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Broadway Studio + Gallery

Muddy says: I absolutely love this Letchworth gallery. The space itself is uplifting: light and bright, the exhibitions continue to be different and interesting, and of course I have to mention the café for coffee, cake or a glass of wine. I love Broadway Gallery!

The first time I visited Broadway Studio + Gallery, yes, I had to look for it, and yes, I am now extremely pleased to be able to spread the word about it. It’s actually not difficult to find, but it’s not on the High Street. It’s on the first floor of The Arcade in Letchworth Garden City.

First things first. Do you know Letchworth? It’s the world’s first Garden City. The first! In the whole wide world! I find the whole Garden City story fascinating, and if you’re going to visit a Garden City, then it makes sense to start with Letchworth.

The gallery delights on so many fronts. First of all, if you happen to be there on the opening night of one of its exhibitions, you could for a minute think that you’re in a London gallery. It is a sublime space. And then, the exhibitions are so brilliantly curated and range from the very quirky to the very beautiful and of course, some are both beautiful and quirky. The curator Laura Dennis is clever and wise and she often links the art to the gallery’s unique location in Letchworth. Laura also manages to attract international artists to show their work in Letchworth. There are always interesting events and talks to coincide with each exhibition. Everyone who works there is knowledgable and enthusiastic.

The café is also a great place for a daytime visit. The coffee is superb, as are the cakes, and there’s even a grand piano if you want to have a go. And it’s actually a very quiet and restful place, so it’s perfect for reading, and, dare I say it, for homeworkers who want to avoid the inevitable cabin fever that comes from spending too much time at home.

In addition to the exhibitions, the gallery offers so many events and activities, including the Family Arts Studios. These are essentially messy play but on a higher level: the sessions are run by professional artists. Laura Dennis also makes life easy by offering dates for Bring Your Baby Tours of the exhibitions.

Broadway Gallery is full of surprises and creativity, and there’s this lovely tingly feeling that you never quite know what they’ll think of next.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire