Ever have one of those days / weeks / months when your head is just swimming with noise?! Me too. Parenting can sometimes feel like a steady stream of conflicting information. Get them in a routine, don’t bother with a routine, crying it out is cruel, crying it out is the only thing that works, baby-led weaning is best, parent-led weaning is best … it goes on and on and sometimes I find it hard to hear my own voice among the clatter.
In those times, it’s nice to have a place that makes you feel calm. Since having the wee man, that place has become – for me – Tate Britain. Well, the pub does the same job but I’d get more judgement hanging out there all the time. I don’t even know much about art…if anything! Crap, I only just found out that it’s Van Gogh like the Scots pronunciation of “loch”. But there’s something about Tate Britain that I find very soothing and grounding.
Most recently we took the wee man to see the much-hyped Van Gogh exhibition. Arriving early, we hot-footed it to the downstairs Djanolgy café (pronounciation? I have no idea) for a much needed caffeine and cake hit. Teething is currently robbing us all of sleep so when the big man came back with not only a brownie but a blondie too I almost keeled over with excitement (it’s the small things these days). Top tip: eat a bite out of each at the same time and you get the most awesome flavour combination.
The cafe itself is also great, with wide leather benches that make breastfeeding a stress-free experience, a good stock of high-chairs and friendly, helpful staff (one chap asked me if I needed a high-chair before I’d even sat down). Plus the place is never short of a Granny or two, ready to coo over your offspring which, let’s be honest, is always a nice ego-boost.
Toilets with a changing table are just round the corner. If, like mine, your babe has a strongly held aversion to hand-dryers, I would avoid using the changing table in the ladies loo. I did last time and was left trying to console my distraught off-spring while arm deep in poo. You have been warned.
We opted to bring the wee man in a sling but the place is very pram-friendly with lifts and ramps, though the exhibition itself was BUSY so you might find it harder to navigate a pram round the throngs of people.
Van Gogh as in ‘loch’ was a bit of a revelation to me – I was definitely familiar with his work (if not how to pronounce his name) but to see some of it up close was lovely; I could have starred at his Starry Night over the Rhône for hours – and not just with the glaze of a woman for whom a full night’s sleep is a distant memory. As it was, I had to dash home for bath and bedtime.
Tate Britain in a nutshell:
A pretty pricey £22 per ticket but we used our Art Fund passes and got tickets half price
Pram or sling, there are ramps and lifts everywhere
They’ve got you covered. Just don’t use the baby changing table in the ladies loo if, like me, your baby hate hand-dryers. And if weaning, make sure you bring food for baby as there isn’t anything on offer in the cafe.
Feeding friendly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Comfortable if breastfeeding and there are plenty of high chairs for bigger babes.
General vibe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I just love it; a calm, cultural sanctuary especially when feeling overwhelmed by it all