London Part 10: Museums, Tapas, and the End

Legs still a-quiver from the Drop Dead ride in the London Dungeon, we were to then part ways with our companions for a few hours. The aim: do whatever we pleased!

I asked Ricky what he recommended for the area since he was far more acquainted with it than me. His suggestion ended up being the Tate Modern.

Best decision ever.

I hadn’t been to a gallery since the Rodin exhibit in Montreal, and before that…man I don’t even know. But it’s been ages since I frequented the halls of artists past and present.

But before we even got there, my excitement bubbling as I imagined what sorts of inspiring work I’d soon be seeing, we came across a giant used book sale set under a bridge. We browsed for a while, nothing really jumping out at me, until…

I found this.

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A Tolkien Bestiary by David Day – hardcover.

It was possibly the single most exciting find I’ve ever come across at a book sale. I’d first seen the Tolkien Bestiary by David Day in Andrea’s Tolkien collection, but since then have never come across it as it seems to have been out of print for a while.

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It’s so beautiful and it’s in my hands ❤

But here this one was – just sitting on the table ready to be snatched up – for £7.50 no less.

Later, I looked through it and discovered it was a first edition too.

Cue the nerd swoons. It made up for the fact that I hadn’t bought anything at Forbidden Planet. In fact, it ended up being the only thing I bought for myself during the trip aside from the London Dungeon photos.

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Just look at the illustrations.
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The style is just so beautiful.
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And the layouts…
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In colour too!
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Text aside, this is one beautiful book.
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I’d have got it just for the illustrations even if I wasn’t a Tolkien fan.
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But especially as a Tolkien fan, this is just such a diamond of a find.
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Beautifully inspirational.

So I pretty much cradled this next to my heart for the rest of the day.

We got to the Tate Modern just as it started to rain (look at us with our impeccable timing!). There were quite a few free exhibits, so we headed in their general direction. The first was a study of artists and their representation of space, shape, and the connection to the human body. I ended up finding quite a lot of quality pieces there (at least to my taste).

Here were some of my favourites – though sadly I neglected to write down the artist and title for each one, so if you guys recognize one feel free to leave a comment to let me know!

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The next exhibit ended up being…I’m not really sure what. It was very modern and mostly sculptures. Marta in her Marianopolis College days during 2007-2009 would have probably loved it. Contemporary Marta was a little underwhelmed.

As I wandered through a room in which giant burlap sacks made to look like mounds of potatoes were roped off, I mused for a few minutes on how much your tastes can change. Ten years ago, I was all about abstract installation art.

But, as I went into the last exhibit and came across a wall full of Mondrians, I realized that some things never do change.

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Note: I adore Mondrian. Mondrian and I have very fond memories.

Once we’d expended all the free exhibits, we decided to get some lunch. It was quite late in the afternoon by now – more for coffee than for lunching – and our full English’s could only get us so far before refuelling. (If I was a car, I’d be the least fuel efficient car in the world – one of those old, gas-guzzling pickup trucks from the 50’s).

Both of us were craving something a little more exotic than your standard British pork pie, and at Ricky’s recommendation we ended up at a Greek tapas place he’d been to before: The Real Greek.

For the first time ever, I didn’t actually take any pictures of my food (gasp!), so unfortunately I have nothing to show for it. But believe me when I say it was lovely.

We found a really decent deal for Sunday lunching. Or at least the internet told us it was a really decent deal: turned out it had expired, but their website hadn’t updated. That said, the staff was super nice and let us order for the stated price anyway.

So we ordered four plates off the menu each and they came out on a lovely tiered tray (great for maximizing table space).

Everything was amazing. Hummus, tzatziki, olives, flatbread, pork belly, chicken skewers, saffron rice – and surprisingly the aegean slaw being possibly the best thing there.

Considering we had eight plates between us, it came to a tidy £35. Granted, this is around $70 in CAD, but for London? For eight plates? Yeah we were quite proud of our budget splurging.

By this point, we didn’t really have a ton of time left. It was pretty much down to coordinating a meeting point with everyone at the nearest Tube Station. Side story: it was in the station that I also paid for a bathroom for the first time. Popped 20p into a turnstyle and was allowed to pee. I grumble about it, but also grudgingly admit that the whole place was much cleaner than public restrooms back home.

Once we were all gathered together, it was back to the car in Greenwich so we could get an early start on the weekend traffic.

And thus it was that the end of our London adventure came to be.

Ten posts, folks. That’s how much stuff we packed into three days. Ten posts worth. It was a trip of a lifetime and every second was well spent.

A big thanks to Sharon and Tony for making it happen – best Christmas present ever! You guys are amazing!!

And with that, I now declare the London posts concluded.

If you missed one or want to relive these marvellous adventures, check out the links below.

London Part 1: Cable Cars

London Part 2: The Tower of London

London Part 3: The Tower Bridge

London Part 4: Mulled Wine and End of Day 1, or The Importance of Down-Time

London Part 5: Big Ben, Parliament, and Westminster Abbey

London Part 6: Palaces of Past and Present

London Part 7: Fancy Shopping, Japanese Food, and Geekery

London Part 8: Chilling at the Icebar and Belly Laughs in Greenwich

London Part 9: The London Dungeon


9 thoughts on “London Part 10: Museums, Tapas, and the End

  1. That book makes for the very BEST of souvenirs. We have David Day’s “Tolkien’s Ring”. He’s one of those Canadian authors one can be VERY proud of! Born in BC, he is 10 years older-10 days younger than me. I would have cried if you’d have had to leave the book behind!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know he was Canadian! I met him at Indigo when he was doing a book signing but it was so unpublicized that no one was there and we ended up chatting for like 45 minutes hahah

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      1. Ghod that must have been a sad moment for David Day sitting there alone but for the wonderful gift of time to Marta to share like minded artists chatting there and talking about their passions.

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      2. Yeah I don’t even remember what we talked about my brain was so full of star-struck white noise hahaha. But my boss was super nice and said to go talk to him and don’t worry he’d find someone to cover my post. Such an awesome experience

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  2. Wish I was there to see the Tate. I see 7 works of art but can only determine 4 of them. So here goes “Name that Art” . . .
    From top to bottom,
    1) the one with pale cream and blue brush strokes ? ? ? i dunno
    2) the one with black brush strokes : “Gothic Landscape” 1961 by Lee Krasner (1908 – 1984)
    3) May be confused with a Kadinsky but very unlikely his piece.
    4) The one with blue brush strokes with white and black spots . . . probably an ‘action’ painting circa 1950’s or earlier
    5) The one with torn paper : “Jazzmen” 1961, by Jacques Hahé de la Villeglé; a nouveau realisme member
    6) a mélange of colour : “Around The Blues” a series 1957-62 by Sam Francis
    7) The one with holes in the canvas aptly named “Holes” 1954 by Shozo Shimamoto
    8) a grinning “Marta with Mondrian” circa 2016 . . . very modern with a soupçon of veneration

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