Art: Gregory Crewdson

 

Hi everyone,

I cannot believe that it has been a month since I last wrote a blog post. I apologise that I lost track of time as work has been crazy. I wanted to share this exhibition with you all before it ends! There is a lot of exciting things to catch up on, so I hope I will get a chance to blog more during the next few weeks (as I am on holiday).

Gregory Crewdson has an exhibition at the Photographer’s Gallery in London titled The Cathedral of Pines. This highly personal showcase of large photos focused on human interactions within nature. At the time of these photos, the artist had just gone through a very difficult divorce and wanted to be away from the city. As a result, all the photos were taken in the small rural town of Becket, Massachusetts. The dystopian landscape focuses on feelings of isolation and sadness.

For a Londoner like me, I have always found rural America rather disconcerting. The idea you are so far away from the next town/civilisation is not something I am accustomed to. I think this eerie-ness is brilliantly encapsulated in his photos. I was particularly drawn to them because they made me feel uncomfortable yet invited me to delve more into each photo.

Each of the photos has a human subject but nearly all void of expression. It does give this sense of visual suspense or one could argue, they are just super creepy. Each individual’s position is so carefully curated which adds to the oddness. The fact that each person had no expression allowed for other subtle details to become highlighted. As a viewer, you had to search for clues and really look at what the photo had provided to arrive at a conclusion. In each, you will notice a few repeating details, such as dirty blankets and old books, I don’t know why and I am still wondering why Gregory decided that this was necessary.

Most of the subjects do not wear clothes, which I realised is something that I often use to gauge a character, as it is surprisingly telling of a person. I loved the fact that the photos intrigued me, despite being a bit odd, yet did not resort to explicitness or gore to shock or bring emotion out of the audience. Not sure whether any of you have gone to see the exhibit and thought the same thing?

The exhibit is available until the 8th October 2017 and is free before 12pm. I highly recommend a visit and rate it 4 out of 5 pineapples ūüôā so do hurry!!#

With sweet and sour love,

Pineapple Chicken

 

Science: Whale Exhibition at the Natural History Museum

Hi Everyone! Welcome to another fun filled adventure on the Pineapple Chicken Blog. This post is especially close to my heart as it covered all my shenanigans my 28th birthday. As per tradition, I do not work on my birthday and took the day off. Luckily, my sister was also able to join me in my wanderings.

Palm Vaults, Hackney

First stop, I visited the most instagrammable cafe in London. I would honestly say that it was love at first sight! Pink and with hanging plants in pots, just my idea of heaven. The staff are super friendly and given that I was there around 12pm on a Tuesday the atmosphere was chilled. A great way to start the day.

They are famous for their smoothie bowls, so I ordered the mango smoothie bowl with blue algae. It was surprisingly not too sweet and refreshingly cold. If only the London weather was warmer! My sister ordered their banana cake topped with coffee mascarpone and cocoa nibs. Though sweet, the texture of the cake was dense and moist.

Accompanying my smoothie, I ordered the “layered matcha” drink. I had no idea what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it. My sister gave a scrunched-up face of dislike. It came iced and when mixed together became this rather unappetising grey/purple colour, (I am really not selling it!) but tastes of a refreshing matcha latte. I loved it and I would recommend it as a good alternative to coffee. My sister ordered an iced latte – good coffee, no complaints.

Though, Palm Vaults was out of the way for me, I really loved it there and it gets a smashing 4/5 pineapples from me. For the first time, I believed in the hype, so much so that my sister bought the t-shirt!

Temple of Hackney (Seitan), Hackney

Whilst I was already in the area, I thought I would go to the Temple of Hackney to try their vegan fried chicken. Yes, VEGAN! When I mentioned this to my colleagues the next day, everyone just gave me a “Gross”/”Yuck” comment, but that is because they are all meat eaters (haters!). I, on the other hand, am grateful that there is a restaurant out there trying to accommodate vegetarians and vegans need for fried chicken tasting things!

When we walked over from Palm Vaults (10 minutes), there was a queue outside of shop. The few seats out in the front were also filled with patrons. Clearly, there is a very loyal following. I spent a lot of time looking the menu. It was diverse, ranging from burgers to wraps to just the meat itself. They have chicken wings and pops with a variety of sides. This is definitely an attempt to being the real deal and not your average Chicken Cottage!

I decided to go for the 2-piece meal (fries and a drink) with a side of gravy as this is what I would have normally ordered when I was a meat eater. I was excited and anxious to see how seitan would taste as a meat alternative. For those who are unaware of seitan, it is made from wheat and has been used in many Asian dishes as a mock meat. I have had it in very traditional forms of cooking in Hong Kong temples but this is the first time I have had in a fast food context. It has been nearly a year since I have had fried chicken, so you can imagine how I was feeling (wiping the drools)!

I was disappointed with the food – I am sure I am upsetting many loyal patrons, so I would like to apologise in advance. Firstly, the gravy – do not order it. It was extremely watery and tasted like salty water. Considering I had paid ¬£1 for a very tiny pot, it was not a good start. The size of the chicken pieces was large so you are getting your money’s worth. The batter was crispy but lacked texture – it was just a thin covering and the seitan, though flavoured was just a poor substitute. It is extremely dense and after a few bites, I gave up because I ended up chewing for too long. The fries were good, but I don’t think I need to go to a vegan fried chicken place for good chips.

I am glad that I tried because I have wanted to for a long time. However, I left disappointed and will not be going back any time soon, therefore, it only gets 1 pineapple out of 5 from me. (I apologise that I don’t have any photos of the food, I forgot to save the photo from instastory – FAIL)

Whales: Beneath the Waves – Natural History Museum

The grand finale of the day is visiting the Natural History Museum for their new whale exhibition to celebrate the new Blue Whale display (who has replaced our beloved Dippy the Dinosaur). The Natural History Museum is my favourite place in the whole of London, I have joined as a member and loved the fact that I can go to certain exhibitions for free and skip the long queues to get in! Personally, I think it is worth every penny and it is supporting an institution that pioneers in research, education and conservation (all my favourite things!).

I have seen part of the Whales: Beneath the Waves exhibition when I attended the launch party of the new Blue Whale display in the Hintze Hall (see some photos on my instagram) but didn’t have a chance to go all the way round. This time, dragging my sister along, I was looking forward to the rest of the exhibition. Though it was not as large as I hoped it to be, it was very informative. It is suitable for all ages filled with interactive activities and videos – it wasn’t just a bunch of skeletons and some letters on a wall.

The most memorable feature was the display showing the gestation stages of a whale. It was so bizarre and I was convinced that it was fake until my sister assured me that it was the real deal! They were perfectly formed but could fit onto a size of an A4 piece of paper. Mind-blown! Another impressive feature was the skeleton of the Thames Whale that sadly died in 2006.

I really enjoyed myself and I think the Natural History Museum did a great job of using other media to bring whales to life. It gets a solid 4 out of 5 pineapples. I left with a big smile on my face and an AWESOME retro baseball styled tee with a whale on it!

The exhibition is available until the 28th February 2018 and an adult ticket costs £11.50 online.

Until next time…

I am just organising all my photos but I hope to post about my day trip to Paris (and the shopping I did!). I have some exciting adventures this bank holiday weekend! AHHHH can’t wait to share that with you all as well. I hope you all have a wonderful week ūüôā

With Sweet & Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken x

  1. Do comment below if you think that there is anything I should visit or you would like me to review! (:

Art: Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the first every post of Pineapple Chicken *crazy chicken dance around the room*. I am very excited to share my new adventures with you as I turn 28!

Adventures, food and deep dives

The aim of the blog is to provide a snippet of all the amazing things London has to offer. I will try and do something exciting each weekend, whether in London or travelling and provide a review here.  I am open to any suggestions that anyone might have or recommend, so please comment below!

As well as having fun in London and beyond, we must eat! Therefore, I will also be incorporating some food reviews (I am hoping to work through the Michelin Guide’s¬†Bib Gourmand London List), but it will be from the perspective of whether there are any yummy vegetarian options. For all the omnivores out there, I will be relying on friends and family on their comments.

As I have aged, I have found that I have less and less time to spend time on my interests and passions. Having realised this, one of the main reasons I decided to keep a blog was so that I would be able to research and do a “deep dive” on topics I really care about and hopefully you will engage in these discussions too :). For more¬†details ¬†about me and the blog, please visit the “About” page.

Now, without further ado, let us begin with the weekend beginning 12th August 2017.

Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition

I was very lucky to start my adventures on Saturday 12th August relatively dry given the torrential rains we had experienced during the week in London, though you might spot some ominous grey clouds in my photos!

I had planned to visit the Royal Academy Arts for their annual Summer Exhibition. For those who would like to visit, please note that it ends on the 20th August. If you would like to purchase tickets you can find them here but you better hurry!

An adult ticket costs £15 with gift aid, if you have an Art Fund Pass it costs £13. I highly recommend purchasing the Art Fund Pass because it gives you free entry to over 240 museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions. I have found it invaluable and absolutely LOVE IT. It has encouraged me to explore art exhibitions outside my comfort zone as I try to maximise my use of the pass. Currently, if you order an Art Pass the are offering a free graphic tote too (until 20th August)! TOTE Life! 

The Royal Academy of Arts is situated near Piccadilly Circus tube station (Piccadilly and Bakerloo line) in the wonderfully elegant Burlington House. If you are planning your day, there is a lot to do around the area as well, including the iconic Fortnum and Mason, as well as cute little market РPiccadilly Market which are just across the road!

My cousin recommended the exhibition having gone herself. I did not realise that there was so much history behind the Summer Exhibition (250 years). ¬†The exhibition’s aim is to celebrate young artists of today and is open to all submissions. According to their website, it is one of the largest open submission exhibition in the world. This really gives you an idea of the sheer size and number of art works that is exhibited (over 1,200).

If you do get a chance to visit, I would suggest to purchase a printed list of works for ¬£3.50 at the shop before entering the exhibition and bring a pen! All the artwork is labelled with a number instead of the usual didactic panels as you would expect. I believe this was to partially aid traffic flow, though, I thought this was a shame because I would have loved to have delved deeper into my favourite pieces and understand what inspired the young artist’s work. All the artwork is available for sale so you might want to bring your cheque book or a credit card with a large limit!¬†(though most were already sold as indicated by the red dots).

In my opinion, the number of works was the best and worst attribute. It is truly phenomenal to see different mediums of art, from paintings to sculptures. However, I did find it at times, overwhelming and queried the¬†quality of some pieces, though that might be due to my untrained eyes.¬†Nonetheless, there were some memorable pieces (which I couldn’t afford or were not for sale).

Overall, the Summer Exhibition gets a 4 out 5 pineapples from me! There was so much to see and it does leave you feeling inspired by the talent of all the young artists. I recommend taking your time, enjoy a glass of bubbly or G&T (there is a bar inside) and embrace all the beauty and quirkiness it has to offer!

Next posts will be the new Whale Exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London and Paris! As always, do comment on any suggestions on where I should go or what you thought of the blog!

With Sweet and Sour Love,

Pineapple Chicken

PS. More photos of the day will be posted my instagram @pineapplechicken_ so keep an eye out!