Gauguin at the Tate Modern


“Have you brought something for breakfast?” I asked Peter. “I have a magnum of Devaux,” he said. There were boiled eggs, smoked salmon and half bottles of well chilled Manzanilla too. The smell of freshly brewed coffee began to fill the coach. We were on our way to London for Gauguin at the Tate Modern.

I have waited a long time for Gauguin. His shapes and colours have always haunted me. I first saw his work in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg in 1968 and I still have the good print on canvas I bought in a Moscow art shop the same year. The show at the Tate showed me how his style evolved from insipid to bold and how he blossomed with more expressive forms and colours with the move from gloomy Europe to the vibrant South Seas. Despite the crowds, I loved it.

Café 2 was a very pleasant surprise. Lunch there was excellent – the pan fried plaice with crisp green vegetables was delightful and the staff got on with their work with quiet efficiency.

Seared beef with spicy salads for supper from Ottolenghi was superb. They sent the boxes with wooden cutlery by taxi to meet the coach and everything worked splendidly.

On the way home there was Taittinger, Macon Clesse 2003 from Jean Thevenet, Torres Gran Coronas 2004 and Jane Hunter’s Late Harvest Riesling. It was a good day out.

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