I’m going to have to make a visit to London, I think, sometime before the end of the month. At ( Somerset House ) there is an exhibition of Quentin Blake’s illustrations…

Exhibition – Quentin Blake: Fifty Years of Illustration
17th December 2003 – 28th March 2004
The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection celebrates Christmas and the New Year with the work of an artist who is an expert at celebration.

Spanning his 50-year career, this show will cover Blake’s early drawings for Punch and The Spectator, his highly successful collaboration with Roald Dahl and other writers, and his own recent picture books. Rough designs, preliminary drawings and finished originals as well as the final publications will appeal to adults and children alike, providing a unique insight into the working methods of one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators. The exhibition is prepared in collaboration with the Quentin Blake Gallery of Illustration.

Entry is free with admission to the permanent collection. Tickets are available in advance from Keith Prowse Ticketing on 0870 906 3702 (24 hours), or online

Now this I could see anytime up until the end of March… however the thing is there’s also this:

Exhibition – A Celebration of Hungarian Gold and Silver
Gilbert Collection
Tuesday 4 November 2003 – Sunday 1 February 2004

17th century silver-gilt cup by Sebestyén Hann, embossed with a scene of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
The Gilbert Collection is privileged to present an exhibition drawn from the great Treasury of Esztergom Cathedral, established in the 11th century, that of the Eger Franciscan Church, from the Hungarian National Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest.

From the church treasuries come a spectacular group of ecclesiastical objects including the 13th century gold cross, on which the Kings of Hungary took the oath, and an 18th century monstrance, a masterpiece of rococo verve. The two museums have lent cups, coffee pots, tankards and table fountains dating from the 16th century to the early 19th century. This exhibition is the first of Magyar Magic – Hungary in Focus 2004, a series of Hungarian cultural events taking place throughout Britain, starting this November, to celebrate Hungary’s joining the European Union.

…and this is only on until 1st Feb – a week Sunday – so I’m thinking one weekend or t’other taking a day and doing both.

So here’s the thing. Before I decide, one way, or t’other? Do any of my lovely friends want to join me for this spot of culture – and if you do, what day would you prefer?