Thomas Woodham Smith

LIfe in the Arts Lane - Week 71 - Shopping and Sipping in the South

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 16.04.2014 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

On Sunday it's goodbye to the Oval, London, and hello to Montpellier, Languedoc, where Michael, my carpet dealer friend and I picked up a rental car and drove to Avignon.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 70 - Spring Has Sprung

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 09.04.2014 | UK
Thomas Woodham Smith

The clocks went forward and the blossom looks lush, pink and heavy on the trees. Spring brings eagerly anticipated light and those ephemeral tiny-petalled flowers which have burst from their buds almost look relieved after all the effort they have made

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 67 - Approaches to TEFAF

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 18.03.2014 | UK
Thomas Woodham Smith

On Friday we were invited, by a Masterpiece prodigal son, Vanderven, to their annual dinner at the private club 'Groote Societeit" at the corner of the Vrijtof in central Maastricht. Floris and his wife Nynke are great hosts in the Dutch tradition.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 66 - Here We Go Again

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 12.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

Masterpiece is at a fulcrum moment and it is always the case that TEFAF comes at that crucial moment, the last few pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of exhibitors are falling into place and we are ready to move from the plan stage to the build stage.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 65 - Silence

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 04.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

Last Thursday night the drain burst outside the Oval tube station, in the Clapham Road, where I live. That most disturbing partnership of the words 'raw' and 'sewage' came into play as the road and its neighbours were awash to above waist height.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 64 - Change or No Change

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 26.02.2014 | UK
Thomas Woodham Smith

The week ended in the King's Road with James Harvey, who has been a great source of creative ideas over the last few years. He is constantly planning and plotting how to improve and develop his business; it is great to admire his verve and consider how many dealers' businesses would benefit from his level of energy.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 63 - A Martini and Masterpiece

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 19.04.2014 | UK
Thomas Woodham Smith

Allegedly the original Martini was made from Plymouth gin, and the cocktail is basically a way of drinking ice cold neat gin with a dash of something to soften the intensity. But that celebratory post-prohibition alcohol-fest belies the sophistication of a well-mixed Martini.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 59 - Westward by Road

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 24.03.2014 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

Back behind the wheel, with my trusty giant Twix nestling in my glove compartment, ready to grant me the benison of its exquisite chocolate, caramel and biscuit melange when a sugar crisis raises its head. Even now, as I guzzle the chocolate stick I cannot resist pretending I am smoking a cigar, something I have never done in real life!

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 52 - The Cycle of Life

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 01.02.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Thomas Woodham Smith

Six cyclists have been killed on the London roads in the last fortnight. He has been cycling in London on a bike with no brakes for eight years. He observes no irony. He gave up skid braking after his knees began to fail, and developed his patent Doc Martin brakes.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 50 - Running to Paris

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Thomas Woodham Smith

I began the week with jewellery and the doctor and finished in Paris. A year ago I was called by my local surgery to have a health review. I did not go; I did not want to go. So, the doctor rang me and said that if I did not make an appointment and attend I would be struck off their list of patients.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 45 - Poached Eggs and Cold Feet

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Thomas Woodham Smith

Some weeks start on Sunday, some on Monday, and every now and again you encounter a rogue week. This was one of those. Last week obdurately hung on until Tuesday night when I landed back in London from Hong Kong.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 44 - Fine Art Asia

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 23.01.2014 | UK Lifestyle
Thomas Woodham Smith

A seven hour time difference and an eleven hour flight can mess with your head. I am in Hong Kong and the boxy red taxi is speeding me to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. I'm in a state of confusion about what time it is and how hungry I am.

Week 39 - Life in the Arts Lane

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 02.11.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

The week is a week of transition. The summer is concluding, and we cling on to its last embers, enjoying the sun and the occasional shower. This is En...

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 38 - Norfolk

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 27.10.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

Ben is quite a character. 6 ft 6 and weighing virtually nothing, he bears his thinning swept back hair and his bold beaky nose as if he were a supermo...

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 36 - August Workers

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 12.10.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

There is a strange unnerving sense of inertia in the air. Everyone seems to be anticipating a holiday or is away on one. Those that remain at work app...

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 32 - The Party is Over

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 08.09.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

The party is over, the music has stopped and the band is packing up their instruments. Outside, dawn captures the last merrymakers as they wend their weary and uneven paths home. Actually, Masterpiece is not a party, it just feels like it.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 29 - A New Beginning

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 11.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

The real stars of this show are the soldiers. As they stand there full of dignity, the heat increases and yet they still stand solid and stable despite their years. Kindly, matronly nurses skitter about with cups of water. Your eyes scan the ranks. Some have effulgent beards, some carry a stick.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 28 - a Tragic Loss

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 02.08.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

Sitting round our dining room table we are enjoying a bottle of Volpetto and some chicken roast by my wife in honey, mustard and lemon. It has given t...

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 26 - Rooster Soup

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 20.07.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

You know you are in a foreign country when you bite down and enjoy your first rooster testicle soup. Okay the rest of the rooster is in the soup too....

Battersea Decorative Fair - Week 23

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 29.06.2013 | UK Entertainment
Thomas Woodham Smith

If you sell Antiques here you face an uphill struggle. If you sell a 'look' you start at an advantage. There are dealers who strive to achieve both, but it is not easy. It is a sort of Holy Grail. It is a credit to the fair that both strands have their place but the team playing in the old, historic, antique way are definitely the B team.

Life in the Arts Lane - Week 3

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 10.02.2013 | Home
Thomas Woodham Smith

These three fairs happen together four times a year and they are an extraordinary gathering. From across Europe they come- Italians, Germans, and Spanish Portuguese. Even down from Scandinavia.

Week One Life in the Arts Lane: Madrid, Holland, Brussels and London

Thomas Woodham Smith | Posted 02.02.2013 | Home
Thomas Woodham Smith

Flying through fog to land at Heathrow from Madrid, I was dazzled by a moment's cloud break. The twinkling expanse of the city stretched out before me; the London eye, the Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park.