• A new exhibition exploring the 1,000-year history of coronations at Westminster Abbey has opened in the abbey’s medieval chapter house. The exhibition, which has opened ahead of the coronation of King Charles III on 6th May, draws on historic illustrations and archive photography to explore the elements of the coronation service including the oath-taking, anointing, investing and crowning and takes a closer look any some of key artefacts present in the ceremony including the Coronation Chair. The exhibition, which is free with admission to the abbey and which runs until the end of September, is part of a season of events celebrating the coronation including themed late evenings, family activities and special afternoon teas at the Cellarium Café. Meanwhile, the abbey has also announced that visitors will be able to view the ‘Coronation Theatre’ – the special area which will be built for the historic occasion, from the Abbey’s North and South Transepts – following the coronation. Tickets for the special viewing – which will include the chance to see key elements from the coronation service including the Coronation Chair still in position on the Cosmati Pavement – can be purchased for timed slots between 8th and 13th May. For more on the abbey’s events surrounding the coronation, see www.westminster-abbey.org/events.
• Hampton Court Palace bursts into colour from Friday with its annual Tulip Festival. More than 110,000 bulbs have been planted to creat dramatic displays in the formal gardens and cobbled courtyards, among them a selection of heirloom bulbs on display in the Lower Orangery Garden which presents visitors with the chance to see tulips as they would have looked during the time of King William III and Queen Mary II, soon after the flowers were first introduced to Britain. Thanks to a special relationship with Netherlands-based Hortus Bulborum, the bulbs on display include Sylvestris (1595) and Rubella Broken (1700) as well as the Orange King (1903) and Queen of the Night (1940). Other highlights of the festival include 3,000 wine-toned tulips, including the merlot variety, flowing down from the steps and parapet of the Wine Fountain, as well as a floral fantasy in the palace’s courtyards in which tulips such as Raspberry Ripple, Apricot Emperor and Purple Prince flow out of wheelbarrows, barrels and a horse cart, and a free-style tulip planting in the Kitchen Garden inspired by Van Gogh’s 1883 painting, Bulb Fields. Runs until 1st May. Admission charge applies. For more, see https://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/whats-on/tulip-festival/.
• The recently acquired Bernardo Cavallino work, Saint Bartholomew has gone on show at The National Gallery. The painting, which dates from 1640-45 and which was last exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1993, is being displayed alongside other 17th century works by artists such as Caravaggio, Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi, Guercino, Reni and Ribera in the Hans and Julia Rausing Room (Room 32). The National Gallery has one other work by Cavallino – Christ driving the Traders from the Temple – but his depiction of Saint Bartholomew is considered one of his most splendid works. Admission is free. For more, see nationalgallery.org.uk.
• Featuring everything from a celebration of African Caribbean takeaways to a “deep-dive” into the issues surrounding food production and access, Food Season kicks off at the British Library Monday. Highlights include a discussion of the sandwich by food writers Nigella Lawson, Jonathan Nunn and Rebecca May Johnson, a day-long celebration of African Caribbean cuisine featuring chefs and broadcasters Jimi Famurewa, Fatmata Binta and Andi Oliver, and, an exploration of the big challenges in food, land use and food production featuring author Henry Dimbleby alongside Dr Tara Garnett, Nick Saltmarsh, Abby Allen and Dimitri Houtart. Runs until 7th June. Admission charges apply. For the full programme, see www.bl.uk/events/food-season.
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