Tag Archives: museum

Tate Britain Café, Millbank

Tate Britain cafe London
Darjeeling
Tate Britain Café
The café at Tate Britain is having a refit. Meanwhile, there are two temporary tea places, each an improvement on the former facilities.

I entered the gallery from Atterbury Street, which is interesting as you can still see damage to the side of the Tate’s wall from WW2 bombing raids.

I was excited to find David Tremlett’s Drawing for Free Thinking on the staircase. I had first seen his work in July while enjoying green tea at Fernandez and Wells splendid rooms in Somerset House.

The Manton Café is a light-filled space at the rear of the Duveen Gallery. Large windows, (more…)

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ICA Café, The Mall

Cafe ICA, Mall
English Breakfast Tea
ICA Cafe
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.

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.

The 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 , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fernandez & Wells, Somerset House

Fernandez and Wells, restaurant Somerset House
Kyoto Green Tea
Fernandez & Wells
Somerset House
Somerset House, originally a Tudor Palace, has been home to Elizabeth I, the Navy and the Royal Academy of Art. It has seen routs and masquerades, and has fallen into ruin – ‘…the haunt of spectres…magicians and murderers.’
The free tour gives an excellent overview of it’s extraordinary history.
It was fascinating to visit the lightwells – underground alleyways visible from the courtyard – and the ‘Dead Room’, with it’s Catholic gravestones.
Easy to see why Somerset House is used by film crews as an atmospheric London location.

The Courtyard is a fantastic space, unique in London. The East wing is home to an eatery, and very fine place for a cup of tea. (more…)

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Tea at Three, Dr Johnson’s House

Dr Johnson's House, Gough Square
Tea in the Parlour
Dr Johnson’s House

Number 17 Gough Square is the charming 18th century townhouse where Samuel Johnson compiled his ‘Dictionary of the English Language’.
It is well worth a visit to this small museum.

The rooms are laid out as they would have been in Dr Johnson’s time.
Great care has been taken to restore the wood-panelling to the original muted paint colours.

The house is peaceful and atmospheric, the library is my favorite room with its soft yellow paintwork and light flooding in from high windows. You can also leaf over a facsimile of the famous dictionary. (more…)

Posted in City, MUSEUMS/GALLERIES | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Foundling Museum Cafe, Brunswick Square

Twining's English Breakfast, Foundling Museum Cafe, Brunswick Square
Twining’s English Breakfast
Foundling Museum Cafe

The Foundling Museum tells the intriguing story of a sailor (Thomas Coram), a painter (William Hogarth), a musician (Handel) and their role in the foundation of Britain’s first home for abandoned children.

Eighteenth century London was a squalid and miserable place for much of the population. 75% of children died before the age of 5 years – 90% of those in the workhouse.
The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 after a long campaign by philanthropist Coram.

George Frideric Handel conducted concerts to raise funds. Hogarth (more…)

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Restaurant at Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

Restaurant Royal Academy, London
Japanese Cherry Tea
Restaurant Royal Academy

The Royal Academy Summer Show along with Wimbledon and the Test Match at Lord’s is a regular mid-summer London fixture. Anyone can submit artwork and in 2012, the 244th year, over 11,000 artists applied to be hung next to David Hockney, Anselm Kiefer and Gary Hume.

Visiting the show can be overwhelming, with many different styles of artwork hung all the way up high walls. A colourful, kaleidoscopic patchwork quilt.

Cornelia Parker’s ‘Now and Then’ caught my eye. Featuring one silver teapot suspended above another (squashed) teapot. (more…)

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The Wellcome Collection Cafe, Euston Road

Lapsang Tea at the Wellcome Collection cafe, Euston Road
Lapsang tea
Wellcome Collection
Euston Road
Henry Wellcome (1853-1936) was a unique and extraordinary individual. ‘Pharmacist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and collector’.
The Wellcome Trust on Euston Road, a ‘Destination for the Incurably Curious’ is a wonderful place to visit.
An ongoing series of fascinating temporary exhibitions focus on life, science and art.
Medicine Man, a permanent exhibition on 4th floor shows a small selection of Henry’s collection. I felt quite sorry for Mrs Wellcome!

The cafe, run by Peyton and Byrne, has a fresh, contemporary feel. The lights are shaped like laboratory flasks that hypnotically change colour.
(more…)

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Tea and Tattle, Bloomsbury

Tea and Tattle, Bloomsbury
Darjeeling
Tea and Tattle
Bloomsbury
Arthur Probsthain is an independent family-run bookshop, established in 1903.
Specialising in books from and about, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with a branch at the School of African and Oriental Studies.
My favorite places to visit are India and Turkey, so coming across this bookshop was a very happy discovery indeed.
(more…)

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British Museum Court Restaurant

Tea British Museum Restaurant
Chamomile Tea
British Museum

The Court Restaurant has a stunning setting at the top of the stone staircase that rises above the Great Court of the British Museum.

This extraordinary space surrounds the former British Library Reading Room, enclosed by Foster & Partners spectacular glass roof – constructed from 3,312 panes of glass, each one different.

The restaurant is almost at the roof, and is bathed in a suffuse light that changes with the weather.

(more…)

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