All the world’s a stage …

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts …


As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

William Shakespeare


Bardens, Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, Hackney

Bardens Cafe and Bar – Review

Barden review
Bardens Cafe and Bar, Dalston

Bardens  is a lovely venue, situated on Stoke Newington Road in Dalston. It has a spacious yet cost atmosphere which is very welcoming.

I popped into Barden’s on the way to a local arts and crafts market for a cup of tea. Sadly, it became obvious that tea is not this establishment’s forte – the amount of milk which accompanied the tea pot was minimal, and the tea itself was not as piping hot or as flavourful as it could have been.

That said, the service was excellent – it was efficient, prompt and polite. I would love to return for a meal, as the venue was beautifully presented, relaxing and friendly.  I particularly like look of the comfy chairs in the front, which reminded me of the furniture in the Central Perk cafe in Friends.  Just a pity about the tea.

Rating 3 out of 5

Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC

Avedon Warhol at Gagosian Gallery – review

Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC
Avedon Warhol exhibition, Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, WC

Last month, I visited the much talked about Avedon Warhol exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery. I was pretty excited, as it’s billed as the first major exhibition to present Richard Avedon’s photography alongside Andy Warhol’s artwork.

Sadly, I left the exhibition underwhelmed.  There seemed to be more security guards than patrons, an imbalance which made the visit slightly uncomfortable. The receptionist on duty however really set the tone – she seemed more concerned with her computer work than with helping the visitors navigate their way around the exhibition.  When visitors  asked for assistance, I observed that the response appeared very cold and unwelcoming, almost as if they were bothering the receptionist.

The pictures and artwork are not labelled, so be sure if you go, to collect a free guide, which hopefully should be in the reception. You may have to hunt them down, but the exhibition will be easier to follow with the guide.  It is also a useful document for art students to add to their portfolios.  It would have been nice if there was someone handing out the guides as visitors arrived, as opposed to being greeted by stern and scary looking security guards, again adding to the cold welcome and sub-zero atmosphere.

The actual art work displayed was interesting, but more could have been made of the presentation. Unlabelled pieces, seemingly randomly hung, there wasn’t an obvious link between the 2 artists and their work. Outstanding pieces, displayed without context or relevance.

The overwhelming feeling I had when I left the gallery, was that of coldness. Cold reception, cold receptionist, cold welcome, cold environment and cold presentation. I would recommend this exhibition for anyone studying or working in the general arts field. But don’t expect to have an enjoyable time.

Rating 1.5 out of 5

The exhibition ends 23rd April 2016