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Last Friday, for our Around the World February dinner, we visited the National Gallery to see two of Van Gogh’s iconic “Sunflower” paintings, shown together in London for the first time in 65 years.

National Gallery

National Gallery

On Friday nights the museum is open until 9pm, and they offer live music and drinks in the Sainsbury wing, which is where we started our evening.

Musicians at the National Gallery

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We then proceeded to the Sunflowers exhibit. We zipped through the queue (because it was a Friday evening, we only waited about 5 minutes to get in versus the 25 minutes it would’ve taken on a Saturday). After oohing and awing over the celebrated Sunflowers, we took an additional 30 minutes to wander through the museum. I chose to wander through the Impressionists section, where I saw Monet, Rousseau and other Van Gogh paintings. I wish I had pictures to share of the paintings but photography is strictly prohibited in the museum!

We did all this for free, by the way.

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We then made our way down to the National Cafe, where we had a table reserved for dinner and ordered off the specially designed group set menu.

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For a night out with a group of friends, the AMBIENCE is perfect. In fact, it’s just a great place to go on a Friday night for an affordable and tasty meal in a unique and central setting.

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The WAIT was minimal, it doesn’t look like you needed a reservation but that might change during tourist season. Booking my group table was easy-peasy through their online form. Coordinating the rest via email was even easier (the manager was incredibly nice, and catered to us exceptionally well).

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The photos are not very good as it was quite dark inside, but you get the gist. (and am also still learning how to use my new camera!)

The EXPERIENCE is AWE-some. How can it not be? Start the evening listening to live classical music, make your way to the museum to see priceless works of art, and end the night with a super-value and surprisingly tasty 3-course meal.

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Bottom line: Plan your cultural expedition with a group of friends at the National Gallery and National Cafe today! 

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