The Beach – Island Life

Well – it’s not the Bahamas. But it is close and given that the weather is so effing foul just now (and that the school holidays are upon us) a little beach all of our very own under cover, however fake, is at least a bit welcome.

There is still so much room in the old Dome (especially now they ain’t getting the casino) that they are having to be a bit more imaginative with what they do with the cavernous hole that even the Government couldn’t fill…

So, like the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern, they’re looking at BIG installations – and preferably ones that will bring in cash.

The beach is a miniature Dome – the 1000 tons of sand are mounded up into the dome shape, and the giant yellow tent pegs are represented by plastic palm trees with fairy lights in them. It’s surrounded by sharks. I’m not going to comment on that particular analogy.

There are also deckchairs, rafts and lifebouys and lots of little buckets and spades for kiddies (old and young) to play with. Above it beams a golden sun which turns into a moon at night (7.00pm I think – the waitress said that she’s never actually managed to catch it changing – one second it’s a sun, the next time she looks it’s turned into a moon.) It’s quite fun, ever so slightly kitsch but at least they’re making an effort.

We arrived during the ‘downtime’ when they reset the sand after a day’s playtime ready for the evening activities – everything from DJs to film screenings. The Martini-sponsored “Terazza”is all white and 1960s/70s retro decor – goovy shaped seating and funky screens/. We sat in egg-shaped retro ’60s seats (v. difficult to get out of when you’ve had a couple, I discovered) and had an expensive Martini-based cocktail – they don’t do any other kind of drinks. Annoyingly, they don’t actually do straight Martinis either.

We weren’t actually there for an activity – we were just early for something else, so I can’t comment on the events, but it did occur to me that there didn’t seem to be many good places to sit to get a really good view of the screen for the films, so get there early.

It’s a fun place though, and where it will score will be in the “what do we do with the kids” quandary during the summer holidays…

But thinking back to the Turbine Hall. I wonder what happened to those curly slides? I know they were SUPPOSED to be art – but they were great fun – and they took up lots of space, Dome organisers…

click here for a timetable of events on the Beach

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