(English) We will take a journey through British history via portraits, starting with the fabulous Ditchley portrait of Queen Elizabeth I and ending with the stimulating work by a contemporary artist.
The National Portrait Gallery is an ideal place to get to know great British personalities, to gain an understanding of why the portraits were selected and why these individuals were considered important at the time. It is also interesting to learn how the technique and purpose of portraiture and collecting have changed over time, reflecting the attitudes of today.
(English) This is a walk in the ever-changing Clerkenwell and Smithfield. An area that has many literary associations with authors like Dickens and Thackeray getting inspirations from the poverty and stink in the Victorian times. All quite gory! We will see totally contrasting areas like meat markets, monasteries, plague pits, wells, trendy design studios, restaurants and night clubs. The major news will be when The Museum of London moves into Sir Horace Jones’ Smithfield Market in a few years.
(English) Scandinavian design has long been described as the most important design movement since World War II. We will look at 20th century Scandinavian design icons such as Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase, Ingeborg Lundin’s Apple, Stig Lindberg’s ceramics and Verner Panton chair.
(English) The house is a treasure trove filled with history related to the Duke of Wellington, and surprisingly even has pieces of Sèvres porcelain from Napoleon’s divorce gift to Joséphine! Wellington was not only a military hero, he was also a bit of a ‘Ladies’ man’ and we will learn more about that.
The collection also includes the centre piece of the famous Portuguese silver service commemorating victories in the Peninsular War and a number of exquisite paintings – including Titian and Velázquez gifted to the Duke by the Spanish royal family.
(English) Shoreditch must be one of the most fun and dynamic areas of London. Situated at the edge of the City of London and filled with creative people working in art, design and media, it presents an ever-changing scene full of art galleries, bars, restaurants and shops. You may need a bit of a “helping hand” to discover it but, once you have, you will probably be hooked!
We will see both the historic parts – some of the area was one of Europe’s worst slums – and the new, trendy places that have replaced them.
There will be plenty of choice for lunch afterwards, such as Albion, Rochelle Canteen, St John, Hawksmoor, Lyle’s, Brat, Kyle and Smoking Goat. These restaurants need to be booked ahead as they are popular.