Zaha Hadid Early Paintings and Drawings, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Followed By Dinner At 35 New Cavendish, 27 January 2017

London Aquatics Centre
Photo by Bert Seghers – Own work – Creative Commons CC0

Unusually, it was me who spotted this exhibition, in The Week, suggesting to Janie (who loves Zaha Hadid’s designs) that we should find time to see this exhibition before it comes off.

As we’d arranged to meet Lavender (Charlie) and Escamillo Escapillo (Chris) for dinner in Marylebone on the Friday, it seemed sensible for us to finish a bit early and take in the exhibition ahead of dinner.

The plan worked brilliantly. We arranged for Janie to get to mine at 16:00, which meant that she actually arrived just before 17:00, which in truth still gave us bags of time to see the small exhibition at leisure, wend our way gently to Marylebone on foot and still be a bit early for dinner.

Here is a link to the Serpentine Galleries resource on the exhibition.

We both loved it. There is a book to accompany the exhibition specifically on these early works – click here or the image below for the Amazon link:

I bought Janie the above book and also the Taschen one – click here for Amazon link – which covers the later works well.

Janie was originally a bit reluctant to walk all the way from the Serpentine to Marylebone, as it was a chilly evening, but once we got walking, she realised that it is a pleasing walk through Bayswater and Marylebone; worth it.

We had bags of time, so took in some shop windows and even open shops along the way. Neals Yard for some posh smellies and a bizarre tea shop with fancy tea pots, where Janie was finally able to replace a little glass pot in the style she likes to serve to her clients…jees she spoils them.

Still early, we decided to retire to 35 New Cavendish, aka The Cavendish – click here and wait for the others with a glass of wine in our hands.

As we walked in, we saw, sitting very prominently at a table in the bar downstairs, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, holding court with some other besuited gentleman. I’m pretty sure he was spouting some very large numbers, but through the buzz of the downstairs bar I couldn’t tell if he was saying, “twelve billion” or “twelve trillion”. Nor could I tell whether that was pounds, dollars, euros or Indonesian Rupiah. Nor did I hear what the massive number referred to. Still, it’s always good to have heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Janie and I were grateful to be shown straight to our table upstairs, which was a large one and upstairs was much quieter at that hour. Soon enough the other two arrived.

Here’s a link to the menu – not sure how often it changes of course.

Janie started with foie gras, I started with tuna three ways and the youngsters started with scallops. Janie and I both had the signature 100 layers lasagne, while Lavender had the lobster tagliolini and Escamillo Escapillo the sea bass. The food was all very good indeed.

Neither of the youngsters were drinking much; Lavender not at all (tut-tut; dry January hadn’t been invented when we were her age) and Escamillo Escapillo just one glass ahead of driving home from the station. Janie and I felt like lushes by downing a couple of glasses each over the evening.

Everyone was on good form, so we had a good chat about life, the universe and everything without letting much family-sh*t enter the conversation. Quite right on a Friday evening out too.

Kindly, the young couple absolutely insisted on picking up the bill, citing the “our turn” protocol, despite torrents of protest, in particular from Janie, who knows how to dole out generosity far better than she knows how to receive it. At one point I thought we might need the Governor of the Bank of England to arbitrate, but Janie eventually caved in and in any case Mark Carney had probably long-since left the place.

It was a very enjoyable late afternoon and evening all round.

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