Saturday, 3 March 2012

A Covent Garden afternoon


 As a belated Valentine's treat to ourselves, we booked what seemed to be the last tickets for the Lucien Freud exhibition, as we didn't want to get caught out as we had been for Hockney or Da Vinci. The table at The Delauney followed suit as I'd been desperate to try it since it's opening. As a big fan and an old regular patron of The Wolseley, there was no where else I wanted to eat.






What I love most about both these restaurants is the service, the food is good but the attention to the customer is unique here. You are made to feel terribly special regardless of who you are, how you look or what your accent is. It is a beautifully glamorous room yet somehow relaxed and unpretentious. We had the Kasekrainer and the Berner Wurstel which came with a Potato salad, caramelised onions and sauerkraut, both were delicious and very filling. For pudding we shared a Rhubarb and Pear Crumble served with sweet creamy custard, my only quibble is being a little more generous with the custard wouldn't hurt as it was so good.




We then meandered through a buzzing Covent Garden, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere, Matilda adored watching the Street Entertainers and happily joined in with the cheering and clapping. Next up was the National Portrait Gallery and, the Lucien Freud exhibition. It was an exceptional collection of his portraits, one of the most striking was his self portrait at 80, just so evocative and representative of how old age comes to us all and that death is inevitable. The 100 plus paintings that dominate the rooms gave me the impression that Freud truly believed that life is simply a rehearsal for death, we're here just waiting. Personally, it felt like he'd come to terms with his age and its consequences, though his work obviously never slow down. In fact he was working on this exhibition right up until his death. His work is not easy viewing. It challenges conventions and pushes the boundaries which makes this momentous collection of his portraits all the more emotive. The exhibition stays with you for a long time after.



So if you're at a loss tomorrow I would highly recommend an afternoon browsing around Covent Garden followed by this once in a life time chance to see Freud's amazing work all in one place.


http://www.thedelaunay.com/

http://www.npg.org.uk/freudsite/index.htm