcase Damien Hirst’s own art collection which he has been acquiring since the 1980’s. I wasn’t too fond of the exhibition at the time of the visit but the space within the gallery and the building itself, I thought, was worth a visit. Plus a stop at the gallery cafe meant I had some time for tea and scones (see below).
5. Pharmacy 2 @ Newport Street Gallery
Quite an unusual looking cafe based on some of Damien Hirst’s most famous art works. I love the bar stools with the seats made to look like medicine tablets and also the hanging molecules behind the bar.
6. Anselm Kiefer exhibition @ Whitecube, Bermondsey
One of the best exhibitions I’ve seen in a long time. We managed to catch this show on its last day and there was a massive queue to get in. A member of staff told us the weekend before saw a record for the most visitors to the gallery since its opening. The exhibition consisted of large scale paintings, installation, and sculptures. Although the exhibition named Wallhalla, refers to a place in Norse mythology, Kiefer’s works often incorporate a lot of history and politics that also reflects current affairs. I found the exhibition quite harrowing at times and uneasy – with his use of metal to represent fabric and bedding for example. Unfortunately the exhibition has now ended but if there’s other exhibitions of his works I would highly recommend it.
7. Maltby Street food market
Nice little street food market near Bermondsey – a short walk from the White Cube gallery. Eilidh enjoyed her steak sandwich and chips! There was a nice range of food to choose from.
8. Maedah Grill @ Whitechapel
MMmmm delicious chicken grill dinner for me! A lovely meal while catching up with old school friends. This is a Turkish grill restaurant with quite a variety of dishes if you’re not so fond of meaty grill. There’s curries, salads, and also Turkish pizzas! They also serve milkshakes and Lassi drinks.
9. Hockney 60 years exhibition @ Tate Britain
It was interesting seeing a wide spectrum of Hockney’s work throughout the 60 years of his career so far. There were some well known paintings that I’ve seen before but also more recent works which I’ve not including large bright coloured paintings of the English landscapes and also ‘paintings’ produced using his iPad with Hockney embracing the modern technology. Exhibition
10. Vietnamese in Soho
Some random Vietnamese restaurant that we came across on our last day. Quick service but deliciously filling. I had a pork noodle and soup dish while Eilidh had a beef stew rice bowl. Tasty!
As you can see and know already, London is full of amazing places to visit and eat. For the art lovers like myself and Eilidh it was a brilliant way to fill a weekend away. The variety of foods you can eat is endless – We get stressed trying to choose a restaurant!
One place we didn’t manage to visit though was Andy’s Taverna. It’s a Greek restaurant that Mike and I went to last year in Camden and I’m slightly gutted that I wasn’t able to take my friends there to try. It had to be one of the most amazing and friendliest restaurant I’ve been to. If you love Greek food go here – price is decent and the portions are great. We had the ‘Chef’s mixed platter’ to share which consisted of mixed kebab meats, houmus, tzanziki, salads, chips, and lots and lots of portion of bread. We had the meat sweats!
Next time Andy!