Tuesday 27th March – 12th meeting of 2018
Our usual meeting place today – Charing Cross where six of us met at the usual time. It was quiet a cold overcast morning. We got a 239 bus outside the station to Oxford Street. Here we decided to go into Debenhams for a coffee. Oxford Street was full of shoppers but with just buses and taxi allowed to use the road it was fairly calm but as usual lots of noise, hustle and bustle!
A very pleasant drink and quick look around the store we then walked to Manchester Square. It always amazes me that once you get out of the busy streets of London onto the side streets it is always so quiet and calm. The Wallace Collection is housed in Hereford House, Manchester Square, London, W1U 3BN and is free to entry.
The collection is a family collection and the works of art were collected between 1760 and 1880 by the four Marquesses of Hertford and Sir Richard Wallace, the illegitimate son of the 4th Marquess. Sir Richard collected and believed in sharing his inheritance with a wide audience.
The building is superb. A beautiful sweeping staircase and with chandeliers and wonderful drape curtains at all windows it is lovely to see. The exhibits are beautiful. Lots of ceramics, miniatures, furniture, sculptures and all walls are covered with marvellous works of art. The highlight for me was seeing ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ which I remember as a child as being on the chocolate boxes and biscuit tins we had at Christmas time. It was smaller than I had imagined it to be.
Upstairs in the gallery a piano was being tuned in readiness for a live music concert that was being broadcast on Radio 3 later in the evening.
I really enjoyed the visit and was amazed at so many works of art being in the same building in the heart of London.
After a visit to the shop and short rest we made our way back for the 239 bus, Charing Cross and trains home after a lovely day in London!