Meeting Mona Lisa – Boll-art in Winchester
I was heading for my dinner at The Old Vine in Winchester when I glanced up and saw her standing there. The first time we met in Paris, I watched the crowds pressing up around her but I couldn’t get close. Then I ran into her again at an exhibition in Manchester and learned what lies below the varnish. It was Mona Lisa, the girl with the most famous smile in the world, staring at me from a painted street bollard.
As I glanced around I realised that Mona wasn’t alone but was one of a crowd of artistic bollards in The Square in front of Winchester Cathedral. There was the loved up Klimt couple on a golden bollard, the red, yellow and blue Mondrian squares, the Californian Hockney pool, the Lautrec can-can girls and Picasso’s languid lovely . It was boll-art gone as wild as you might dare in slightly-sedate Winchester.
In Bristol we may paint murals on street hoardings and underpasses, but in amongst the medieval, historic and half timbered buildings of Winchester a painted bollard is street-art that’s quite in keeping with the surroundings.
To take a look at the painted bollards in Winchester, head for The Square near the entrance to Cathedral Close. I highly recommend the Old Vine in Winchester for drinks with friends in the trendy bar or dinner in the old inn restaurant. The smoked salmon mousse was both pretty and delicious and the bread and butter pudding is a house speciality.
Now let’s see how well you know your artists – hover over the photos to discover which is which.
If you’re visiting Winchester you may also enjoy my article – On the Trail of Jane Austin in Winchester
Visitor information for Winchester
There’s more information about the Painted Bollards in Winchester at The Colour Factory
We enjoyed dinner at The Old Vine near the Cathedral in Winchester – an old inn with stylish bar on one side and lovely food among the oak beams on the other.
We stayed in Winchester at The Winchester Hotel, a modern and stylishly decorated hotel and spa within walking distance of the town centre. Check for the best hotel prices in Winchester and book here.
For more information on things to do in Winchester and the surrounding area you will find the following websites useful;
Visit South East England - Your guide for fun things to do and places to visit in south-east England covering Kent, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
You’ll also find our sister blog with tips on how to build a successful travel blog at My Blogging Journey