Apollo
Rakewell

Sajid Javid in the thick of it

25 January 2020

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

No one could have been more delighted than Rakewell to see the front page of the Financial Times last week. Your roving correspondent was not as thrilled by the subject – the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid – as by the general mise-en-scène. The FT showed Javid in a somewhat curious pose, looking away from the camera and towards his right and seated at a table in a seemingly empty cafe with a reproduction of Tamara de Lempicka’s Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti (1929) above his head.

The front page of the Financial Times featuring Tamara de Lempicka's 'Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti' (top left) and Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Pickles cafe.

The front page of the Financial Times featuring Tamara de Lempicka’s Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti (1929) and Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in Pickles cafe in Westminster.

While others may have been marvelling at the lurid yellow and green walls behind the UK’s finance minister, Rakewell felt the warm glow of recognition – for the photograph was taken in none other than Pickles, a cafe on Old Queen Street, just a few doors down from the Apollo offices. Rakewell was also more than tickled to make sense of a scene witnessed a few days before – The Saj seated in a rather more populated Pickles, and surrounded by listeners who really were, it turns out, hanging on his every word.

But who can see a politician inside Pickles these days without thinking of the cafe’s most memorable appearance – in the final series of The Thick of It – when the rather more menacing Malcolm Tucker plots the downfall of his boss?

Malcolm Tucker plotting away in PIckles in ‘The Thick of It’

Malcolm Tucker plotting away in Pickles in The Thick of It

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

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