Saturday Night @ Tate Modern, Bankside

Last Saturday, we visited Tate Modern for dinner and the Paul Klee‘s exhibition. I was nearly shaking off my cold and itching to go out. Therefore, Hubbie booked the tickets on internet and off we went.

Tate Modern has been my most favourite art gallery ever since it opened its door to the public in 2000. I especially love the architecture. The old Bankside power station was remodelled and refitted by a talented architectural duo, Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron in order to accommodate a vast collection of modern art which was stored in the Tate’s warehouse because of the lack of suitable space…

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A mass of brickwork with an equally imposing chimney looms above the Thames. A volume of its brickwork and colossal weight is unarguable. It appears impregnable and impervious to any external assault. Yet, its footing, where the building meets the ground, is punctuated with narrow glazed slits here and there. These juxtapositions of heavy vs light, density vs weightlessness and opaque vs transparent, fuel my fascination and imagination every time I visit the gallery. For me, the charm of Tate Modern is all about this thought-provoking paradox which is dotted around all over the complex, including their art collection.
Another famous architectural face of Bankside is the Millennium Bridge by Sir Norman Foster, which connects the foreground of the galley with City of London. Approaching Tate Modern via the footbridge must be the most spectacular and rewarding way for many visitors. However, the bridge itself doesn’t excite me as much as the gallery does. Do you know why? Yes, the bridge looks great. However, it doesn’t inspire nor intrigue me. It’s a marvel of British engineering but not a piece of art which initiates any philosophical debate. The bridge could have won my praise if the design of the bridge, especially the Bankside end, was integrated to Tate Modern’s forecourt seamlessly. Instead of a cumbersome footing with zigzagging lamps, why the bridge could not morph into a part of the landscape? The effect would have been so much more elegant and magical. Well, the landscaping between the bridge and the gallery was somehow awkward from the beginning anyway. Maybe there was some artistic disagreement between three great architects?

Our entry to the Paul Klee exhibition was from 19:30, therefore, we decided to have dinner first…

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Tate Cafe on the ground floor was fairly busy but their service was brisk and efficient.
I pondered between a burger or fish & chips, but in the end, fish & chips won me over…

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The battering encasing the fish was so crisp and moreish. And the potato was fried to its perfection. Their mushy peas was minty and refreshing.

For dessert, we shared a slice of coconut meringue Swiss roll with red berry compote…

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Our first two choices, trifle and cheese cake, were sold out, therefore, we didn’t expect much from our third choice. But oh my! We were betrayed in a good way. The cake was moist, fluffy and divine. And the berry compote added perfect zinginess to otherwise delicate texture of the cake.

After dinner, we browsed around a bookshop on the lower ground floor…

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There were more than a few coffee table books I want to add to my Christmas wish list…

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Then, we headed to the exhibition on the second floor via escalator…

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For me, the escalator ride from the lower ground level to the second floor gallery level is one of the best Tate Modern experiences.

Paul Klee, here we come…

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The exhibition was wonderful.
And I shall definitely review it properly in a few days time.

We left the gallery, thoroughly satisfied and excited…

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The new extension of the gallery will be completed by 2015. I can hardly contain a huge expectation I have towards this exciting project…

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Will it be as awe-inspiring as the existing Turbine Hall? We will have to wait and see for another 2 years. I shall keep on reporting any progress at the site in future…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

19 thoughts on “Saturday Night @ Tate Modern, Bankside

    • I am so glad that you like Tate Modern too! There are lots of galleries and museums in London. But when it comes to visiting experience, for me, Tate Modern has no rival. Especially, I love the Turbine Hall. Sadly it will be closed until 2015…

      • Yes, unfortunately. They are building a massive extension next door by the same architect. And the Turbine Hall is all boarded up with tiny viewing windows. I am gutted because I love large scale art shows they used to exhibit in there. I’ll update in my blog if the hall becomes available any sooner.

  1. The Tate Modern is one my favourite places too! Whenever in London, I’m a regular visitor. I love floating from one room to another and can spend hours in the shop. I have yet to see the Tanks, need to catch a performance next time I’m around!

    • One great thing about London is visiting public museums and galleries which are largely free except special shows and events. It is a shame that Tate Modern has to close the best feature, such as the Turbine Hall, for the extension work next door. Let’s hope the project will be completed on time and the new space will give us even more amazing visiting experience (^-^)

  2. this is such a good reminder for me. thank you Kaori! The only times I go to the South Bank is when I have friends from abroad visiting and we do the rounds. I always mean to go back and just mooch, explore all in my own time and pace.

  3. I really enjoyed visiting the Tate Modern — and the Saatchi — the last time I ws in London, in 2010. Thanks for taking me back with pictures and words! I look forward to your review of the Paul Klee exhibit!

    • There are certain drawback of living in London but free entries to public museums & galleries is a definite plus point. The Paul Klee exhibition was not free but the show was worth every penny we paid (^_^)

  4. I’m so glad that you were able to go out and have such a fabulous date night with your Hubbie once you were feeling better! I always love when I first go out after I’ve been stuck in the house for days due to a cold. The whole world looks newly minted and everything tastes so good. Your fish and chips looked fabulous, I’m so envious!

    • I love posh fish & chip at Tate. The batter was really crispy and delicious. Even though Paul had to help me out towards the end, it was very enjoyable. BTW, I had a bit of relapse. Last Tuesday, I was out all day visiting friends etc. Then guess what? My cough has returned… It looks like I have to take it easy for a few more days (=_=)

      • I’m sorry to hear your cough has come back. It’s so easy to overdo it when you’re first getting over a cold because you’re just so tired of being cooped inside all the time. I hope you feel all better really soon.

      • Thank you! I am feeling better again. My cough is still here but lass frequent. Everyone around me is complaining how difficult to get rid of the cough of this particular cold. I am sure where you are is not as cold & damp as London. But do take care of yourself (^_^) X

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