Wednesday, 1 December 2010

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford ...
Dr Johnson didn't say anything about his feet getting tired but my visitors last weekend appreciated stops at some of my favourite cafés with a view.
Where you can watch twilight fall over the city for the price of a coffee.
This is the view from the National Portrait Gallery; the finest view of Nelson's backside that London affords.
(But could I interest the younger generation in portraits of Jane Austen or the Brontes ... not a bit, it was straight down in the lift and on to Covent Garden before the shops closed.)
Everybody agreed that, much as they'd looked forward to seeing Tate Modern, in fact the National Gallery has so much more 'wow'. I wasn't surprised. (I find it hard to love Tate Modern. I hate, hate, hate the thematic hang and that overbearing building seems to leech all the energy from the paintings.)
But what a view from the restaurant ... wow!


kristina said...

I know just what you mean about Tate Modern. I've always had a hard time loving it, too. K x

mary said...

I think it's great, Kristina. It's just not an art gallery. But I think we're a minority view!

Darlene said...

Having browsed the National Portrait Gallery on two previous visits, my last adventure over included a running stop just to say 'hello' to Jane's portrait.

I'm sure that Covent Garden would have had quite the pull with me too half a lifetime ago. They'll be back!

mary said...

I think I'd have loved Covent Garden at their age, too, Darlene. Anyway, I can't complain, I got let off Camden market!