<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">

What really went on inside Number 10

8 July 2022

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.

As Boris Johnson finally announced his departure, Rakewell couldn’t help but feel the nation breathe a sigh of relief. All the drama and prevarications of the previous few days were over (although he shows no sign of setting an actual leaving date). Yet people seem to be overlooking the real news.

No sooner had Johnson resigned than the details (finally) emerged about the famously marvellous interior-design work undertaken at Downing Street. Given how long he has spent there it may turn out to be some of the most expensive work ever carried out on a money-to-days-enjoyed ratio – but who is Rakewell to quibble?

The proof of this, if proof it is, arises from what according to The Independent, purports to be the invoice from interior Lulu Lyttle’s work. Rakewell has nothing but perfect taste, so imagine our pleasure at seeing the fineries that bedeck Number 10.

Lulu Lytle interiors modelled by her dog Panther. Photo: Guy Bell/Alamy Live News

While much has been made of the wallpaper (including, in the drawing room, an item priced at £1,500 – but was this just one roll?) what about the exquisite fabrics? Rakewell suggests you take a look at the ‘1 no Fabrics and upholstery’ at £5,000. Alas, the invoice does not indicate which pattern this might be but with the chic of ‘Dianthus Chintz – Imari’ available, how could anyone be disappointed?

Political winds blow hard at Downing Street, so we do see that hurricane lamps are less of a luxury and more of an essential. Who could demur at spending £1,755 on a single light when the light is so glamorous: please note the hammered bronze back.

Yet the item we simply can’t get over is the ‘Nureyev drinks trolley’. Naturally, this £3,675 drinks trolley is inspired by the style of the famous dancer. And who can say that anyone has failed to meet his exacting standards when they look at this magisterial piece of homeware. We can only hope that it played a central role in the parties that have done so much to bring us to where we are today.

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.