I‘ve had one of those weeks where I’ve been offline more than online; unintentionally. I just switched off a teensy bit, like my recent set of headaches are telling me to stop looking at my phone screen, tv screen, laptop screen, Kindle screen…that’s embarrassingly a lot of screens in one sentence. The night before, my friend Luan said we were going to the Sky Garden in the morning. Like Cameron in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off I had been lying there in bed, mouth open like a frog catching flies- it was time I got out to do something. I woke up early the next morning, weaved my way through the Suits in the city and towards the Walkie Talkie building.
The lift zipped us up to the 35th floor, my ears popped a little, and there waiting for us was the most amazing sight…coffee. I kid; the view was spectacular. But the coffee is good from the Sky Pod cafe inside, and get an almond croissant, they were delicious. It was a pretty nice start to the day, sipping my morning caffeine looking down on the city of London.
St Paul’s Cathedral looking regal and dramatic…
The Shard stands out like the Eye of Sauron across the river…
And hey there’s the Tower of London. Did you know the Beefeaters actually live onsite there? I learnt that fact on the day. Any place you live in after that must be such a comedown!
There’s Tower Bridge (not London Bridge- looking at you Fergie)
The Gherkin. Which looks like a gherkin as you would expect, even up close. Of course.
Inside, the garden areas are pretty lush. I reckon in a few years when they grow and flesh out a little more, it will look amazing. In fact, I kind of felt like I was at Changi Airport in Singapore, where they have rainforest style gardens inside the terminals- that’s not a bad thing, it was strangely comforting. I walked up the steps, across the concourse and back down again, making sure I got a good 360 degree view of the city skyline all around us.
Our breakfast finished we left the Sky Garden and made our way back to street level. Whilst there wasn’t a parade down below where I could belt out a Beatles song, we did decide to walk past the Tower of London, and across Tower Bridge.
It started to rain, so we took cover in a Caffe Nero and warmed up a little over hot chocolate, before starting off on our walking tour again after lunch by the river.
Once we crossed the bridge, it made sense to just keep on going- past City Hall, and towards the Tate Modern- one of my favourite places in London.
I remember coming here for an art project when I was at school, and sat on the floor in a gallery, sketching a Futurist sculpture. And it’s free to get in. Londoners, we have no idea how good we have it with our free museums and galleries!
So what else to do on a rainy afternoon? Have a look at some Picasso of course…
We had a wander around the rest of the Collections currently showing, from the Russian Revolutionary posters…
…a sculpture (called Large Split Relief No 34) by Brazilian artist, Sergio Camargo, when he lived in Paris…
This gorgeous portrait, Marguerite Kelsey, by Meredith Frampton from 1928. Because, those red shoes. In the 20’s! Mind blown.
We had a browse through the black and white Americana photos from Henry Wessel and ended our visit looking at Nam June Parik’s art installations…namely this awesome robot.
I wanted to buy all of the books in the gift shop- in fact, I think the Tate probably has the best gift shop in any museum here! With a sad glance at the pens that looked like paint brushes, we left the Tate Modern and made the short walk to Blackfriars stations. Gleefully, I discovered the overground from there was only a couple of stops away from Kings Cross which meant I got home doubly quick.
So, talk about a Ferris Bueller day off. I had a bird’s eye view of the city, looked at amazing pieces of art, and walked along the river, steeped rich in history. Definitely worth taking a time out for.