22 November 2013

Artsy going to London:
Top 10 before the 25th!

Planning a trip is one of my favorite things to do. It can be tedious at times, what with train timetables, check-in and check-out times, connecting flights, the 'taxi or bus?' question, and, of course, figuring out the goings-on at my destination! And all the while, tedious though it may seem, it all underscores the whole reason I love to travel: let the good times roll! The more I know about what's going on, and the earlier I have the technical travel considerations taken into account, the more I enjoy myself when I get there--wherever 'there' happens to be.


As is often my style, I've booked a solo trip to London just before Christmas in order to take in the city's holiday atmosphere. (Any Love Actually fans out there? This is serious stuff!) I thought it would make a nice treat to myself after the completion of my first term of grad school (even though I'll still be knee-deep in essay writing, but a leisure trip to my favorite city is simply necessary!). I'll maybe do a bit of gift-shopping and check out some of the first-rate art shows and performances going on. And in true art student fashion, I hope to hit every single one of the events I've listed below, but of course I may end up getting stifled a bit... already looking at sold-out tickets for some things, but c'est la vie, right? It's London! There are always a million things going on! Duh!

I've got the hotel and train booked already, and I've got a running list of all the amazing events, markets, exhibitions, and festivals going on for the holidays... not to mention that just seeing Harrod's with their Christmas lights up will be worth it. I'm staying just off Hyde Park, so I'll definitely see Winter Wonderland and check out whatever the Serpentine Gallery has on.

I thought I would share a portion of my list of go-to artsy things that I will try my very mightiest to attend while in London. In any event, anything I do get to/see/am inspired by I will surely share on the blog!

--Top 10 artsy London events to check out before Christmas!--

1. Richard Serra, Drawings for the Courtauld - at The Courtauld Gallery 

until 12 Jan 2014

Twelve of Serra's recent drawings which he created specifically for the Courtauld.

2. Paul Klee - at Tate Modern 

until 9 Mar 2014

It's obviously about the artist Paul Klee, but what you might not know is that I did a massive senior research paper on Klee as an undergraduate at Wisconsin. I spent a lot of time studying his use of spiral motifs... but now I'm pretty pumped to see this large-scale exhibition at one of my favorite art museums.

3. Beyond El Dorado - at The British Museum 

until 23 Mar 2014

Power and gold in Colombia... did someone say "gold?"

4. The new Tate Britain 


Restored rotunda, new cafe, reopened riverside entrance... I'm there. Not to mention they reopened their national collection of British art from 1500 back in May and I've wanted to see it ever since. Now's my time!

5. Body Language - at Saatchi Gallery 

until 16 Mar 2013

At the contemporary art gallery, an exhibition devoted to art of the human body.

6. Coriolanus - at Donmar Warehouse 

from 6 Dec 2013 to 8 Feb 2014

Tom Hiddleston stars in the title role of this Shakespearean tragedy.

7. Barbican Design Market - at Barbican Centre 

from 28 Nov to 22 Dec 2013

A selection of designers and top-notch craftspeople selling unique items that will make unexpected gifts this holiday... and if anything, at least worth a look at what all these designers are up to!

8. Spitalfields Winter Festival - Spitalfields Market 

6-17 Dec 2013

Music! Music in Spitalfields!

9. Pop Art Design - Barbican Art Gallery 

until 9 Feb 2014

An exhibition focused on the role that design played in Pop Art, which burst onto the art scene in the 1960s. Over 200 works are represented by household names like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and the Eames brothers, among others.

10. Elizabeth I & Her People - at the National Portrait Gallery 

until 5 Jan 2014

An exhibition exploring the Elizabeth I and Elizabethan merchants, explorers and nobility through portraiture, their lives and history.


Planning on going or are already in London? Anything you would suggest seeing? I LOVE recommendations! Comment below with anything from the must-see to the quirky to the 'hey, why not?'

I can't wait to revisit London, and I can't wait to share what I see.

Kate x


  1. CORIOLANUS!!! Oh, I hope that one's a reality for you!
    SPITALFIELDS! POP ART!! So much fun.
    And then you get to come and tell me about it all in person!

    1. Yes!! I particularly like the latter part of that whole idea. :D Coriolanus is sold out but they release tickets two weeks prior at a very specific time -- front row! Again! So it's either I get lucky with an online sale or I do that awesome get-up-at-4am-and-sit-outside thing in hopes of getting a ticket on the day! ;) And don't think I won't do it!!

  2. Oh this all looks like so much fun! Enjoy your trip xx

    Little Blue Backpack

  3. Gosh you are so ballsy! Sounds like a great trip!

    xo Lisa | Making Life's Lemons {soon to be c/oMKE}

    1. It helps that I know London pretty well ;D Thanks!!

      Kate x

  4. Enjoy your trip! I'm jealous. Edinburgh to London is a great train in itself. Be sure to look for the Angel of the north (it's a gigantic metal statue that you can see from the train) when you get into England. I think it's close to Newcastle.

    1. Thank you! I'll keep an eye out for the Angel of the North--I've seen photos, but it's cool that you can pick it out from the train! Looking forward to it! :D

      Kate x

  5. Have a fun trip and take lots of pictures. :)