Afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery

Living in a city with such a temperamental (aka rainy) climate, one must always be prepared with lots of ways to stay entertained indoors. This past weekend, London was especially cold and damp, so I hopped on the tube to Leicester Square for a visit to the National Portrait Gallery. Public museums have always been a safe haven from the outside world for me since I was a teenager, when I would skip high school and wonder the national galleries in Washington, DC. Later, as an Art History undergraduate at NYU, such visits became a part of my weekly Manhattan routine.

On exhibition at the moment is a wonderful collection of George Catlin American Indian Portraits (7 March – 23 June 2013) organised by my old employer Smithsonian Institution. Weekends are always a busy time to visit but I managed to pop in during a loll in the crowds and had a chance to enjoy the portraits and learn a little bit about the different tribes. I collect exhibition catalogues, so I grabbed one on my way out as I headed to lunch.

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A freezing walk down The Strand left me shivering with a chapped nose by the time I nipped into The Delaunay.

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Felt Hat, Saks Fifth Avenue; Crystal Cut Necklace, J Crew; Trench, Vince

The sister restaurant of The Wolsley, this Euro-style cafe is one of my personal favourites. Having missed the cut-off for booking reservations the day before, I did have to wait 20 minutes for a table but I passed the time at the bar with a glass of bubbles.

The rock oysters were worth the wait!

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Living in the UK, I often yearn for decent service when dining out. At The Delaunay, it is exceptional! And with a lobster roll like this, they get top marks in my book.

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For reservations, call ahead by one day or book online via their website.

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