Georgia O’Keeffe at the Tate Modern London

Georgia O'Keeffe at the Tate Modern London

As a teenage girl, I had a Georgia O’Keeffe poster on my wall (calla lilies). I think many American ladies of my age enjoyed her artwork. As someone without an art background, I just liked the pretty flowers. I have always liked modernist art, and Georgia O’Keefe is quite simply an amazing painter. But other than painting flowers large and up-close, I was not aware of O’Keefe’s other works. So when I found out that her works would be exhibited at the Tate Modern art gallery in London, I couldn’t wait to drag take Husband.

Georgia O’Keeffe is known as a prominent artist from the American Modernism movement. She famously said, ‘men put me down as the best woman painter…I think I’m one of the best painters’. And she really was. Her flower paintings, while garnering praise, has always brought the unwelcome talk of sex. O’Keeffe has always said that the flowers did not represent female genitalia, but many people found the flowers too erotic for them to just be flowers. She painted more than just flowers. Her paintings of New York skyscrapers are also renowned. O’Keeffe also painted animal bones and landscapes, amongst other things. Her animal skeleton paintings are really captivating (from the time after moving from New York to New Mexico) and I think I need one of the prints for my living room.

After seeing the exhibit (which takes about 45-60 minutes), Husband and I looked at some of the free exhibits before having lunch at the Tate. If you are thinking of coming to London to see the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Tate Modern, it will be there until the 30th October. Please try and see it as it is rare to see O’Keeffe’s works outside of the USA. Tickets cost £17.20 per adult, with discounts for children and other concessions. I printed off a 2-4-1 discount from Days Out Guide (we also had to show our train tickets, not oyster, for that day’s travel). I love a bargain, and I love Georgia O’Keeffe.

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London Museum of Water & Steam

London Museum of Water & Steam

I know I am always going on about how lucky we are in London to have access to so many wonderful museums. But it’s true. I have lived here for 14 years and I don’t think I have been to half of the museums. Though to be fair, before we had children we spent most of our time at pubs/bars and fancy restaurants. But these days we are museum-regulars. We have our favourite places, but we also enjoy going to ‘new’ museums. A couple of weeks ago we visited the London Museum of Water & Steam for the first time.

First of all, Husband and Dubz love a steam train. So they were both excited to have a ride on the Waterworks Railway (which run every weekend). But first, we explored the inside of the museum. We learned the history of London’s water supply (which I promise is more interesting than it sounds). Moozles enjoyed the dioramas showing how houses changed over the years, and was shocked to find out how recent it has been for people to have showers and toilets inside their house. Both kids enjoyed some dressing up as a Victorian parlour maid and an engine driver, though looked miserable for the photos. Though they couldn’t hold back the smiles when Husband did his old-timey phone voice (which you will see on the vlog).

One unique feature of the London Museum of Water & Steam is that there are steam pumping engines. They run them at various times, and it is quite interesting to watch in action. Moozles’ favourite part of the museum was the splash zone in the courtyard. She and Dubz loved playing with the gears, pumps and levers. Moozles did not want to stop though, and kept playing while Dubz and I rode the steam train (a few times). If you watch the vlog below, you will see us riding along and Dubz candidly exclaimed how much fun he was having. He wanted to cuddle while we rode along, and it was just one of those lovely moments I will remember for a long time.

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London Favourites: Tate Modern

London Favourites: Tate Modern

For those of you who aren’t familiar with London or have only been once or twice, I thought I would start regularly posting about all my favourite London attractions. Places that you should visit, whether as a foreign tourist or someone who lives in the UK. We briefly considered moving out of London after we had our first child, but realised that there was no where else we would rather live. I’m sure you all love your towns/cities/villages, but me, I love London.

First stop –  Tate Modern, which is located on the Southbank. One of the great things about London museums is that many of them are free. Although you do have to pay for the special exhibitions, much of the museum is free for all to peruse. There is so much to see, that you would need to make several trips. And don’t assume that children won’t love a modern art gallery. My children had a fun time, and have asked to go back to the Tate again.

We went on Saturday, and our first stop was Liminal on level four. There are boxes, of different shapes and sizes, which children (and adults) are invited to try and use to make sculptures. Moozles and Dubz made a robot, and Dubz even donated his hat (for a minute) to make the robot a bit snazzier. Tate Modern have a few kids-oriented exhibits like this, allowing the children to participate in the art.

London Favourites: Tate Modern London Favourites: Tate Modern

After looking at some art installations, we were feeling quite hungry so we popped into the Tate Cafe. We hadn’t eaten there in years, and were pleasantly surprised at how the food had improved. Husband and I had the three course Christmas menu (which cost £25 each). We raved about the meal for days, as all the courses were superb. My potted shrimp starter was my favourite course. Husband loved his duck main. And the kids’ favourite was pudding (what a shocker). Tate Modern give kids a free main meal, at lunchtime, with every adult meal. Such a lovely touch! We enjoyed the meal so much, we are planning to go again soon with family.

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London Favourites: Tate Modern

After lunch, we had a stroll by the river and even spotted one of the Paddington bears that are dotted around London. There is also a German market by the Tate, which is on until Christmas Eve. There were some lovely stalls, but it was hard to have a good look as I was firmly holding on to little hands. There was a lovely little chalet that people were relaxing in, drinking mulled beverages. But alas, that was not meant to be.

We did see a chalet filled with pocket watches. For some reason, Moozles is obsessed with pocket watches and has been wanting one for ages. So after letting her have a good look, I distracted the kids while Husband bought her a pocket watch. She is going to be so happy come Christmas morning! All in all we had a lovely family day out. Dubz had his first trip on a train and the underground. We got culture, good food and even a little Christmas pressie.

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We were invited to have a complimentary lunch at Tate Modern to try out their Christmas menu. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.