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Top 5 art destinations to visit by superyacht

4 of 5 4/5


Picture courtesy of Istock.com / Chris Dorney

If you're tired of London, one of the best places to spend Christmas, you might be tired of life — or you might just be exhausted from visiting this glorious city’s abundance of art museums. So perhaps it’s better to pick just a few…

*Where to visit: *From your berth at St. Katharine Docks, next to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, begin an art-focused exploration with a lengthy wander west along the Thames to Somerset House, just shy of Waterloo Bridge. This Neoclassical building, completed in 1553, has royal — and Tower — links. In 1547, soon after Henry VIII’s death, Edward Seymour (the eldest brother of the late king’s third wife) had himself deemed Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset and began building himself a palace. Seymour was executed on Tower Hill for treason before its completion, but Princess Elizabeth called it home until she took the throne in 1558. Today, its Courtauld Gallery includes iconic works by Manet, Degas, Monet, Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin, while its Embankment Galleries features contemporary exhibitions such as Hair by Sam McKnight (until March 12, 2017), which celebrates the career of the master hairstylist who helped develop the images of Kate Moss, Princess Diana and others.

Afterwards, continue west along the Strand to the National Gallery, home to more than 2,000 Western European paintings. Next door, the National Portrait Gallery houses over 200,000 portraits — drawings, paintings, photographs and such — from Anne Boleyn to David Bowie and Emily Blunt.

While you could easily fill a week visiting London’s other well-known museums — the Tate Britain, the Tate Modern and the Saatchi Gallery, for starters — check out other spaces as well. Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall displays artist Damien Hirst’s collection and Leighton House Museum in Kensington contains works by Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896) and his contemporaries.

*Where to eat: *Set over two floors of a converted 18th-century building in Mayfair, Sketch’s three restaurants include the two Michelin-star Lecture Room & Library, with menus conceived by French Master chef Pierre Gagnaire, and the Gallery, which features 239 works by celebrated British artist David Shrigley.

*Where to drink: *At the National Portrait Gallery’s rooftop Portrait Restaurant, you’ll enjoy views across the London skyline while sipping a God Save the Queen martini (Hendrick’s gin, elderflower liqueur, fresh-pressed cranberry juice and lemon juice).

Additionally, at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s The Magazine Restaurant, you can toast your cultured self with a Magazine Bellini, created with homemade limoncello, white peach and thyme topped with Prosecco.

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