Monday, November 5, 2012

Pictures and Poppies

As I mentioned in my last post, last weekend's excitement came in the form of our friends' wedding.  It was the third wedding I have been to this year (including my own!) and the second that loverboy and I have attended as a married couple!  Our friend Janet took this snap of us in Camden Town Hall after the ceremony and before the confetti throwing.  It was a chilly day, so we were nice and bundled up in cozy coats!

This weekend ended up being chilly too (surprise surprise!) so on Sunday, we wrapped up warm and headed out for a date-day full of galleries and yummy food.  London is the perfect city to go on a date, as there is so much to explore and so much of it is free!  We started out at Somerset House, where we checked out three exhibitions.

We started off by wandering through the cobbled passageways which are home to the Night Paintings by Paul Benney.  I love the way that these dark, intense paintings are displayed individually in creepy compartments.  I later found out that beneath these chambers are the gravestones of 17th century palace retainers - apt then, that this newly opened gallery, underneath Somerset House's main courtyard, is called the Deadhouse.

Next, we went to have a look at Tim Walker's Story Teller exhibition - this is the one I was most curious to see, and let me tell you, I wasn't disappointed!

British fashion photographer Tim Walker is known for his extravagant style, which incorporates elements of fairytale, romance, beauty, humour, fantasy and general bizare-ness.  The photographs as well as the exhibition rooms themselves contain all manner of life sized - if not over sized - props, creating an absolute feast for the eyes.  I just loved it.

Unfortunately, it was not permitted to take photographs inside the exhibition....and this rule was very strictly enforced!  So, alas, I couldn't take any photos, but here are a few that I found on the interwebs...

I would highly recommend visiting this wonderful exhibition (running until the 27th January 2013) which takes you on a magical journey into a beautiful fantasy world - you will feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

Our final viewing at Somerset House was the 10x10: Drawing The City London show, featuring artwork inspired by public spaces across London's West End.  All the pieces in the exhibition are being auctioned to raise money for Article 25 international development and disaster relief charity.

A friend of ours, Peter Ayres has his work featured in the exhibition, so as well as pointing at the various pieces saying 'Oh look, I know where that is!' we also got to point and say 'Oh look, the artist who drew that is our friend Peter!'

All this culture started to make me hungry, so we headed across the Waterloo bridge to the Real Food Market on the Southbank, and stopped by one of my favourite street food vendors, Horn Ok Please (or as loverboy calls it, 'Horny Corn').  We split a samosa chaat, which was super delicious, filling, and a bargainous £4.  This vegetarian snack consists of a samosa cut open and piled with chickpea curry, pomegranate seeds, onions, yogurt, mint, chutney and sev (crispy dried noodles).  If you haven't already - visit Horn Ok Please and try it!

We also picked up some cake and hot mulled cider - my first mulled beverage of the season!  The cake was yummers, and to coin a new phrase, 'a date's not a date, unless you split a slice of cake!' 

Our last stop before heading home, was the gallery@oxo, in the Oxo Tower Wharf, where we popped in to see The White Picture, a photographic exhibition about female soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Taken by Alison Baskerville, the photos portray the work that the British Army's Female Engagement Officers carry out, as well as giving a glimpse into how they maintain a sense of normalcy and morale despite their surroundings.

The exhibition has been put on by The Royal British Legion, and coincides with the Poppy Appeal.  The Legion has been using poppies for fundraising since 1921 and is a symbol of remembrance for the service men and women who have lost their lives.

The First World War ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, and every year a two minute silence is observed at this time.  As you can see from my photos, the hubs and I already have our poppies - make sure to get yours and ssshhhhhhh! at 11am this coming Sunday. 


  1. Really enjoyed your art gallery wanderings Mel! Thank you for the tour! xox Linda

  2. Dang, you guys have some great coats. I guess the climate necessitates it but you guys always look so sharp!!! We only get a few days out of the ear where we have to wear coats.

    1. Hahahah, thanks Chris! :) What I would give to only need a coat for a few days a year...*sigh*...

  3. I adore your red coat and both of your entire outfits. It is always such a treat to see couples who both embrace vintage so passionately.

    Remembrance Day is very important in Canada, too, with many (though I have no idea why the same isn't true for all of them) provinces viewing it as a solemn holiday (and thus no school, or for some, work). Our little town holds an annual Remembrance Day ceremony at the community centre, which I always look forward to attending.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thank you Jessica! We both love to dress up, and the red coat is my favourite!

      We don't have a day off for Remembrance day, although you do see many people wearing poppies, with a Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey and Remembrance day ceremonies.

  4. I've yet to visit the Tim Walker exhibition, I'm a big fan of his work so will make my way there soon! Glad to hear it's worth visiting, I get annoyed by lackluster exhibits-particularly pricey ones!

    Samosa chaat looks like so much yum xx

    1. You should definitely go to see this one...and then pop across the bridge for a samosa issss so much yum! :) xx

  5. You guys are adorable! I love all of the pictures you post of the both of you together.