I love hanging out with my Mum. When the rest of my siblings were at boarding school and university and I was at day school, I used to get my mum all to myself on a regular basis. Working full time, with my mum only popping up to London a few times a month, meant that spending time together, just us became a rare occurrence. One of the things I vowed to do when I transitioned to full time blogging was to reclaim some of my time with family and friends.
So, when she was recently up in town, I took her on a girly day out, starting with breakfast at Chiltern Firehouse, which my mum LOVED. Followed by a walk around Marylebone. Marylebone is an area of London that I adore, but that I knew my Mum didn’t know as well as other parts of the city.
When we saw a sign on the beautiful stately home that is Hertford House stating that the Wallace Collection was free entry, my mum begged me to go in. I am SO glad we did. I don’t think I would have ever known about the Wallace Collection if we hadn’t stumbled upon it. The artworks housed in each room are individually stunning, but the setting for them is truly breathtaking. Each room is exactly how it was left in 1900 when Sir Richard Wallace’s widow bequeathed it to the nation. One of the conditions of the collection was that no piece should ever leave, even on loan and so it never has.
We wandered from room to room, stumbling upon a pianist warming up for a concert due to take place at 2pm that day. The melody filled the air as his fingers tumbled over the keys. The perfect soundtrack to our meandering pace.
I have so many favourite pieces from the collection…
The Anchorage at Smyrna by Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps
The Lion in Love by Camille Roqueplan
The Piazza San Marco Venice by R.P.Bonnington
Mrs Robinson (Perdita) by Thomas Gainsborough
When we’d had our fill of culture, it was time to fill our stomachs and in the process, I think we discovered possibly the least Instagrammed, most Instagrammable restaurant in London.
The Wallace Restaurant, run by Peyton & Byrne, sits at the heart of The Wallace Collection. Ben joined us as we took our white seats in the glass roofed courtyard.
The tables were filled with elderly couples having catch ups with friends – I think we were the only people under 50 in the room.
As if the beautiful pink walls and gold bar aren’t Instagrammable enough, we hadn’t predicted the food would look this magnificent too.
My mum had the soup which looked almost to pretty to eat.
Ben and I shared the Pate (delicious), burrata (heavenly) and Chicken Salad (forgettable)
The value for money is amazing and I can see this quickly becoming my new favourite meeting spot!