Tate Modern and a weekend in London

31 May 2018

Back in April we had a mini break in London. 

We stayed at The Rookery - a bit of a luxury,  and one of London's most unusual little hotels. 

It is tucked up Cowcross Street in Clerkenwell - just a stone throw up from Smithfield Market. 

Now I am not a bit meat eater - in fact, I am almost veggie - but Smithfield is a historic corner of London.  And poor old William Wallace met a grisly end in this corner of London. 

The Rookery, it must be said, is not budget  - but if you ever want to spoil yourself in London,it is worth every penny. It is like a little refuge tucked behind a very nondescript front door. In fact, you would hardly know there was a hotel there at all. 

Not our room -but it could have been. It's a bit like staying in a historic house. 

But this one was! That little bust in the fireplace was not at heavy as she looks! 

Those books are genuine. All over the hotel are there are little piles of vintage books.

There is no restaurant at the hotel - you can order a simple breakfast, but as there are lots of places around for early morning sustenance this is not a problem. 

Our first morning we went and had breakfast at The Modern Pantry in St Johns Square - just a short stroll away. Delicious - but I do recommend you book. It got very busy.

And we discovered a hidden little garden - the cloister of the Church of St John. 

It turns out that this little patch of London has a long history -  it seems that the square originated in the twelfth century as part of the priory of St John. This was the English base of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, otherwise known as the Knight Hospitallers. 

Over the centuries, what with the ravages of the Catholic Church under Henry VIII and later the town planning of the Luftwaffe, the priory is long gone. But a little garden and cloisters remain. 

Apart from luxury accommodation and rather good breakfasts, we were also there to absorb a bit of culture. 

And, although crowded this was brilliant. Basically, it took one year (1932) of this extraordinary artists life and laid it out through his work.  And I think for the first time, I really got the genius of Picasso. 

Photography was very restricted, so the images here are borrowed from the Tate.

It is on until September. Worth a visit if you are in London (book in advance!)

But elsewhere in Tate Modern we found this.

I cannot tell you how impactful this piece was.

Called 'Pavilion Suspended in a Room' it was by Cristina Iglesias.

Steel - yet it seemed 'stitched together'.

And we also found this by Eduardo Paolozzi - Tapestry from 1966 (you may recall that on a recent trip to Edinburgh I discovered a piece of Paolozzi sculpture outside the RBS Building)

Of course, as a Textile artist, I could not resist this.

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