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Muddy Stilettos and the fleshfest

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Girl With A White Dog,1950-1

I took my own advice and I went to the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery last week (clever Muddy Stilettos!).

Whether the reality of the exhibition lives up to the hype depends on how much of a chuff you give about art really. I’m not particularly keen much of Freud – I like his early stuff and late self-portraits, not so much fleshy full-frontals – but I can honestly say I really enjoyed it.

It takes about an hour to view the paintings, unless you’re the type who likes to stand for hours, making small sketches and murmuring to strangers about sable brushes, shading and Cremnitz white pigment (Lucian’s favourite, doncha know).  An hour is about perfect in my book – any longer and I get a bit itchy for a Sea Breeze. And of course, if you time it right, you’re just minutes from Covent Garden and Soho for dinner afterwards.

We pre-booked tickets for the exhibition for 6.30pm – it was pretty busy. The gallery does limit numbers though, so if you have a favourite painting that you want to spend some time in front of, you can do it. I was able to peer up close at quite a few of my favourites which was quite a thrill.

PS Went to Hix on Brewer St for dinner afterwards with the ball and chain. Very buzzy (we had bar seats), very noisy (God, I am getting OLD), average cocktails, brilliant burgers, no kids. Heaven!

Lucian Freud Portraits exhibits until 27th May at the National Portrait Gallery. Adult tickets £14.

Hix, 66-70, Brewer Street, London, W1F 9UP

Self-portrait, 2002

Girl With A Kitten, £1947

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