This week… under lockdown (one)

If, like me, you enjoy snooping around great country houses, museums and galleries then social distancing needn’t stop you from exploring. Isn’t it true that as one door closes, another opens? While UK attractions are currently closed to the public many are opening their virtual doors. Now is the perfect time to take a personal tour of some of the best collections from the comfort of your armchair. Here’s a few of my top picks this week.

Front row tickets to museums, galleries and more

The Royal Collection

One of the largest and most important art collections in the world, The Royal Collection is spread among 15 royal residences and former residences.

Guardsmen on duty outside Buckingham Palace.

Visit the website where virtual visitors can mooch around more than 250,000 works of art from the Royal Collection online, enjoy 360-degree tours of palaces and exhibitions, watch behind-the scenes films and more.

Her Majesty’s gardens at Buckingham Palace are a joy, perfect for playing hide and seek, or Swallows and Amazons.

The London garden of Her Majesty The Queen, an oasis in the busy city.

Take a virtual tour of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, the official London Residence of Her Majesty the Queen. Watch a film about Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House and see close-up the miniature treasures inside.

Enjoy a ‘stroll’ around the most recent exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle at the Queens Gallery to explore the life and tastes of arguably the most magnificent and flambouyant of British monarchs.

Buckingham Palace, Queen Victoria’s Palace: Summer Opening 2019.

To mark the 70th birthday in 2018 of HRH The Prince of Wales, currently in self isolation having tested positive for Coronavirus, visitors to the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace enjoyed a special display Prince & Patron at the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace. The exhibition features a number of works of art personally selected by His Royal Highness. I visited the exhibition when it was open and it was elegantly curated and a fascinating insight into the man behind the royal title.

If you’d like to find out more, read my review of the Buckingham Palace Annual Summer Opening 2019 Queen Victoria’s Palace.

The Royal Collection Trust

Tate Galleries

Aubrey Beardsley The Climax 1893 (published 1907). Stephen Calloway.

Tate, comprising four galleries and housing the national collection of British art, features videos on the Tate You Tube channel showcasing famous artists, including this one The Art of Being a Dandy: Aubrey Beardsley. Beardsley shocked and delighted late-Victorian London with his exquisite monochromatic drawings exploring the erotic and the elegant, the humorous and grotesque. The prolific artist, who tragically died at only 25 years of tuberculosis, is the subject of a current exhibition which was scheduled to run until May 2020. I reviewed the Beardsley exhibiton earlier this year for Travel Begins At 40.

“Ancient cultures placed great importance on the journey from life into the netherworld and sadly it’s something modern civilisations have abandoned.” Tutankhamun: treasures of the Golden Pharoah


A life in films

Vanity Fair has a lively and well constructed series of videos featuring actors and actresses talking about their work. I watched Richard E. Grant Breaks Down His Career this week where he spills the beans on many behind-the-scenes vignettes. Grant is an eloquent and entertaining raconteur. Other ‘Break Down’ films featured include Jude Law, Harrison Ford and more.

Still from Richard E. Grant Breaks Down His Career copyright Vanity Fair.

Rothschild family collection

The fairytale country house Waddesdon Manor is offering 360 degree virtual tours of the rooms. This gorgeous house was built in the 19th century by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild to house his magnificent collection of art and artefacts. Zoom in on the collection of over 15,000 breathtaking artworks, intricate furniture and paintings. Now’s your chance to see some of the rooms not generally open to the public or those that, due to their fragility, can only be viewed from the doorway. Click on a room to open the tour. I reviewed the new Rothschild Treasury at Waddesdon (opened September 2019).

Waddesdon Manor. Photo Irene Caswell

That’s it for this week. I’d love it if you shared your own reviews of these sites and any more ideas for everyone to enjoy art and culture, food and travel while we get through these unbelievably difficult times. #allinthistogether #staysafestayhome

Have a peaceful and healthy week!

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