Edinburgh art museums are a big part of my life style in Scotland. Every so often I like to spend a couple of hours admiring the permanent collections. I have some favourite paintings or sculptures that are very special to me and when I go back to see them again, it feels like visiting a long distance relative *hello uncle Pablo Picasso!*
More often than not, there are new exhibitions and displays that catch my eye and I just get super excited and plan a whole day out around them. I would usually do some “homework” and read or watch videos and movies before going; so I can learn to understand the art that I am about to see, rather than just enjoying its superficial beauty *girl boss*
Last Saturday, I finally had a clean diary with no trips, social occasions or friend gatherings and I definitely knew where I wanted to go: the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to check out the “Surrealism and the Marvellous” display.
The museum is open from 10am till 5pm every day, so I thought that it would be a good idea to start the day by going for breakfast to somewhere nice and then spend as much time as we wanted among crazy dreamy paintings without needing to leave because we are hungry *hanger!*
Brunch Buffet at The Lookout by Gardener’s cottage
For some months now I wanted to try the amazing buffet breakfast at The Lookout by Gardener’s cottage, which is located at the top of Calton Hill. I got this recommendation in the Google Maps app, as they are able to provide some suggestions of places you are likely to enjoy based on the ratings and reviews that you have already submitted. As I swiped through the pictures, I knew I would love to have a meal there – a restaurant with floor to ceiling glass windows that offers panoramic views of one of the cities I adore the most in the world, my cherished Edinburgh!
The menu looks modern and tasty and I was happily surprised when I found that they have a buffet breakfast that runs every day from 10.15 to 11.30. Breakfast / brunch is my favourite meal ever and I thought that I would surprise my husband taking him to such an amazing location to have a buffet brunch, something we only enjoy when we are traveling and staying in a hotel.
I didn’t tell him where we were going and he was utterly surprised as he had never heard of The Lookout by Gardener’s cottage. I had very high expectations for the breakfast, which comes at a fixed price just like any other buffet, and I was very impressed. Sourdough bread and crusty and delicious pastries that are made at the Leith bakery, organic eggs, British cheeses and many other breakfast goods *and gods!* that are locally sourced when possible and always aim for the top quality.
The views were just incredible even on a Scottish foggy day; and it felt like a true dream to be in the moment, enjoying a buffet breakfast whilst looking at Edinburgh’s buoyant city. We talked about how this could be us during any holiday and imagined how our life would have been if we never came to live in Edinburgh but were just visiting, from our home in Madrid or Buenos Aires. What if everything was a dream? That was the sort of charming confusion that I wanted to create for both of us, so we started to feel a bit surreal; providing some sort of entry point for the art exhibition we were about to see.
Surrealism at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
The exhibition was very interesting despite being smaller than I anticipated, with paintings from the Spanish Salvador Dali and Joan Miró *hola, hola!* as well as other really well-known contributors such as Rene Magritte. Even if sometimes I don’t fully understand the meaning of the canvases, I like to think of them like representations of something that they dreamed about or an irrational thought or feeling such as fear.
Surrealism is some sort of spin off from a previous artistic movement, called “dada”, which took place in Europe around 1916. Just after the First World War had ended, a handful of artists felt that they needed to rebel against the status quo, which is probably a natural reaction if you take into account the desolation that must be left after such destruction. They loved the chaos as opposed to the established, found principles such as law and logic boring and reflected about concepts such as unlimited freedom, the irrational and anything that involved nonsense. The reason they did this is clear: they thought that all the old values, including political and cultural ones, had caused the war.
Whilst dada wanted to focus in the anarchy and confusion, some artists wanted to drift more into the irrational space and they started to explore psychoanalysis, dreams and anything that was beyond reality. Surrealism was born *sur-realism in French would translate as above reality* and in 1924 André Breton wrote the famous manifesto. Some artists started to emerge, such as Salvador Dali who quickly became one of the maximum promoters.
1939 marks the start of the Second World War and a lot of surrealist artists moved away from Europe, mostly to United States. They will keep painting and creating however the next generation is ready and the Abstract Expressionism will take over, evolving some of the surrealist principles into things such as “action painting” *hello Pollock!*.
This exhibition will be in Edinburgh until the 2nd of June and it is free, so I don’t see any reason for anyone to miss it *please go and then come and tell me everything!* <3
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
Average rating / 5. Vote count:
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Thanks for your feedback!