Well. Yes, I know, I can hear you all saying it as you huddle over the fire clutching your warming cup of tea, “Who on earth would want to go to the Lakes in February?” Look at the picture of Windermere last Thursday. Rarely have I seen it so serene and beautiful under an azure sky with the snow-capped hills in the distance. Ever February for the last 15 years there has been a “Short Break for Collectors” at the Rothay Manor Hotel at Ambleside www.rothaymanor.co.uk. Those in the know return there time and time again to enjoy not only the cosy comfort of this family–run hotel, but also the medley of lectures and visits which Aspect Events organises for them.
This time we had lectures as varied as “The Glasgow Boys”, the late 19th century school of painters whose originality was as revolutionary as any school of painters working at that time, a talk on Paul de Lamerie, the unsurpassed Huguenot silversmith whose style transformed English silversmithing in the early 18th century. In addition we benefited from the fact that the local Armitt Gallery holds one of the best collections of work by Kurt Schwitters in the country. If you are unfamiliar with his name, he was a German émigré whose work was spoken of in the same breath as Picasso and the other great artists of the inter-war years.
Visits are always part of the programme. This time rather than a country house we went to the thousand year old Lancaster Castle which not only contains Her Majesty’s Courts of Justice but also one of her prisons followed by a sumptuous tea at the extraordinary Art Deco Midland Hotel at Morecambe, which has been so admirably restored after years of decay. The hotel is of particular interest to aficionados of Art Deco as it is one of the few buildings by Oliver Hill, its architect.
The programme was as varied as any we have organised over the last few years and guaranteed to appeal to all collectors with either specific or general knowledge. As always the event ends with a quiz based on matters which have been discussed during the stay. So if you do not know who Aimé Argand was or what a Kokoschnik is then you need to attend one of our breaks at Rothay when such important matters will be made clear.