Sunday, February 03, 2008

Art by the Thames - 2 February 2008

The ThamesWalking by the Thames is a most pleasant way to while away a sunny day and that is exactly what we did. For £1.00 we can use the trains to get from our place in North London across the Thames to Kew.

Bypassing Kew Gardens we stopped first on Kew Green to visit the church built in the 18th C when Kew was the site of the summer Bridge over the artificial river at Chiswick Parkpalace. The Georgian buildings around the green also date from that time and were homes for the royal courtiers and officials.

Crossing back over the Thanes, we made our way along the Thames path to Chiswick House, Hogarth’s Home and finally William Morris’s workshop – quite an ‘arty’ collection.

Chiswick House groundsChiskwick House was one of the original Palladian buildings in London and was really just a big playhouse for Lord Burlington to display his art collection and entertain guests.

Hogarth was an 18th C artist and social commentator who told his moralistic tales in sequential paintings which he also turned into engravings and sold as prints.

William Morris's press still in useMorris was influential in the Arts & Crafts movement and his work adorns the walls of many grand houses in the form of wallpapers and furnishings.

Today (2/2) was also our wedding anniversary so we decided an appropriate celebration would be to book a table for 2 at a 2 star Michelin restaurant so we booked a table for 2 at The Square in Bruton St, Mayfair.

Two halves of the same wholeThe service is amazing with what appeared to be at least one person per table and attentive staff who appeared to anticipate your every move. If you left the table your napkin was folded and when you reappeared there was always someone there to move your chair in for you.

The food was fabulous with 5 extra “in-between” palette-pleasing delights as well as the three courses. Our only gripe was that the room was unpleasantly cold.
Cabinet in Hogath's houseIf someone had told us on our wedding day that one day we would be celebrating an anniversary by sitting in London eating a meal that cost 2 month’s of our then household income we would have suggested an urgent trip to the psychiatrist. But with a rise through the ranks, a little help from inflation and the UK/NZ exchange rate we could cover the cost of the meal with a morning’s work.

The Indie Travel Podcast might give me Lonely Planet books for writing this!

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