I live in the depths of South London and have missed the freedom of the Capital. This isn’t exactly a hardship in the grand scheme things. But when the days are grey and I feel down in lockdown, I think of what I will do when I can fully return to the City I love.
Going down the rabbit hole
I have been so excited for the V&A’s major exhibition of Alice: Adventures in Wonderland, since its announcement in 2019. How could you not be with the lead marketing images? Luckily, according to the museum’s website, the exhibition is postponed for a later date.
I’ve also missed coffee in the V&A’s cafe, designed by William Morris, James Gamble and William Poynter. I love starting my day in this mosaic wonderland with the most spectacular chandelier in London @vam
1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair
Every Autumn, 1-54 brings together the most incredible pieces from the fifty-four countries that create the African continent. The fair is a breath of fresh air in the London art scene as the winter descends and is held in the spectacular Somerset House. Every year I fall in love with a new artist – last year, it was Derrick Adams and his use of mixed media to create the most engaging artwork.
The organisers have said the exhibition is to take place in October as planned. Fingers crossed! Head to the website to watch some of the talks with curators and exhibitors during the lockdown @154artfair
All the cheese
Life is all about toasted cheese, and there is no better than Kappacasein’s raclette in Borough Market. It is salivating to watch those wheels of cheese melt. After lockdown, the word ‘sourdough’ has new connotations, but this is one loaf I can’t wait to get my teeth into. Kappacasein are offering lockdown toasties email@example.com if you are lucky enough to live in a mile radius of Borough (if you do, will you please adopt me?) @kappacasein
Feed my brain
There are many bookshops I cannot wait to return to; Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street, Henry Prodes on Charing Cross Road and Bookmongers on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton. But it is the book market on Southbank that will be my first call.
Whether rain or shine, the book stalls are protected by the beast of Waterloo Bridge. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find something to catch your attention and feed the culture vulture within @southbankcentre
Candlelight and architecture
One hidden secret is the Sir John Soane Museum on Lincoln’s Inn. If you can make it past the lawyers lurching their stacks of papers through the streets and the uber-brainy LSE students, you’ll find one of the most eclectic museums in London.
Kept in the same condition as Soane left it, from the Egyptian sarcophagus and statues of Apollo to the most incredible Canaletto collection in a room of secret panels, it is a wonder to behold. The best way to see this fantastic museum is through a tour – they’re available in the day or you can book a candlelight and prosecco tour, which is the only way to see anything really @soanemuseum
Parkland is my favourite walk in London. Starting with a cheeky half at Ally Pally, looking across the spectacular vista of the City, the Parkland Walk follows the route of a former railway line from the Palace to Finsbury Park. https://parkland-walk.org.uk/
This route is full of luscious greenery, making it a relaxing getaway from the rush of the City. I love the aesthetic of the abandoned platforms, reclaimed by nature. You’ll also find some of the best graffiti art that the City has to offer. Finish at Finsbury Park with a cold bevvy at The Faltering Fullback. http://www.falteringfullback.com/
Artemisia – National Gallery
Another exhibition I was excited to see was Artemisia at the National Gallery. Not only was Artemisia incredible in her position as a female artist in the 17th Century, but she painted women in a completely new light. No longer servants, maidens and the weaker sex but strong, natural and courageous. Thankfully this exhibition is postponed and not cancelled and I, for one, cannot wait. @nationalgallery
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms – Tate Modern
The postponement of this exhibition has broken my little heart. Usually a sell-out, I had managed to procure tickets to Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms at the Tate Modern. Sadly, if you have tickets, these are being refunded as the new dates aren’t known. You can also donate the cost of your ticket to the Gallery which I would strongly suggest as so many of our art institutions are suffering. I’m a massive fan of Kusama’s work, and not for the ‘Gram but the immersive spectacle. Fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long. @tate
Vauxhall Flower Market
Most people think you have to be up at the crack of dawn to visit a flower market – and the traders are! But, New Covent Garden Flower Market in Vauxhall is open until 10 am during the week and 9 am on Saturdays. Reopening on the 15th June, the flower market is the best place in London to buy flowers. If houseplants are more your thing, the flower market offers that too – be prepared to buy in bulk! I’m counting down the days until I can get a wrap of garden roses and the Capital’s best sausage sandwich. @marketflowers
One of my favourite places is The Ludoquist in Central Croydon. I’ve been a board game nerd for many years and having every possible board game at my disposal with booze, snacks and a dog-friendly atmosphere makes this one of the best places in town. If you’re a Croydon local, The Ludoquist is offering food, drink and game parcels to keep you going until the lockdown is over. @TheLudoquist