Friday, August 12, 2011

Night At The Museum

July 8

It's a beautiful afternoon in London so we walk to the Victoria & Albert Museum.
They're open late on Fridays, and it seems like its quite the posh thing to do, with a DJ rocking out tunes in the foyer and strobe lights pulsating outside.

After looking at a few of the displays on the main floor
(we really loved the golden Buddha's from 550 AD),we make our way up to the Norfolk Music Room,
where a quartet of musicians playing wind instruments will be performing, courtesy of the Royal College of Music.

It's really exciting seeing a display of Yohji Yamamoto dresses on mannequins next to Emma Vallender, who is playing the oboe in a raw silk brown gown. And all the while, the performances itself is in a stunning music room that once graced St. James palace in the 1750's, channeling the time of Mozart and the salons he played in.

In fact, the first piece the quartet plays is Mozart. Emma is so into it, her toes start peeking out of her full length dress and they're painted blue, just like the dresses of so many royals we see in portraits here in the Museum. The free concert transports us through the ages from Mozart, to French modern composer Jean Rivier.

Even though we're sitting in an 18th century palatial room, it all seems modern somehow, and the musicians themselves are so hip and passionate, working themselves into a pink-cheeked hour of classical music that's so good, it should be recorded.

After a standing ovation, we spot the saxophonist on the elevator dressed head -to-toe in leather as he heads home on his motorcycle.

We don't want to leave just yet, so we walk around the museum, past courtly costumes
and a cluster of gigantic foo dogs.
Then we discover another artist that we like quite by accident, while viewing some botanicals. His name is John Constable.
A colleague of J.W. Turner's, Constable, who never traveled outside of England, found all he needed in his home in the Stour Valley.
We are mesmerized by the pastoral scenes of his home region, which he painted in the mid 1800's.

We walk back home passing the Harrod's doormen, then onto Sloane Street where Peugots and Bentleys are parked along tree-lined townhomes as big as our entire street at home in New Hampshire, then finally, into our neighborhood where a local Thai restaurant is still open.

We order pad see ew and prawns with red peppers in garlic sauce along with jasmine rice, which is served in a copper bowl. We polish off the delicious entrees chatting about our cultural evening.I can't imagine an excursion going any better than this one, and yet tomorrow we have an entire day of royalty planned, and the weather calls for nothing but sunshine.

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