Friday 14 June 2013

This year's tea pavilion at The Serpentine Gallery a triumph! All the more surprising given my degree of underwhelmedness on reading the reviews of it several weeks ago when the design was first unveiled in the National Press - by Sou Fujimoto, it seemed a pale imitation of the last japanese design, from several years ago, and the accompanying blurb about Fujimoto's thoughts on good design had me reaching for the 'delete' button on the computer keyboard, even before the end of the second paragraph. So, it was with no high expectation that I suggested we go and take a look at it, when an airing in the Park seemed a good idea, once summer had unexpectedly hit SW7 this afternoon, and bright sunshine and clear, blue skies beckoned. And, in fact, the place is a complete pleasure!

Like the unplanned result of the lid having been left off the biggest and best box of meccano in the World,  it rises ziggurat-like, with layer upon layer of spindly white framework, inviting exploration. Which is what people were doing, climbing up the outside and perching in the afternoon sun. And inside, it was the same, too - to the side of a central atrium,  plexi-glass levels rose above us and people, having clambered up, looked down and around, as though sitting in mid-air...with the view through the walls of the lawns and the Park beyond, and of trees swaying dramatically in the summer breeze. "This", said the Technical Department (happiness etched on his face) "is what it looks like when you've got the top-of-the-range version....the one that you always lust after, but in fact you've always had to make do with the intermediate model instead, because the best-of-the-best is always out of reach, and the shop only uses it as a way of getting punters in who'll end up (regretfully) settling for something less. This is the acme!"

And so, we celebrated. With tea. Provided by Fortnums, in a natty little carry-all. And acccompanied with sandwiches (egg, salmon, cucumber, and tongue) as well as scones, with cream and strawberry jam, and sacher-torte, and raspberry macaroons, and pistaccio macaroons....and all in all, it was perfect. 

Buy now, while stocks last!

Tonight's dinner (once we've recovered from tea):

Omelette Arnold Bennet.

Lamb Cutlets (in celebration of a few days in London); petits pois with pancetta

Marsala posset, over prunes poached in cinnamon and red wine.

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