The Christmas period had well and truly kicked in, and to combat both our poor efforts at relaxing we had booked in a duvet day together, Netflix, cheese, and the cat if she cared to join us. Typically however, it got to midday, by which point we’d already been up, hoovered and were both seemingly restless. So, we decided that we would go on a spontaneous date day, even in the horizontal sleet and freezing temperatures.

We walked to the Royal Academy of Arts, which is imposing even in the horrid weather. We collected our tickets and went in for the Dali/Duchamp exhibition.

The Royal Academy of Art

Wewere both hoping for the best as it was quite a pricey exhibition for our normal budget. Thankfully we were both blown away by it. It finishes on 7th January so before we say anymore about it all we can do is implore you to go before it ends. The artwork of both artists was in display, and the exhibition highlighted their close, quirky relationship and the links in their work. The photos by Man Ray of them all hanging out on adventures and letters to each other were brilliant, and the artistic responses to each others work was amazing. Tim’s favourite part of the exhibition was seeing these photos and Jess’ was the showreels of Dali’s Dizzy Dinner party where they were all in costumes with weird things like live frogs being served and real life leopards present! It took about 75 minutes to go around, and cost £15 (£14 with an Art Pass or £10 as a student).

Dali and Duchamp by Man Ray

Dali by Horst

Duchamp’s fountain and Dali’s Lobster Telephone

Duchamp’s Portrait of the artist’s father

Following from the relief of  the success of the exhibition we decided to go for a wander through Mayfair to walk to our lunch stop. We popped in to Fortnum and Masons which looked like Christmas had been sick and reincarnated as a lot of posh food-stuffs, but the window decorations were extraordinary! We also popped into the most amazing bookshop-selling books since 1797, Hatchards. Hatchards is the most amazing place, it’s huge like a cavern, that goes on forever, and has the most beautiful editions of classics, signed versions of coffee table books and brand new releases.

The Fortnum and Masons window display

Fortnum and Masons

Fortnum and Masons

Fortnum and Masons

Part of Hatchards bookshop

Facing the bitter wind and sleet we headed to a new stop for us. Self-confessed ramen obsessives (we hunt it down in every city), we were yet to check out Tonkotsu. They have about 6 across London but we headed to the one in Soho. It was worth every penny. The service was outstanding, the ramen was delicious (we both had the Tonkotsu ramen, creamy, thick and delicious) and the most amazing chicken karagee!! The drinks were amazing and the ramen has moved into our top 3 in London for ramen!

Tonkotsu ramen

Tim with his Japanese Mac at Tonkotsu

Ok, so not quite a romantic date that everyone would do, but on Christmas Day Jess had a little accident with boiling water on her leg, and we had to go and get it looked at. We went to the walk-in centre on Frith Street by Soho Square and were seen in 10 minutes by the most amazing nurse who was caring, hilarious and helpful, so I guess this part was more of a shout-out to the NHS staff and particularly those working over the Christmas period.

On our way home we went via the quintessential London stop, Liberty. Still very Christmassy and extraordinarily busy because of the sales, it was the perfect end to a fabulous date day…and we went home to watch Harry Potter!

Liberty of London

Have you been to the exhibition? What’s the most you’d pay for some culture in London? Let us know in the comments below!