What's My Weekend: Rory Blain

The contemporary art expert and director of s[edition] shares his weekend

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By the time Friday evening comes around I'm about ready to sell my soul for a drink, so we head straight to the nearest pub. Our offices are in Notting Hill so that usually means The Churchill Arms (119 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LN, enq: 020 7727 4242, churchillarmskensington.co.uk). It's a completely bizarre place - the decor is knick-knack shop meets the hanging gardens of babylon - but there are always some great characters around and they offer some pretty good Thai food if more than beer is needed. Around closing time I like to head to a favourite old haunt - Raffles on Kings Road (287 King’s Road, SW3 5EW, enq: 020 7351 4964, raffleschelsea.com). They've been around forever - largely because they're great at what they do! Good music, some great DJs and plenty of dancing - just what a Friday night should be about.

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Saturday morning (often worryingly close to Saturday afternoon) I like to wander round the galleries and museums. I work with contemporary art so it's nice to enjoy some exhibitions I don't always get the chance to see professionally. My favourite museum in London has to be the V&A (Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL, enq: 020 7942 2000, vam.ac.uk) - the building itself is a work of art, and their permanent collections are exquisite! London is an incredible place for art lovers - our museums are world class and the exhibition programs are incredible, it's so easy to take it all for granted. If browsing the V&A leaves me with any time then I'll stroll through W1 to see the gallery exhibitions. Starting at my brother's gallery Blain|Southern (4 Hanover Square, W1S 1BP, enq: 020 7493 4492, blainsouthern.com), I can walk a short circuit to see Gagosian (6-24 Britannia St, WC1X 9JD, enq: 020 7841 9960, gagosian.com), Hauser & Wirth (196A Piccadilly, W1J 9DY, enq: 020 7287 2300, hauserwirth.com), Sprueth Magers (7A Grafton St, W1S 4EJ, enq: 020 7408 1613, spruethmagers.com) and Sadie Coles (69 S Audley St, W1K 2QZ, enq: 020 7493 8611, sadiecoles.com) - and finish up with afternoon tea at Claridges (49 Brook St, W1K 4HR, enq: 020 7629 8860, claridges.co.uk). When the weather's good, there's no better way to spend a day!

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By evening I've worked up a good appetite so I'll be checking out cocknbullrotisserie.com - they're mobile caterers so the website's the only way to find out where they'll be. I discovered these guys recently and since then I think I've eaten my own body weight in their food. I've no idea how they do it but never has chicken tasted so good - I haven't even been able to try their beef yet, I'm too addicted to get that far down the menu.

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Saturday night is cinema, and now the warmer weather is here I like to find open air screenings if possible. The Luna Cinema (thelunacinema.com) do some great events, classic films in amazing settings, and you can bring your own picnic. My favourite film-treat is a selection of ganache from Maison du Chocolat (46 Piccadilly, W1J 0DS, enq: 020 7287 8500, lamaisonduchocolat.com) combined with a really good bottle of red wine - you'll never want to look at popcorn again! But sadly they're not showing every weekend so I often fall back on the Coronet in Notting Hill (coronet.org) - a proper old cinema with character! I'm not so fond of the modern multiplex...

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Sunday is even more relaxed - I'll lie in and make french toast for breakfast, then head out to some bookstores. I try to support the smaller independent bookstores where I can, but I do love the big Waterstones (101 Jermyn St, SW1Y 6EE, enq: 020 7839 9980, waterstones.com) in Piccadilly, I lose whole days in there. I might eat in the top floor restaurant there, but more likely I'll head to Cecconi's (5A Burlington gardens, W1S 3EP, enq: 020 7434 1500, cecconis.co.uk). If i'm lucky they'll have one of my favourite dishes - an incredible wild boar ragu.

 

Rory Blain is a contemporary art expert, fomerly of Blain|Southern Gallery and Haunch of Venison. He is currently the Director and COO of s[edition], the online platform to collect & trade digital limited editions by artists including Damien Hirst, Yoko Ono and Tracey Emin
 

 

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