04 June 2011

celadon and cucumber

I usually find the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition disappointing. But as we had the invite and I'd marked the date on the calendar, it seemed a shame not to go. And I'm so glad we did.

There were still some truly awful pieces, but the standard seemed higher than in previous years. The redesigned print rooms featured works by some of my favorite artists, including Larch by Angie Lewin:

But it was this piece that completely made the exhibition for me, Edmund de Waal's white lacquered cabinet containing 70 celadon and white vessels:

© Edmund de Waal

I just finished reading The Hare with Amber Eyes last week, so stumbling on this work seemed fitting. Sadly it had already sold. But I suppose that's just as well: no need to talk G into remortgaging the flat!

For more affordable enjoyment, we made a detour on the way home to Maltby Street Market. While Neal's Yard Dairy, St John, and Monmouth Coffee all have premises here, we were on a mission to sample Kitty Travers' La Grotta Ices.

© Phaidon Press and La Grotta Ices, London, UK

A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, Kitty makes and sells artisanal ice creams from the back of her little white van. She was named in Coco as one of the world’s top 100 up-and-coming food personalities, and last year her company was named Best of the Best in the first British Street Food Awards.

And her ice cream is indeed the best of the best! G had Candied Kumquat and I had Cucumber and Sour Cream, already melting here in the hot Saturday sun:

Simply amazing! I'm so looking forward to opening the carton of Pea Pod Ice Cream we packed into our cool bag. And not only are her ice creams lovely, Kitty is really lovely too. I wonder if she'd consider training an apprentice...


  1. I'd never heard of her... sounds amazing what she's doing. I love people with great ideas and lateral thinking... a little van. Genius....

  2. Only £30,000 for Edmund de Waal, Kristina (I was pleased to come across that one, too).
    But wouldn't you be just as happy with that slightly-smelly coffin made from animal bones? Only £50,000.
    Please don't tell me there was red dot on it ...

  3. The Lewin piece, de Waal's sculpture and your exotic sounding ice cream all look similarly refreshing. Celadon and cucumber are such cooling words.

    Where IS that market, btw?

  4. Those are midblowing ice cream flavours!

  5. Who would ever think of those ice cream flavours... you always seem to hunt out the most wonderful places.

  6. The Cucumber and Sour Cream provided a burst of refreshing coolness on a hot day. Good choice of flavour!

  7. I adore Angie Lewin, but I always miss the summer exhibition because it never shown me anything special.

  8. wow, that ice-cream looks and sounds amazing - fab flavours!

  9. You are an ice cream connoisseur, so she really wasn't the 'best of the best' till she got your stamp of approval! ;) She'd be lucky to have you as an apprentice.