After filling up on her choice of breakfast, it’s time to kick off the day with some gentle (but not genteel) culture. March 15th is the final day of the Guy Bourdin: Image Maker photography exhibition at Somerset House. A provocative, fascinating artist and one of the fashion and advertising world’s most controversial, this is the largest display of his work ever shown in the UK. From Man Ray’s protégé to photography revolutionary in his own right, Bourdin produced some of the most influential and cutting-edge photos over 40 years and more than 250 of them are here for your pleasure and, perhaps, mild shock. (£9/7 – can be bought in advance or on the door)
No less groundbreaking and sticking with the world of haute couture, the retrospective of the late Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty will be coming to the sumptuous Victoria and Albert Museum as of March the 14th 2015. That means this is your chance to be one of the first to see the largest exhibition of his work to be shown in Europe: showcasing McQueen’s visionary genius, it spans his 1992 MA graduate work (bought immediately in its entirety by Vogue stylist Isabella Blow) to his unfinished Autumn/Winter 2010 collection and promises to deliver a spectacle synonymous with his runway shows. The original version was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011 and became one of the Museum’s top 10 most visited exhibitions. This one will include an entirely new section devoted, fittingly, to his time in London.
As it is Mother’s Day, this seems an even more appropriate time than ever to celebrate the important triptych of Women Fashion Power. The Design Museum is to thank this time, giving us an an unprecedented look at how women from royalty to CEOs, artists to aristocrats, have used fashion to empower, enhance and embolden themselves. Using self-expression to challenge stereotypes, women throughout history are seen here using this to their full advantage – from power shoulder pads to domineering dresses, come and see the transition over 150 years.
For a livelier start to the day, you could crank up your Sunday with a Matinee in London’s classic West End theatre district. From musicals such as The Commitments, evergreens like The Lion King, barnstormer The Jersey Boys, and one-man-show blockbuster comedy Buyer and Cellar, you’ll only be stuck for time, certainly not choice. For more details to help you decide, have a browse through our best of the West End blog post.
If all this culture has brought out the vulture in you, so much the better: London is fast becoming one of the world’s top foodie spots, and Mother’s Day is not exception to the rule that whatever you want, you’ll find it here. Whether or not you’ve had a wander around the impressive Saatchi Gallery, the attached brasserie, Gallery Mess, is definitely worth stopping in to. Charming, elegant and covered in eye-catching works of art, the vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling arched windows that run the length of the listed interior and large outdoor terrace will almost have you feeling that you’re part of the show yourself. The food is comforting but refined – cod and chips, steak sandwiches and smoked fish platters sit casually beside full afternoon tea and an inventive cocktail menu.
Maybe you’ve had a wander around the magnificent tranquility of Westminster Abbey, or maybe you just want to bask in its grandeur as you lunch on hearty, traditional fare? The Cellarium Cafe will tick all these boxes and offer you stunning views over the Abbey’s towers from the upper floor terrace to boot. If it’s a sugar boost and calming cup of tea you’re hankering after, one of the outposts of Bea’s of Bloomsbury will happily serve you a classic, classy cake, Afternoon Tea and a variety of other treats to suit all tastes – if ever there were a call for cake, surely Mother’s Day is it? For the health-conscious and true tea-aficionado, Camellia’s Tea House serves up hand-blended, uniquely designed loose-leaf teas and an array of healthy salads, sandwiches, tarts and juices to keep you fuelled up guilt-free. What’s more, if you’re looking for a little extra gift to perk up the day, they have a ‘health and well-being’ section that carries fabulous natural soaps, bath and body products and fragrances.
Now you’re refreshed and full of (coffee) beans, make sure you get down to the best second-hand rummage you’ll find in town, the Vintage presents Classic Car Boot Sale. Held at the South Bank Centre, for just £3 entry-fee you can browse over 100 vintage fashion, accessories and homeware stalls, as traders fling open the beautiful boots of their vintage vehicles; there’s also an exhibition of the cars themselves, as well as food and drink served courtesy of the capital’s finest street food wagons (everything from Japanese dumplings to lobster rolls or jerk chicken, craft beer and artisanal coffee) – a veritable festival of fashion and feasting! If you manage to make it back before 6.30pm, don’t forget you can enjoy a full Afternoon Tea and Champagne and captivating views from the luxury of the Terrace lounge and restaurant at your very own Amba Hotel Charing Cross.
So hopefully that should be enough to keep multiple generations of mothers happy and feeling appreciated, now there’s just one more thing left to do – relax in your gorgeous Amba Hotel room and take full advantage of that free minibar!