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Cultural Indulgence in The Capital: Le Caprice's Art Package
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Cultural Indulgence in The Capital: Le Caprice's Art Package

Picture of Carly Minsky
Updated: 12 December 2015
Popular restaurant Le Caprice offers a high-brow afternoon of indulgence with their Royal Academy package. Guests are treated to a sophisticated meal, completed with a house-made cocktail, and trip to a world-class exhibition at the nearby Royal Academy of Arts. This month, visitors are invited to the impressively broad exhibition ‘Rubens and His Legacy’, making for a top day out in the capital.
Rubens | © The Royal Academy

The Experience

Combining an indulgent meal with an afternoon perusing an art exhibition could well be the culture-lover’s equivalent of a restorative spa weekend. The partnership between reputable Mayfair restaurant Le Caprice and the Royal Academy of Arts certainly offers such a holistic experience, providing guests with all they need to satisfy their gastronomical and cultural appetite. In March 2015 the offer includes a 2 course late lunch or early dinner, a welcome cocktail, and a ticket to ‘Rubens and His Legacy’ – a comprehensive retrospective tracking the pervasive influence of a prolific artist. The restaurant organises everything, so guests can sit back and relax…

The Restaurant

Elegant eatery Le Caprice is tucked away down a quiet Mayfair side street, and yet its reputation guarantees a gently energetic atmosphere even during quieter afternoon hours. The low lighting, nostalgic décor, and genial service from impeccable waiting staff cultivates an old-world charm which transports guests to a time of unlimited luxury. A boozy 2-course meal at an unconventional hour will in any case feel like a rare indulgence, but the restaurant goes to lengths to make guests feel well looked after. The refreshing welcome cocktail is accompanied by a bottomless basket of bread, which includes a rich chocolate muffin that comes particularly recommended by the manager.

The set menu for the Royal Academy package offers a choice of three options for each course including fish, vegetarian, and meat. The dishes are carefully put together with attention to complimentary flavours and textures. The broccoli soup, finished with delicate poached quail eggs is particularly recommended to start, and perfectly pairs with the succulent fillet of Pollock cooked with Umbrian lentils as a main. There’s an extensive wine list and waiters on standby to advise on pairings.

Crispy Duck
Le Caprice- Crispy Duck | © Le Caprice

As the meal finishes, guests are presented with their exhibition tickets, and ushered on to complete the package experience.

The Exhibition

‘Rubens and His Legacy’ at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, is the first major overview of the Flemish Baroque painter’s work, that of his contemporaries, and his artistic descendants. The show is organised conceptually around the themes of Power, Lust, Compassion, Elegance, Poetry, and Violence. Unusually for such a broad survey, the curatorial intentions are easy to discern, as the commonalities and causal connections between Rubens and the artists he influenced are presented clearly. The result is a fascinating foray through some of the most diverse and provocative periods in art history; the curious visitor can learn just as much about the social and political dimensions of the artistic community, as about the art itself.

Although Rubens is best-known for his open fascination with voluptuous female forms, the most striking aspect of his paintings is his masterful use of colour and light. His portraits, landscapes, and religious scenes command and focus attention with ‘spotlight’ effects – a technique that was emulated by his peers and subsequent generations of artists.

Don’t miss the final room of the exhibition for a very different take on Rubens’ legacy in contemporary art, and look out for the subtle details in the huge masterpieces, including some surprises in the stirring painting ‘The Tiger Hunt’.

Le Caprice- Berries
Berries | © Le Caprice

The Royal Academy package at Le Caprice is available all year round, and the Rubens and His Legacy exhibition runs until 10 April 2015

Le Caprice, 20 Arlington Street, London, UK, 020 7629 2239

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, UK, 020 7300 8000