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National Gallery & Cut, 45 Park Lane

Hirst Infinite Wisdom

In His Infinite Wisdom by Damien Hirst

Continuing to push my Balder (electric wheelchair) boundaries, I went along to see Facing The Modern at The National Gallery last weekend – on until 12 Jan 2014 – then stopped off for a steak in Cut, 45 Park Lane.

On the plus side, I coped reasonably well in both venues with the wheelchair other than having to do a twenty-point turn on exit when we parked opposite a BT exchange box on the pavement next to the National – it restricted my exit path by about half a metre!

Oh, and I discovered that I could go too low with my wheelchair seat when I heard a weird rubbing noise as I settled the seat on a hub-cap – easily remedied, thank goodness.

Inside the National, it was all level and lifts apart from one long slope that, on exit, I had to brave frontwards.  My wheelchair nemesis is front-down long slopes – *shudders* – all due to phobic fear of falling forward plus the disconcerting effect of fishtailing rear wheels on a front wheel drive wheelchair.

I did okay though I lost some control with the combination of fear/incline/increased speed.  There was no way I would’ve been able to stop but I’ll worry about that another day when there are more people about to potentially run over.

For info, I thought the exhibition mediocre and unbalanced though not entirely without interest.  Predictably, I liked the Schiele, Kokoschka and Klimt but I had hoped to discover more I would like by lesser-known artists but what was there did not engage me.

We got across to Cut at 6.15-ish.  I’ve taken to early dinners at London restaurants to avoid the rush especially on a Saturday.  The staff spend more time with you; it’s quieter and just more friendly.

Cut, on Park Lane, was brilliantly accessible and we found parking in the road alongside.  Totally level access, so pretty cool until my batteries ran out in the restaurant – very embarrassing but EaZyD had bought the charger and there was a plug point close by.  I imagine the ‘is it possible to charge up?’ request is on Cut’s list of ‘never befores’.

I finally twigged that not holding the charge – this was third time in a couple of weeks – was probably down to needing new batteries (mine were 12 years old!  Etac just laughed when I said they ‘might’ need replacing). I now have shiny new batteries so, hopefully, that will solve this problem.

Wheeling in, the dining room is long and narrow – much criticised by reviewers – but, at this reasonably quiet time, we were easily settled and I was plugged in (wheelchair reference above).  We admired the mirrors, lights, Damien Hirst art, and got stuck in to the menu.

We all just wanted a good steak and chips and, it’s gotta be said, the Wagyu steak at Cut was possibly the best I have ever had.  Not that I’m a connoisseur.  I like steak but it’s not usually a preferred choice for me so this was a change from my norm … and then,  bliss, they had Billecart Salmon Rose by the glass!  I love me some Billy Salmon Rose so, with this and a great steak, was I a happy diner? That would be a resounding yes.  The service was brilliant and we really enjoyed ourselves.  However, it’s gotta be said, the bill was a shocker.

In honesty, I was expecting expensive – we’ve all read the reviews – but the prices still raised an eyebrow.  There were less expensive options available but me&D kind of see foodie experiences as our compensation for not having holidays like we used to so, on that basis, we have no problem having what we want … and we always check that friends are aware before committing them to it.

So, if you’re happy to hang the cost too, I’d thoroughly recommend a visit … Let me know what you think if you do.

Featured Image: In His Infinite Wisdom by Damien Hirst

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