Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend gorging

  • The morning began with both M and I dropping Little Planet off at daycare, then getting off a few underground stops early and walking through Russell Square together before going off to our separate offices.
  • My mother-in-law arrived on Friday to pick Little Planet up from daycare, take her home, give her some bedtime milk and put her to bed. I stayed later in the office then went out for drinks with colleagues on Wardour Street (the street next to the big Dean Street fire that same day).
  • M met me at the pub and we went to Yauatcha to buy cakes and chocolate. Then we went to the John Lewis Food Hall to buy dinner.
  • Back at home, M cooked pan-fried hake with a hazelnut and caper crust and served it with sauteed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
  • My mother-in-law looked after Little Planet all day so, despite the rain, M and I headed into town to basically gorge ourselves on food and art.
  • At the Whitechapel Gallery, we saw Elizabeth Peyton's intimate, colourful and childlike portraits of friends and acquaintances (1st photo above).
  • At the same gallery, I discovered some new painters whose work captivated me: Emily Wolf, Lara Viana and Zara Matthews (2nd photo above).
  • We walked to Brick Lane to eat lunch at our favourite cafe on that street Sweet & Spicy. We had vegetable samosas, chickpea curry, boal fish curry, pilau rice and chapati. Delicious.
  • Afterwards, we stopped off at a Bengali bookshop to buy some Bengali children's books for Little Planet that her Bengali Grandma (my mum) can read to her. We also bought Little Planet some wooden toys from the fabulous Wood 'n' Things in Shoreditch.
  • We crossed the river and rested our weary feet at the Tate Modern members room before catching the comprehensive Futurism and Per Kirkeby exhibitions. I particularly liked the latter's mixed media collages, but found the rest of his work a little flat.
  • We took a cab to the White Cube in Mason's Yard to catch Gilbert & George's new show. I am not a big G&G fan, but these new works made me smile: bold, brash, beautiful!
  • Another respite stop to rest our weary feet - this time at Automat on Dover Street where we drank coffee and demolished a Mississippi mud pie and New York cheesecake each.
  • Then to the Sadie Coles gallery to see the brilliant Wilhelm Sasnal show (photo below).
  • Then to the latest Artangel show in Marylebone: Charles LeDray's humorous Mens Suits show. As with all Artangel projects, it was all about "location, location, location" (to quote Mr Planet) - this time in a disused fire station. Other memorable Artangel locations we've been to have been a house in Portman Square and an amazing derelict Post Office sorting office on New Oxford Street.
  • We supped beers at Swedish bar The Harcourt Arms then ate some very sublime and refined Japanese food - well, Japanese food with a twist - at tiny, basement Japanese tapas restaurant Dinings in Marylebone. We savoured wagyu beef toppan yaki, various sashimi (salmon, chu-toro, yellow tail, sea bass) with different incredibly light sauces made with such ingredients as sweet miso sauce, jalapeno sauce, yuzu, plus a black cod dish with garlic and chilli.
  • After a busy Saturday, today has been much more physically relaxed. Basically, we haven't left home except to shop for a few things and take Little Planet to the park. In fact, Little Planet has had both her Grandmothers here all day and we've spent most of the day in the garden.
  • Now she's watching In The Night Garden and playing in the living room with her two Grans, M is ironing his work shirts and I am blogging. Soon we'll put her to bed.
  • For her dinner, M cooked Little Planet a sweet potato and lamb stew.
  • Later tonight, the adults will also eat lamb: roast lamb with chickpea mash and broad beans and peas. Homemade (M-made!) pavlova for dessert.
  • As you can see, the gorging isn't yet over.

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