And on lovely sunny days, our thoughts turn to the seaside. Even in January.
So, after taking one look at these on Romsey Rd and deciding to take a different route - we went to Bournemouth, to the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery. After a very pleasant and reasonably priced lunch in their cafe, we meandered round the gallery.
They have an exhibition on at the moment called ‘Food for Thought’, which combines items from their collections with some connection to food, and the work of 4 contemporary artists on similar themes. To be honest, some of the connections are a bit tenuous, but that made it more interesting – the last thing I wanted to look at was a room full of Victorian paintings of food. There were plenty of those, but also some interesting ethnographic artefacts connected with agriculture, hunting and cannibalism. Just what someone with a new found interest in ethnography wanted.
For those who don’t know, the Russell-Cotes Collection was started by a Victorian hotelier, Merton Russell-Cotes, and his wife Annie, and is displayed, in part, in their house. I think it is fair to say that they had more money than taste, but there are some gems amongst the oversized nudes, and you can explore a high Victorian house which combines ‘Renaissance with Italian and old Scottish baronial … Moorish, Japanese and French decorative styles alongside contemporary Victorian design’. Yes, it is every bit as OTT as it sounds.
If you visit and you are the right sex, don’t miss the ladies’ loo in the house, [not the one in the modern extension].