Since its transformation at the turn of the millennium, the Tate Modern has become the lynchpin in England’s cultural landscape. Its status as the leading destination for art of every genre has been lifted by the appointment of Tate director Chris Dercon, who has used the cavernous space to startling effect. It truly deserves its spot at the top of any London ‘to do’ list.
A reconverted power station, Tate Modern was designed by Swiss architects Herzog & De Meuron with exhibition rooms, cafés, and shops arranged over several floors around the giant Turbine Hall. Always a hot topic in the art world, the Hall has seen site specific works from Ai Weiwei, Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, and Carsten Holler let loose upon it.
Alongside an extraordinary permanent collection including the likes of Warhol, Dali, Magritte, Rothko, and Miro, runs a series of fabulous temporary exhibitions. From blockbuster to leftfield, they embrace every conceivable corner of artistic achievement, and complete a spectacular experience.
Round off a visit with wonderful riverside views over coffee and cake at café 2 or dinner and wine at the Level 7 Restaurant.
The 7th Floor Cocktail Bar and Restaurant has an amazing view of London’s skyline and the river, made all the better by their delicious cocktails – some of which are inspired by the temporary exhibitions. The cosy and classy environment is infused by the great artworks on the walls, which can be enjoyed with a very reasonably priced and delicious dinner on a Friday and Saturday.
This is the perfect place to enjoy amazing views of the Thames and the London skyline, while sipping on a very nice coffee.
The simple and elegant décor is mirrored by the simplicity of the menu at the Ground Floor Restaurant. It’s not overwhelming, and what they do, they do well. There is also some outdoor seating, which should be taken advantage of in the summer with a bottle of wine.
The Ground Floor Café sells general museum goodies such as sandwiches and juices, as well as ice cream by the scoop which can be enjoyed while overlooking the Turbine Hall and it’s always engaging installations.
The Tate Modern has two outdoor kiosks where you can enjoy a quick bite over the summer. Spend a leisurely afternoon indulging in a beer and some barbeque food, taking in the views of the Millennium Bridge and St. Pauls Cathedral. There are also sandwiches and other general snacks, as well as a really nice selection of English teas.
Both of the museum shops sell similar items, but with the larger focused more heavily on print publications, with books on artists, movements, theory, and philosophy of all varieties. The smaller one targets a younger crowd, with lots of pocket money priced Tate merchandise. Both sell postcards, prints and temporary exhibition goodies.
One of the temporary exhibition shops is attached to the Espresso Bar, which is a lovely, relaxing way to look through your new buys. The other temporary exhibition shop can only be entered with a ticket to the exhibition. Here you can buy limited edition artworks by the artist and exhibition memorabilia.
+44 (0) 20 7887 8888
Monday – Thursday 10.00 – 18.00
Friday – Saturday 10.00 – 22.00
Sunday 10.00 – 18.00
Tube: Southwark (Jubilee Line), Blackfriars (District Line, Circle Line), London Bridge (Jubilee Line, Northern Line)
Train: London Waterloo East, London Bridge, London Blackfriars