Photographer’s Gallery London reopens: and it’s a bit of disappointment

Photographers' Gallery reopens at 6-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW near Oxford Circus London, 19th May 2012 19th May 2012

I’d been really looking forward to the Photographer’s Gallery in Ramillies Street, near Oxford Circus London reopening, and went along over the weekend to see the changes.

Photos of a walk to the 2012 Olympics site from Mile End, past Victoria Park, East London, England UK, 28th August 2010

From the outside, the building does indeed look rather grand, with a natty brick and black wood finish emphasising the extended height of the refurbished gallery.

Photographers' Gallery reopens at 6-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW near Oxford Circus London, 19th May 2012 19th May 2012

On the ground floor, everything is shiny, new and rather corporate looking, with the space now hosting the cafe.

Photographers' Gallery reopens at 6-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW near Oxford Circus London, 19th May 2012 19th May 2012

Sadly, after the long-serving Billy and his popular cafe staff were unceremoniously hoiked out of the building as part of the refurbishment, the cafe has just about lost all its charm.

Apart from the loud video screen, there’s no actual photography on the walls, so it doesn’t even feel like you’re in a gallery any more, and the food – though tasty – was horrendously expensive.

We were charged £3.50 for a cake and £5.50 for a roll. Ouch! Bring back Billy’s wife’s home-made cakes!

Photographers' Gallery reopens at 6-18 Ramillies Street W1F 7LW near Oxford Circus London, 19th May 2012 19th May 2012

Happily, the upstairs gallery space has been done out rather nicely, but I’m not convinced what the point of the exercise was as there doesn’t seem to be that much more photography on show than before.

Check out the rest of my comments about the new space – and see more photos here: Photographers’ Gallery at Oxford Circus reopens - and be sure to add your own comments below!