Mark Hix recently opened his new restaurant – Hix – on 66 Brewer Street in Soho – and my dining experience was delightful. The ambiance is both comfortable and glamorous, created by the marriage of both the rustic wood and the seductive low level lighting. Hix’s wide repertoire has an emphasis on British fare and I loved the partridge on toast with salsify and elderberries. Downstairs is Mark’s, the speakeasy bar, with game boards, bar billiards, and a low level bar that is difficult to pull
away from at the end of the evening.
The US cult store Anthropologie opened its flagship store on Regent Street this morning. With another branch on the old Antiquarius site on the Kings Road they are clearly aiming for the more sophisticated shopper. Eager Londoners were keen to explore the three floors of beautifully selected and presented merchandise- mostly new to the UK- and the tills were ringing. American staff had flown in for the launch to ensure that it reflected the quirky, bazaar feel of its Stateside counterpart. Look out for the ‘Living Wall’ which is like a tropical garden. I loved the colourful fabric chandeliers, ceramic pots shaped like balls of wool and Peruvian quilts on antique tables and chests.
Anyone within a half mile of Regents Park could not miss the sheer mass of people crowding into to see the spectacular Frieze Art Fair. With an impressive list of international galleries and heavy hitters such as Gagosian, Maureen Paley and Timothy Taylor, some of the finest works in the contemporary art world are there to behold. I was personally enthralled with White Cube’s exhibit which featured works by Damian Hirst, Gary Hume and Tracy Emin. The enthusiastic crowd seemed to be eagerly going about their business. I only wish it could be on all year!
On Tuesday, I attended the opening of the Pavilion of Art & Design in Berkeley Square. The show was absolutely buzzing with activity. Jaw-dropping works by legendary artists such as Matisse, Picasso, Le Corbusier and Chagall were on show alongside contemporary icons such as Gerhard Richter, Nobuyoshi Araki and Ron Arad. On the design art front, Carpenters Workshop Gallery was a standout with rAndom international’s You Fade to Light installation. Truly an impressive event!
I ventured to Tate Britain to check out the Turner Prize short list. The ideas behind the work were strong and the execution, in most cases, was beautiful. I’ll put my money on Lucy Skaer to win the prize. Her whale skull had a sculptural mystery to it and I really liked her wall drawings and prints. I also took in the newly opened show: Turner and the Masters. Turner had a really competitive streak and it’s fascinating seeing the way he took on, and bettered, in many cases, the Old Masters. His ability to conjure atmosphere is so impressive. But I’d love to know what he’d make of the artists who are vying for the prize which bears his name!