InigoInigo Logo

Five Good Things: what to do, visit, see and book this April

It’s thought the word April comes from the Latin ‘to open’ – perhaps in reference to all the spring flowers beginning to bloom. Looking at the array of exciting cultural events across the country this month, we’d suggest you do something similar with your diaries too…

Five Good Things: what to do, visit, see and book this April

Angie Lewin: Wild Garden’, the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, until 29 April

Some of you may remember the delightful piece we published by Angie Lewin, about the ways in which the pottery designs of Eric Ravilious inspire her painting. If, like us, you were utterly charmed by her watercolours of flowers in mid-century mugs, you’ll be just as pleased as we are by the news that Edinburgh’s Scottish Gallery is currently holding a show dedicated to the artist until 29 April. All pictures are for sale.

While ‘Wild Garden’ is largely flower-focused (and boy, are those blooms beautiful), we’ll admit to being just as taken by the fabulous cups, pots and jugs they’re displayed in – from a pearlware ewer for tulips and a mochaware mug to packs of Staffordshire dogs among dahlias, and some brilliant blue-and-white china holding anything from explosive marigolds to the purest anemones. Ravilious is, of course, in attendance, holding a clutch of foraged feathers and sprigs of spey larch.

In every picture is the quiet suggestion of man’s relationship to nature. Each of Angie’s vessels – far from empty – is more than a mere receptacle. Made and decorated by hand, chosen carefully by the artist, the ceramics are not handmaidens to the world’s bounty, they’re pedestals for it.

For details, visit the Scottish Gallery’s website.

Shown right: Dahlias and Dogs, 2022; top: Parrot Tulips and Fritillaries, 2022

Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until 11 June

You might have heard of Morris dancing, but what about Boss Morris, the all-female troupe from Gloucestershire radically reinventing this centuries-old tradition? What about the Gay Bogies on Acid? “Part man, part bush and big part alcohol”, they’re the leafy LGBTQI+ May Day minders of Hastings’ Jack o’ the Green. These – and many more – are among the subjects of Compton Verney’s spirited new show, Making Mischief, which looks at the myriad expressions of folk customs through costume and runs until 11 June.

As well as celebrating the history of these traditions and their connection to our landscape and wider culture, the exhibition – which includes more than 40 costumes from across the country, from Cornwall to Orkney – seeks to redress the misconception that folk is stuck in the past. Incorporating the voices of practitioners and joined by archive photography, many of the exhibits – including a child’s equine outfit, complete with bells and bridle, for South Ronaldsay’s Festival of the Horse – are on public display for the very first time.

This show is a rare treat indeed and, in a world where the local is increasingly threatened by the global, an important one too.

For details, visit Compton Verney’s website.

Shown: Sir John Benjamin Stone, The Players in the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, c1900

Portraits of Dogs: from Gainsborough to Hockney’, the Wallace Collection, London, until 15 October

An exhibition devoted to dogs? You’d be barking mad to miss it. And, happily, you’re unlikely to, for the Wallace Collection’s ‘Portraits of Dogs’ runs until 15 October.

Bringing together more than 50 canine-themed paintings, sculptures, drawings and taxidermy pieces (all without a human in sight), the much-anticipated show has been in the pipeline for a while, having first been slated for 2020 before being postponed as a result of the pandemic. Surveying the centuries, it explores the ways in which mankind’s depiction of our four-legged friends says as much about us as it does them – from Edwin Landseer’s moralising Victorian mutt in Doubtful Crumbs to a Roman greyhound carved in marble, by way of Stanley and Boodgie, the dozy dachshunds belonging to David Hockney. Oh, for the love of dogs!

For details, visit the Wallace Collection’s website.

Shown: Rosa Bonheur, Brizo, A Shepherd’s Dog, 1864 © The Wallace Collection

Country Creatures with Jeremy Lee, at the Double Red Duke, Oxfordshire, 23 April

And now to the Cotswolds and the Double Red Duke, the Oxfordshire coaching inn known for its sumptuous rooms and sublime menus. On 23 April, however, things get even more spoiling, with the launch of this year’s series of kitchen takeovers organised by Country Creatures.

Lunch with Jeremy Lee is always a treat (as we know first-hand). The head of Quo Vadis’ kitchen is a host nonpareil with a knack for knowing exactly what you want to eat before you even do. How, then, could one fail to be delighted to learn that he’s first up on the hotel’s line-up, which runs on various dates throughout spring and summer?

Collaborating with the Double Red Duke’s head chef, Henrik Ritsen, Jeremy will dream up a four-course menu to be served from the open kitchen, no doubt inspired by the same British sensibilities espoused by his much-loved Soho institution. Tickets cost £70.

For details and to book, visit the Double Red Duke’s website.

Atelier Ellis’ new shop, Bath, Somerset, opening 25 April

Picking paint colours is famously tricky. Even a hastily brushed patch on a bare wall doesn’t give a true sense of the finished project – to say nothing of minuscule swatch cards. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see colours properly and in a domestic setting before you commit?

Enter Atelier Ellis new shop, a tremendously pretty townhouse on Walcot Street in Bath, where founder Cassandra Ellis has recently relocated, which opens on 25 April. With seven spaces across its four floors, the shop has been designed to help people discover “how they would like to live and the colours that will help them tell that story”.

As well as offering paint-mixing services on the ground floor (where a walled garden should help visitors find further “space, shadows, art and inspiration”), there are contemplative rooms upstairs, the palettes of which will change each solstice. Cassandra, whose studio is on the top floor with the rest of the team, will also host one-on-one colour consultations by appointment.

For details, visit the Atelier Ellis website.

Want to see more?

InigoInigo Logo

Like what you see?

From decorating tips and interior tricks to stories from today’s tastemakers, our newsletter is brimming with beautiful, useful things. Subscribe now.