Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Visiting London: Borough Market, Tate Modern and The Blues Kitchen

Staying overnight in Tulse Hill this weekend meant that
The Shard, London 
our journey into central London took us to London Bridge railway station instead of our more usual starting point of London Victoria. I didn't realise the iconic Shard building was going to be directly overhead and looking straight up from its base was bizarre. Vertigo alert! We also spotted the Gherkin, the Cheese Grater and the new Walkie Talkie building peeping over the skyline. I couldn't get such good photos of that trio though and I am quite proud of this moody Shard shot!

Our first destination was Borough Market which I have heard about from others many times, but never actually visited before. On the way we passed a(nother) replica of Francis Drake's ship, The Golden Hinde. We were a little blase about it having recently seen a remarkably similar Golden Hinde in Brixham. Did someone order a job lot?!

Borough Market wasn't so much a place to visit as a giant hall to struggle through. Perhaps a rainy Saturday in June wasn't the best time to go because hundreds of other people had had the same idea. I got an idea of the wealth and variety of products on offer and the whole experience was quite overwhelming, but there wasn't enough space to properly browse. Our guide, Dave's daughter Carrie, told us that it's never much quieter there regardless of when you go! We did find a good lunch from the street food stalls. Dave sampled a Balkan spinach and cheese burek and I chose an Indian chickpea pancake filled with masala potatoes.

Tate Modern was also busy (especially the cafe where we
Valentine by Evelyne Axell 
were served quickly but had nowhere to sit!) but the crowds here were far less rushed. We toured the free galleries of hit-and-miss modern art. I found a few pieces I really liked, all of which (I think) was by artists whose work I hadn't seen before. Pictured to the right is Valentine created in 1966 by Belgian artist Evelyne Axell. Valentine depicts the liberation of the female body as personified by Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. It is oil on canvas with the addition of an zipper and a helmet.

Babel 2001 by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles was fabulous but impossible for me to photograph well as it was displayed in a darkened space. The work illustrates the information overload experienced in modern society and consists of a huge tower made of radios. There were dozens of them dating from the 1940s to the 2000s, tuned to different radio stations, and stacked from the floor to almost the high gallery ceiling. Finally, a display of numerous images by German artist John Heartfield were surprising as they were created and displayed in the 1930s and are very anti-Hitler and Nazi-ism. Six are pictured below so you can get the idea.

Images by John Heartfield 

After the Tate Modern we made our way to Brixton for an evening at the Ritzy Cinema. Last year we saw the film Suffragette there and this time we were lucky to catch the new Michael Moore documentary, Where To Invade Next. It's an interesting film which I will soon blog about fully in a post of its own.

The Blues Kitchen
(photo pinched from their website!) 
That busy Saturday pretty much wore us out and neighbours partying in their garden until 4am didn't allow us much sleep so I was glad to be taken to The Blues Kitchen for a reviving Sunday brunch. I absolutely loved the decor and ambience here. There is parquet flooring on the walls, Blues music images everywhere, a neon name in a fishtank, stained glass lampshades and beautiful copper tables. Whoever designed this place did a fantastic job! The food is excellent too. I had the Healthy Breakfast which included poached eggs, fried kale and sweetcorn fritters. Those fritters are now my new favourite food! And the coffee was considerably better than that served at the Tate. I definitely want to go back to The Blues Kitchen next time we are round Brixton way.

2 comments:

  1. Lovely post :-) Thanks for sharing!

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    xoxo

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by :-)

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