The National Gallery started modestly in 1824 when 38 paintings – the collection of banker John Julius Angerstein – were bought for the nation for £57,000. Ceylon Orange Pekoe National Dining Rooms National Gallery
Originally housed at Mr Angerstein’s home at 100 Pall Mall, it was considered an embarrassment when compared with other national collections. Particularly the Louvre in Paris.
Not wanting the French to get one over on us, Trafalgar Square was chosen as the site of a new building which opened in 1838*.
The National Gallery now has over 2300 paintings. It is without doubt one of the finest galleries on the planet, containing some of the highlights of western art
Posted in LONDON, MUSEUMS/GALLERIES, Trafalgar Square
Tagged arty, bookshop, cake, Galleries, great setting, loose leaf, nice food, open in evening, recommended, smart
Notes Music & Coffee is one of those great places that you walk in and wonder why you have never been here before. Green Oolong Notes Music & Coffee St Martin’s Lane
Except this case, I know why – I have tried to visit for tea a few times, but it’s always full.
This time I was with a friend, and even though it was busy, we managed to find seats at the back on long shared oak tables.
The space is pleasant with high ceilings and large arched mirrors, which make it feel larger than it is.
The tea is excellent. I had a green oolong, but was also impressed with
Earl Grey was Prime Minister of the British Isles from 1830-34. Famous for having a type of tea named after him, he lived at number 13 Carlton House Terrace. English Breakfast Tea ICA Cafe
Next door, at number 12, the Institute of Contemporary Arts has a lovely café, that serves a good cup of tea all these years later.
ICA was formed in the 1940’s by Surrealist Roland Penrose and anarchist Herbert Read as a meeting place for artists and intellectuals. It has been in the Mall since the sixties.
Today, there is an art house cinema, gallery space, and art bookshop. They stock an impressive range of art theory books with zippy titles (more…)
Posted in CENTRAL, MUSEUMS/GALLERIES, Trafalgar Square
Tagged arty, bookshop, great setting, hip, loose leaf, museum, open in evening, quirky, recommended, window seat
White Tea Les Deux Salons
A couple of steps from Trafalgar Square you can enjoy a cup of tea in elegant surroundings evocative of 19th century Paris.
The interior of Brasserie Les Deux Salons is beautiful, with its dark wood panelling, long copper topped bar and black and white mosaic floor.
The bar area, where you can take tea, has a delightful mismatch of padded chairs and little sofas upholstered with carpet.
A choice of teas include Assam, Darjeeling and a green mulberry a ‘dark roasted hojicha from Mr Obayashi tea who makes tea for the emperor of Japan’.