Posted in gallery

Tate Britain

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:

Cost ⭐️⭐️

A pretty pricey £22 per ticket but we used our Art Fund passes and got tickets half price

Accessibility ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Pram or sling, there are ramps and lifts everywhere

Facilities ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

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