Saturday, August 14, 2010

Stop-over in London

  On our way back home from Greece we had a stop-over in London, England. We had one day to explore this amazing city and I knew  it wouldn't be enough. My only goal was to visit the Tate gallery. In the four years of art school I noticed that some of my most favorite paintings were housed in the Tate. I, of course, didn't know there was more than one Tate.
Since we had the kids with us and we knew they were't too thrilled with walking around art galleries we made sure to bring strollers and a knowledge that we would have to absorb the art fast. The fact that the Tate Britan was free made us feel a little less pressure to take it all in.
I was thrilled to be able to finally see so many amazing paintings that I've only seen in books. I was surprised to learn how big most of these paintings are. My most favorite works were pieces that showed the hand of the artist and their skill. While I did see some beautiful Caravaggio paintings I was dissappointed at how flawless the surface of the painting was. I couldn't tell you how they were painted. The Singer Sargent paintings were some of my favorites and everytime I see one in person it makes me want to paint with fluid, bold and fast strokes.
By some miracle we were able to see the Tate Britan and the National Museum while on our short stay. If I get a chance to visit London again I hope it will be for at least a week because I know the city has so much to offer.
Below are some pictures of some of the pieces that made me "ooooooo" and "aawwwww".

I didn't do any real shopping while in London but I did go into a store which has been established since 1707(!). I only saw a small portion of the Fortnum and Mason store but I have to say that it was just amazing. This is one fine department store! We hit the teas, candy, and pastry floor, of course, but by chance for a washroom we hit the kitchen supply floor and ended up with a new cooking apron. As we walked through we saw beautiful tea sets which the girls loved. As I stopped to pick up a cup I noticed the price....540 pounds! This was not the price of the whole set, this was the price of the one cup. The set will put you back 7,655 pounds.  Below is a photo of the most expensive tea set I've ever seen. I promised the girls that when we got back home we would get some fancy tea cups from the thrift shop for our own tea party but "please don't touch anything!"

So what other places must I visit when I get a chance to make it to London again?

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  1. So glad you had a good time Lori. I love London too. The British Museum, the Museum of Natural History along with the Victoria and Albert are 'must' visits too. When we lived in York I could go down to London for the day to visit galleries. It was fantastic. You have to get back there again one day and see more. It's just so expensive to stay there.

  2. I forgot the Tate Modern, the Mall Gallery.....the Summer show at the Royal Academy. The list goes on. What I meant to say in the last post was that it is unfortunate that it costs so much to stay in London.

  3. Yes. London is VERY expensive. We had dinner at a kid's place with so-so food and it cost $113!