Design: Some retail therapy in London

Sitting on a bus for a good 5 and a half hours, when you’ve set off at 4am is absolute hell. It’s like a sober hangover, clammy face, dark bags under the eyes, Ew. To cheer us up we quickly popped into HEMA at Victoria coach station, for some adorable canal-house shaped butter cookie.

First off, The Saatchi!

The Saatchi Gallery near Sloane Square was exhibiting its ‘Pangea II’ show, which was very striking and thought provoking, but, it was the exhibition in one of the galleries on the top floor of the Saatchi that caught my attention shaking me.

‘The Legacy of WWII in Russian art’, an exhibition presented by ART RUSSE marks the 70th anniversary of the victory in Europe and shows the human, social and political cost of the war from a Russian perspective. Through sculpture, paintings and photography the exhibition covers the commemorative art, the propaganda as well as more subversive elements.

Some of the pieces within the exhibition are just outstanding! Namely, the use of light in Laktionov’s Letter from the Front, the raw (tear jerking, in my case) emotion of Evsey Moiseenko’s freedom, the action and frisson of Igor Rubinsky’s A feast day parade. The exhibition even has miniature bronzes from Yevgeny Vuchetich and Vera Mukhina’s plaster of Worker and Kolkhoz Woman (an Art Deco masterpiece), that are smaller versions of huge statues and monuments in Russia. And then there’s the centrepiece, Mai Dantsig’s And the World Remembers the Saviour. At the centre of the composition lies the baby Jesus and the Madonna, in the style of Raphael. It’s an allegory of world culture and civilisation, surrounded by wounded soldiers, signifying the human cost of the defeat of fascism. It’s an exhibition I couldn’t miss!

After the gallery visit, we were a bit peckish for something sweet, so off to Waterloo for one of Konditor & Cook’s famous brownies. We ordered the Fudge Packer Brownie. Gooey, rich chocolate brownie studded with sugary smooth fudge and topped with a salted caramel sauce. It’s absolutely divine! (Not sure on the name though, considering the Waterloo branch is around the corner from a gay sauna!)

My chocolate craving not quite satisfied, we popped into NeuHaus in Convent garden and chose a few truffles to try – my favourite was the 1857, a crunchy speculoos praliné.

Throughout the day we popped into MUJI, for some candles and some soap for the kitchen; Paul.A.Young, for even more truffles (Yes, I’m a chocoholic! Especially for their hot cross bun truffle! ); Habitat, for a peruse; West Elm, for a lush tea towel by Mini Moderns; TIGER, for some notebooks and knick knacks for the house;  Skandium (my favourite) and Gosh! just to keep Tom happy!

Whilst we were in Gosh! Tom bought me the hardcover version of Phillipa Rice’s Soppy (we had previously bought the zine, and framed my favourite page) he gained brownie points for this and a big cwtch (hug). Having burned some calories walking round the streets of London, it was time for a well needed lunch. We decided (on recommendation from our friend Jamie), to go to Franco Manca on Tottenham Court Road. The place and the pizza was amazing! (I’ll be writing an article about it tonight!). Full up on delicious sourdough goodness, we decided to finish our design shopping trip in Islington, buying some HAY scissors in twentytwentyone and an Iittala Kastehelmi bowl in Aria – The owner is so lovely!

It was an amazing, expensive day to be fair!

We ended the day with a well needed catchup, wine and antipasti with our dear friend, Lowri (Whom, we are staying with).


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