Arty sans farty

Thou Art in Hampstead – everyone loves a good pun – has been open on Mill Lane for 20 whole years, which is quite impressive considering the shelf-life of your average Mill Lane shop seems to be about 25 minutes. Framing’s the name of the game at Thou Art, but it’s worth popping in to check out their collection of etchings by local artists. All the work currently on show is by the Art Group in Hampstead, which is currently made up entirely of North London-based female artists.

If you’re in the market to buy buy buy, then you can get your grubby little art-loving mitts on pieces from somewhere between £50-£100. Theresa Pateman’s been spending too much (or not enough) time at Bake-a-boo, with a series of biscuit & cake related etchings, like this aptly named Biscuit Fantasy:

Theresa Pateman loves biscuits...

Alternatively, if you prefer your art a little more hands-on, then you’ll be wanting to head over to Art4Fun on West End Lane. With the amount of pottery just sitting there, waiting to be painted, you’d be a mug not to go. Get it? I’m so so sorry…

Pick out a dinner plate or what have you, grab some paint, and do your worst. They take care of the glazing and firing, and you get to take home your embarrassingly poor effort (though you do have to come back and collect it at a later date, after it’s been fired).

They serve the usual tea time drinks and snacks, but they’re also happy for you to bring in a bottle of wine, or order in a pizza – perfect for late night Tuesdays (open until 8pm).

It’s a kiddy-friendly affair and, as you’d expect, they do parties for the little ones, but on your average Saturday afternoon, it’s jam packed with grown-ups, all with smiles on their faces and paint on their clothes. Depending on what item you choose, you’re looking at a tab in the region of £15-£25.

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