We love: museum and gallery shops

postcard journals note books 

Call us shallow, but sometimes, the most exciting time in a trip to an art gallery or museum is the moment we get to the shop. Museum shops have gone through a major make-over in the last few years and some of our favourite retail spots are now attached to major galleries, both London Tates are a good case in point (but we love the V&A shop too).

This weekend we popped along to Tate Britain to look at the Henry Moore exhibition and it was fab, we'd certainly recommend it. After pondering Moore's ability to sculpt beautifully curvy and very moving shapes out of giant blocks of stone we nipped into the  shop. There are two in Tate Britain, both are wonderful for browsing around and it's jolly easy to lose an hour picking up art books and selecting postcards of the gallery's work.

And then there's all the stationery. Always a sucker for a nice note book (we can justify this because we always have a note book on the go for work which makes it almost an essential purchase…) this weekend we spotted a lovely new addition to the range, an A5 size fabric bound hardback note book with a slot at the front into which you can slip your own postcard. This means you can personalise your note book rather nicely, either with an artistic selection from the cards on sale at the gallery, or with a photo you've got at home. I chose the shoe picture by Lisa Milroy, which seems very appropriate after my recent spending spree and Jane's post on Jesus sandals.

The book also has nice quality pages that appear plain on first glance, but have the faintest square dot grids incase you want to write notes in straight lines, or play battleships. There is also an envelope to hold loose bits of paper in at the back and at £7.95 (plus 50p for a postcard) it makes a great present. Sadly this does not seem to be online, so note it down for when you are next making a trip to The Tate or smart stationery shop.

We also loved the great planting in the Tate garden, willow striplings and black tulips, inspiring combo!
 Tate Britain flowerbed planting

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