DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post at the beginning of November and have only just got round to posting it now, sorry!
So today started my second weekend on the trot, that I was actually in London for, for quite some time and so obviously I couldn’t leave it totally plans free! I had received an email from BAFTA a couple of weeks ago (that makes it sound like they emailed my personally, it was a generic newsletter that I’m signed up to) about their ‘Life in Pictures’ photography exhibition and so I’d booked myself a cheeky ticket to check it out.
Now after waking up at 10.20am, having planned the night before that I would leave at 10am to allow myself enough time to grab a coffee on route, I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and headed into central London. However in my haste to get out of the house, I made my usual mistake of not paying any attention to the weather and so about 5 minutes in to my journey, found myself in sodden ballet pumps, which I was very much regretting, however the show must go on, BAFTA house was calling!
Once I’d found my way to Piccadilly (and worked out the right direction to go in line with the building numbers, I ALWAYS struggle), I came across a very inconspicuous looking building, with the only giveaway that it housed something marvellous, being the famous BAFTA mask over the doorway.
The whole premise of the exhibition was to showcase the fantastic range of photos taken from BAFTA events and specially commissioned series by famous photographers. Now anyone who has spent, I don’t know, an hour with me (slight exaggeration) will know that I am a massive BAFTA and Oscars fan. The fact that we are about to enter the season of potentially award winning films being released, is already getting me excited and so the chance to actually visit the headquarters of such an amazing institution, was quite fantastic. And 195 Piccadilly, you didn’t let me down.
As I walked up the stairs, I was greeted by the biggest BAFTA mask I’ve ever seen, alongside various famous film quotes on the walls.
From here I then walked in to a cute modern cafe, which housed the beginning of the exhibition. After taking quite some time (at least 3 or 4 minutes) to work out exactly where to start and which direction to head in, I began my little tour taking in some of the most beautiful photos of some of my very favourite actors and actresses.
Put it this way, the fact that there were 4 or 5 different images of Eddie Redmayne was not lost on me! My favourite was this one, taken by Gavin Bond, however with Eddie, its always very difficult to pick just one!
I then made my way upstairs, simply thinking that I was going to find a few more picks to then come across a very innocent looking cabinet, housing some truly breathtaking items. To begin with I almost walked past it, however after a double take, I saw it, a real life BAFTA award, and if that wasn’t enough, it was casually chilling with an actual Oscar statuette! As a girl who loves her movies and award ceremonies, so much so that I’ve applied to work at BAFTA, I am not ashamed to say that I actually shed a tear. They were just incredible and probably the closest I’ll ever get to one in real life. (I wish I’d got a photo to prove it but there was a volunteer lurking around so I chickened out, big mistake Becky!)
My final surprise of the morning then came down a thin balcony, leading to a boardroom, which after studying my slightly confusing floor plan, I thought just led me to more pictures. So off I went and as I began to look around the room at photos of BAFTA fellows through the years, I came across a plaque on the wall and at that point realised that I was stood in not just any boardroom but the boardroom where they decide who gets the bloody awards!
Well it actually took my breath away. I couldn’t quite get my head around the fact that this quaint little room with its old wooden table, was where they made the big decisions, the ones that I look forward to watching every year on a very special Sunday night in February. Mind Blown.
And with that, I trundled back into the cafe, paused for a moment to see if I had enough change to stop for a coffee, just so that I could string out my visit a little longer (I did not, another big mistake), before I headed back down the stairs and out in to the dreary London weather, remembering the magic that I just seen inside.