Hey, Hi, Hellooo. Welcome and welcome back. It has been a while since I have posted I know, sorry guys. If you follow me on IG you might have seen me post about needing to take a break from posting to look after my health. I am not 100% there just yet but I really wanted to get something accessible post lockdown content out for you.
Late May bank holiday weekend I organised a date with my girlfriend. Outside was finally open in England and lemme tell you, the streets were calling my name! Shouting even! So, I planned for us to see an art exhibition and grab a bite to eat. We are a pandemic couple so this was ACTUALLY, our first time being able to get out and enjoy what I guess could be dubbed as a traditional date. If you haven’t already, head over to my IG (@BLD_Experiences), follow me for one if you aren’t already! But there you will find a reel I did showing where we went. I felt like Lockdown by Koffee was a very fitting song choice for the reel, don’t you think so too?
We attended a late afternoon viewing of Zanele Muholi’s incredible exhibition at the Tate Modern which is based in London South Bank. Muholi is an accredited South African photographer, who describes themself as a visual activist. They have documented and celebrated the lives of South Africa’s Black LGBTQI+ communities since the early 2000s. Their work was so powerful!
In The Tate
It was so incredibly breath-taking to see so many Black LGBTQI+ portrayed within this exhibition. We are rarely highlighted. So for me it was beautiful seeing people that look like me, love the same way I do. If you get what I mean.
Muholi tackled so many different experiences and issues that the Black LGBTQI+ community face within South Africa. Not only did they portray the hard and heart-breaking experiences, they captured the joy, intimacy and love between Black LGBTQI+ people. And Oh My Gosh, when they turned the camera on themself, bloody spectacular. The imagery was so striking!
I was made aware by the creative director (I think was their title), that as a wheelchair I experience the room differently. At first I was really apprehensive about why they questioned my experiences as a wheelchair user. From my experiences people randomly applaud me for being outside as a wheelchair user or asking why I am one. It was a refreshing experience that they just wanted to understand my perspective. How they could possibly improve it so that wheelchair users have the same experiences as non-users. The canvas’ were set up so that it looked like Muholi was staring at people from every angle. But due to me being lower down I didn’t feel that which was interesting. I guess they need to work on making it more accessible to all.
This is definitely an exhibition I would recommend everyone to attend when they get the chance to, I will also be going again. I really underestimated how long we would be there, I didn’t give us enough time to take in the last 2 rooms before we headed off to dinner but before we get into all of thatttt we gotta talk accessibility. Yeah, you know it! Can’t be forgetting to detail one of the key aspects of these blogs! We need all things accessible out here!
A Guide to Accessible Tate Modern
Booking a ticket was easy but LONG, there was a ridiculously long queue to be able to get a ticket. Luckily, I was able to input my email so they’d tell me when it was my turn to book my ticket. Tickets were about £13pp if you were not a Tate Exhibition Member. If you are disabled, they give you one free concession ticket for someone to support you.
Since I live not too far away I decided to drive. Because I knew I would be doing this and parking would probably be quite scarce, I emailed the membership team about parking. They took a while to confirm but all I needed to provide them with was:
booking reference/order number for your ticket
time of arrival and departure.
From there they let me know their accessible parking facilities was off Park Road. I did take the wrong turn in to the staff car park. They were nice enough to point me into the right direction, which was only just the next turning if I remember correctly. There were around 6-10 disabled parking spaces, approx. 3 were taken up when I got there. So just pray that the day and time you go is not the same as every other disabled person haha. I would definitely recommend having your radar key on you if you attend. They have disabled lifts which are operated by that, it was quite cool.
Ping Pong South Bank
The staff were lovely and made sure you got everything in a timely manner. My favourites were my Lychee and Rose cocktail, it wasn’t too sweet but also not too bitter, it was just right for me! Another great cocktail, which as I think of this I remember wasn’t my drink but I probably drank the most of it ha-ha, was the Lemongrass and lime cocktail. It doesn’t look very appealing, but it was actually really nice but more on the sweet side. The Soy Marinated Skewers and Crispy Duck Spring Rolls were also pretty amazing, we ordered these twice because they were so good!
I’d probably rate this restaurant as a 6/10. I rated a little low because although all of that was delicious their spicy chicken dumpling was absolutely disgusting, and they had no dairy free desserts except sorbets. I left still feeling a bit peckish as I did not eat much.
How Accessible Was The Restaurant?
The restaurant is ground floor, so you just roll/ walk in from the main road. They have a nice-looking outdoor dining area. But since indoor dining was open, I was adamant that we sit indoors since my experiences of outdoor dining were not great. They also had a disabled toilet situated down a narrow hallway, someone came out and it didn’t look very clean. So, I decided to just wait until I got home since I didn’t necessarily need to go to the loo. The toilet may be a bit of a squeeze for someone that has a big wheelchair and needs assistance.
All in all, it was a pretty incredible date. My partner and I really enjoyed ourselves, it was nice getting all dressed up and going out. The sun decided to shine for us that day which made it 10x better.
Tchau, until next time 💛
Thank you for those of you that have come back to read after a long pause and welcome to any new reader. Don’t forget to comment your thoughts, or questions. Follow me on IG and twitter to keep updated on what I am doing. Stay tuned for my long awaited blog on Notting Hill Carnvial.