We always enjoy a trip into London to visit a gallery or museum and my birthday falls around the time of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art which is jolly handy.
All adventures have to start with coffee and cake and this wonderful display in the window of Caffe Concerto in Haymarket, London, drew us in immediately. Oh my!
That set us up nicely for a stroll along Piccadilly to the large Waterstones bookstore for a quick look before heading off to the Royal Academy of Arts just over the road. We walked past the Fortnum and Mason building. The exterior is being renovated and the whole side was covered in Scaffolding and plastic but the clock on the frontage looked beautiful. I love that gentle eau-de-Nile colour.
As you approach the Royal Academy building you go through a beautiful archway with very ornate carvings in the stone pillars.
Then you step into this lovely square. It was surprisingly quiet but I suspect that as just because it was a Monday morning as when we got inside there were plenty of people milling around.
You aren't allowed to take photos inside so I can't share any of the exhibits but I think it's the best one we've seen in a long time.
The selection process for what makes it onto the walls always seems so arbitrary and we often mutter about some of the things that are displayed; e.g. a piece of perspex with "More poetry is needed" (a sentiment with which I agree entirely) printed on it with a price tag of £1800 or a piece of velvet cloth with spots of marker pen all over it entitled "Batchelor's Buttons" for a mere £12,600 made me write 'you cannot be serious!' in my programme.
I was delighted to see some fabric and needle art this year especially Amanda Caines' work entitled 'Skirrid' and Eleanor Havsteen-Franklin's 'Vessel' made from etching and thread on Japanese paper.
Some of the things we loved were this clever piece by Ackroyd and Harvey which was created by exposing growing grass to different levels of light and then taking a photograph, all the exhibits by
Bill Jacklin whose painting of New York alway bring back happy memories, several entries by David Mach who this year chose to make 3d pictures using pins and foam notably the face of Van Gogh and a snow leopard, Olwyn Bowey whose rendition of leaves and flowers, especially Eryngiums, in thick and vibrant paint were stunning, John Wragg whose lone women against a brightly coloured background were intriguing, Frederick Cuming for his landscapes - an artist we know well as he often exhibits in Rye which is near where we live plus many other wonderful exhibits.
Afterwards we headed off to Gymkhana London, an Indian restaurant which has received rave reviews since it opened late last year. It didn't disappoint and we had a marvellous meal. I thoroughly recommend you try it if you are in the vicinity and are able to get a table.
On the way home we stopped off at Caffe Concerto and each chose a different cake/pastry for when we got home. Perfect.
The rest of the excitement will come in the next few days and will have to be reported after the events. I am so excited I just can't wait to share the news with everyone.