Saturday, May 17th 2014
The meteorologists were predicting a heat wave for this weekend. As neither of us is keen on excessive heat we did not make plans in advance but preferred to wait and see. In the event, the sky was overcast this morning, though conditions were warm. When in doubt, go for a leisurely breakfast!
After breakfast at Pret in St John Street, we decided to go back home and think about going out later. This week I have been suffering a head cold and, just when I might have been expecting it to start getting better, it has become worse. It has gone down onto my chest, as my colds usually do, producing charged lungs and a painful cough.
We spent some time at home and then decided to take the bus to Marylebone. Tigger had heard that there was an exhibition of paintings by Jack Vettriano being held at the Heartbreak Gallery and, as we both like his works, we went along for a look. The exhibition, Vettriano: A Celebration, continues until June 1st and admission is free. The exhibition follows from the Retrospective of the artist’s work held at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum last October, which we visited (see Durham 2014 – Day 3). Tigger asked whether photography was allowed and was told yes. I didn’t take any photos of the paintings, however, as good versions are widely available online. For example, see the Heartbreak Gallery exhibition page and the artist’s own Web site.
Wall paintings in Beaumont Mews
The lower set are signed by Donk
The Heartbreak Gallery is quite small and the exhibition was spread over three floors. As the lift was out of commission, you needed to be fit to visit the whole exhibition! Conditions were less formal than at the Kelvingrove and the density of visitors less, so that it was in some ways a pleasanter experience. One could approach to the paintings and peer at them close up.
Cabbages and Frocks Market
St Marylebone Churchyard
Jack Vettriano is a “popular” artist in the sense that his paintings appeal to a wide audience. This means, on one hand, that every card shop will have in stock cards and posters of his paintings and, on the other, that he has been the target of a certain amount of snobbery in the past. The Kelvingrove exhibition has set the seal on his worth as a painter and I think (and hope) that we will see more exhibitions of his works in future.
We looked around for a suitable place for lunch and while there seemed to be plenty of choice, most restaurants were crowded or didn’t have anything exciting on the menu for vegetarians. In the end we revisited the Woodlands Restaurant which we had tried previously. You might not guess from the name that this is an Indian restaurant. Better still, it is a purely vegetarian establishment. It is a little more expensive than the average curry house but the food is of good quality and carefully prepared. We chose the Delhi Royal Thali and salty lassi to wash it down.
Afterwards we walked up Marylebone High street and I took a small number of photos. (To be honest, I was looking forward to going home and having a lie-down!)