Friday, April 28, 2006

London continued - update on Thursday and the Tates

Hard to think, but Paul and MaryPat are already in Istanbul, Sherri and Jane are probably landing about now, while Nancy is getting ready to board her plane in Seattle. By tomorrow night (11 p.m. Istanbul time) all of us will have arrived in various stages of jet-lag.

Meanwhile, back to the Thursday adventures, the Tates were both wonderful, especially the Tate Modern - from the refreshing, new way to look at spaces point of view. And the superb lunch/tea we had in the restaurant at the top of the Tate Modern put us in a very good mood. We took the lift up to the 7th floor and quite fortunately got a table right on the side of the restaurant, along the floor to ceiling windows that face the Thames and look down at the landscaped and textured waterfront and the city along the other side of the river in the background. No skyscrapers, a real mix of historic buildings and modern.

OK, OK, I know you want to know what we had to eat for lunch: Jane had a red onion tart with a salad of parmesan shavings and rocket (a rather challenging form of lettace), Sherri had a lovely arrangement of mackeral (sorry, can't find the spell check, my collegues at LAA know what a bad speller I am) and I had some steamed greens (dainty bits of broccoli) and a grautin of leeks (cut up lightly cooked leeks with a creamy cheesy thing sort of baked on the top.) Then we followed up with tea and scones, with the inevitable and quite addicting, clotted cream and jam. Clotted cream is not clotted at all that we could tell, its like a light, fresh butter, with a touch of sour cream perhaps. Whatever it is, we liked it. We justified this extravagant meal by calling it our dinner, rather than our usual dainty lunch (ha ha!)

So after lunch and actually looking through the collection, such as it was (half of it was being rehung, so we only got half, one half of which was very nicely displayed - abstracts by Rothko, Pollack, and lots of others, the other half was a bit more crowded and didn't seem as striking.) Then to save our feet for more gallery walking we took a genuine London taxi cab to the Tate Britain. Cute little taxi vehicle, pictures were taken, cost was £3 each including a generous tip (the driver had forgotten to turn on his fare machine for half the drive, but we tried to make it up to him.)

Tate Britain was nice, but we didn't have too much time there before it closed. Then out to walk up to St. Martin in the Fields, via St. James Park. Very nice walk, great to excape the cars and traffic and to admire the tulips and flowering trees and cheeky squirrels. Then to the church to pick up our tickets and get in line (can't figure out how to spell "que" for getting in line here)for seats when the doors open. We got in, £8 for seats on the side of the church with obscured view of the strings. Bach works for viola and other assorted pieces in the first half (we declined to purchase the program for £1, so who knows what they were playing.) (I have to say that after a while it all sounded quite similar . . . wish there were some winds playing that would have kept me a bit more involved perhaps!) At 8:30 it was announced that there would be a 20 minute interval, and we decided that we would call it a night, since we had to walk back to hotel and get ready to pack up tomorrow.

Walk back in the brisk air and the bustling street life was great. We walked right through Seven Dials, did not witness any murders or skulduggery however. (My mystery reading made me a bit apprehensive.)

A good nights sleep was had by all.

No comments: