Saturday, 12 November 2011

1870's opulence : Degas & Piccadilly's Criterion Restaurant

Last Friday I visited the Royal Academy in Piccadilly, London (map) for the Degas exhibit, 'Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement'. It's a stunning show with breathtakingly beautiful pictures and it features a huge gathering of his works in one place.

'This landmark exhibition focuses on Edgar Degas’s preoccupation with movement as an artist of the dance. Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement traces the development of the artist's ballet imagery throughout his career, from the documentary mode of the early 1870s to the sensuous expressiveness of his final years.' It's on until 11th December and is well worth a visit.

In the spirit of turn of the century beauty I'd booked The Criterion restaurant in Piccadilly for dinner afterwards (224 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HP, map) . This hidden gem is possibly the only thing of any beauty in Piccadilly Circus. It is well worth wading through the masses assembled by the Statue of Eros outside the Trocadero to make it to get to this Grade II listed building. Opened in 1874, it is is a perfect match to the Degas exhibit both in date of opening but also in beauty. It's pure opulence with wall to wall marble, a cocktail lounge, a long bright high walled room complete with a gold-tiled ceiling.

Through toptable we booked two courses and a glass of prosecco for £20 which was excellent value.

A perfect Friday night. These were easily the best things I've done in the usually hellishly touristy Piccadilly Circus. And no, we didn't make it to Mahiki's afterwards.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic foresight, Degas and the Criterion all in one splendid evening.