Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Grand Day Out

When my friend Jude suggested meeting in London to see an exhibition on Friday evening, it's so long since I've had a day in the city, it seemed a good opportunity to make a whole day of it.

First stop was somewhere that has been on my sixty by sixty list for a while and that was to visit the Sky Garden at the top of 20 Fenchurch St... Also known as the "Walkie Talkie" building.

I couldn't have picked a better day weather wise as the views from the top were spectacular.

Inside was pretty amazing too... it really was a garden in the sky, a bit like a huge greenhouse! And what is even more amazing is that it is totally free to go up to the top and there is no one trying to sell merchandise like mini walkie talkie snow domes, pens, jigsaws etc either... not to mention the obligatory photographs of one enjoying the "experience"! You just need to book a time slot in advance and go up and enjoy the views.

It's  highly unlikely I would have bought any official photos had they been on offer but I did want one of me at the top to put in my sixty by sixty scrapbook... so I had numerous attempts at a selfie. Why can young people make taking a selfie seem so effortless? I took dozens of photos of myself looking highly self conscious pulling numerous silly faces. This was the best of the bunch... oh, the concentration on my face!

And then I did something I'd never done before and treated myself to a glass of bubbly, which I sat and enjoyed all on my own whilst people watching and admiring the view. Maybe I should clarify... definitely not the first time I've had a glass of bubbly, but the first time I've bought one on my own!

Next stop was Borough Market just over London Bridge, which was absolutely buzzing with activity. 

Every type of street food imaginable was on offer but I selected my lunch based on what I was least likely to dribble down my front. I just wasn't sure I could manage boxes of noodles or vegetables in curry sauces! My cheese and spinach filled Bourak (a Balkan pastry) was delicious.

After a relaxing half hour resting in the grounds of Southwark Cathedral in an attempt to give my legs a break (not literally... one broken leg this year is quite enough) I walked along to the Fashion and Textile museum to see The Jazz Age... an exhibition of dresses and photographs from the 1920s.

It wasn't as interesting as some of the previous exhibitions I've seen at this museum but there were some lovely dresses to look at.

Jude and I having met up at this point, made our way to Tate Modern and sat outside enjoying the late summer sunshine until it was our time slot to see the exhibition we'd met to see... Georgia O'Keefe. I've long admired her flower paintings but found the exhibition a little disappointing. Only one of the thirteen rooms was devoted to her flowers and although there were many other interesting exhibits I guess it wasn't what I hoped I would see.

But we finished the evening with a lovely meal before walking back along the river to London Bridge to get our respective trains home.

And all in all it was a very grand day out indeed.
And today I've had another grand day out in a different city but you'll have to pop back later in the week to read about that... after a quick cake post or two that is!


  1. Sky Garden tick.
    The views were wonderful, the 'garden' left me uninspired. But we could look down on some interesting roof gardens.

  2. Oh Gina, I envy you that marvelous London day, filled with many fine experiences. I like your selfie photo, because it clearly shows you are in a location you are enjoying.

    The clouds seen from the window behind the glass of bubbly are marvelous.

    I think I have told you before about my meeting Georgia O'Keeffe while I was in college? When some years after that I saw a retrospective of her work at the National Gallery in Washington, DC, I was also slightly disappointed. I think the selection of works in that show were not well chosen, and have enjoyed many other exhibits since.

    I'm still hoping to get over to the UK this autumn, and hope we might manage a get together either in London ...that embroidery show coming to the V&A, or the Colour show in Cambridge. I'll keep you posted.

    The best part of your London visit must have been realizing that you've truly recovered your mobility.

    Hooray! xo

  3. That is certainly an impressive day out. I can't believe I'd not caught on to the roof garden before now. Thanks for that.
    What I enjoyed about the O'Keefe was that it covered much more than the flower paintings and gave an insight into how she changed over time. It's always interesting to see how an artist develops. I particularly liked the early watercolours.
    Looking forward to hearing about more 60 before 60 adventures soon.

  4. You certainly packed a lot into your day in the 'smoke'. I hadn't heard of the Sky Garden either but it looks grand! Lovely to meet up with old friends too.

  5. A grand day out indeed, and you celebrated it in style with your glass of bubbly. I think I last went to London about 30 years ago and my feet and legs definitely wouldn't cope now.
    Those lovely dresses made me think of my mother and her sisters in their youth, though I daresay their dresses would have been less impressive.

  6. Seeing the Fashion and Textile Museum in your post has made me think of the Great British Sewing Bee. Amid all the GBBO controversy, I wonder what's going to happen to that. Glad you enjoyed your day.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful day. The walkie talkie building is on my list too. Just have to remember to book a slot. What a shame about the O'Keeffe exhibition. I had hoped to see it before it closes. Bx

  8. It sounds like lovely day out - now that I am further away, my trips to town will have to be better planned, but I'm putting the sky garden at the top of my list. Meanwhile, back to the cardboard boxes ............ Xx

  9. What a great day out with your friend! Glad you enjoyed it so much. Here's to the first of many on your own glasses of champagne in the future - well, you know, just the right amount of many!! xx

  10. Oh to live so close to London -- you lucky girl! Looks like you had a wonderful trip!!!

  11. You certainly made the most of your grand day out. The Sky Garden will definitely be added to my list of places to go, thanks for the info. - the champagne sounds like a brilliant idea too!

  12. What a lovely day! Everything you did would appeal to me too if I had a day out in London especially the Georgia O'Keefe exhibition. To see her flower paintings for real would be enjoyable. (I noticed some framed reproductions in the hospital. The radiotherapy department is a new addition to the building and they look good there). I shall look at them more closely and appreciate them more now you've mentioned the artist.

  13. What a great day out! I love Borough market very much, so much to see and eat. I didn't know about the Sky garden, definitely somewhere I would enjoy, too. Have you ever noticed that people make weird faces for their selfies? Pouts, or shouty mouths etc. I think you own selfie is lovely. x

  14. I like the idea of sitting somewhere beautiful with a modest glass of champagne. Very stylish! You packed a lot into your day X


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