Thursday, June 26, 2014

Food - Charleston in East Sussex - Studio Cafe

This is the place. 

Even if you are taking in Alfriston or the Monk's House in East Sussex, come back to Charleston studio cafe Wednesday through Saturday for the cakes. 

And believe me, it's a tie between the cakes at Charleston and Badgers Tea House in Alfriston, a truly romantic and satisfying place. 

(see post on Alfriston for Badger Tea House photos)

This is Charleston studio cafe. 

Bloomsbury mirrors for sale on the walls. 

How do they make it better? It must be the butter, and it IS fantastic. 

Thank you Charleston Trust - Shop - Farmhouse - Studio Cafe.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Travel - Charleston in East Sussex Shop

Collect here. 

Acquire here. 

As the boundaries are blurred in the farmhouse, as well they are blurred in The Charleston Shop. 

It takes more than one turn through the lovely books, cards, lamps, ceramics, and prints to make any choice, and there is a second room for fabrics and dresses and jewellery as well as a short video on the Bloomsbury group and the heritage of the house and garden. 

The sling chairs covered with Bloomsbury fabric are wonderful.

Artistic inspiration.

There is so much to see I forgot to purchase the Charleston Magazine. Please pick up a few for me when you are there.

The Bloomsbury heritage continues through the work of artist, textile designer and cake decorator Cressida Bell,

daughter of critic, author and artist Quentin Bell and Anne Olivier Bell, granddaughter of Vanessa Bell and grandniece of Virginia Woolf.

Cressida offers her own range of lamps, rugs, and bespoke designs for interiors as well as her recently published book 


Cressida Bell's textiles honor the influence of Bloomsbury and intensify through her own vision. 

 A must have Cressida Bell design. 

And then there are must have dresses in the shop.

The jewellery somehow did not get photographed, you know how sometimes you just miss things?…
but I am dreaming of it, brilliant colours to go with the clothing.

Help me remember to acquire Charleston jewellery on my next trip.

And then the fabric….more than a must have…an I cannot leave without.

Designed by Duncan Grant. My choice.

Collect here.

Acquire here.

Learn more about Bloomsbury and help support the Charleston Trust.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Travel - Charleston in East Sussex - An Artists' Home and Garden

Every writer has a relationship to the room. In this case, the relationship is to the rooms, the furniture, the house, the garden, the site and the entire area of East Sussex.

In 1916 Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved into Charleston Farmhouse.

It became the gathering place of the Bloomsbury Group, - Bell and Grant along with Clive Bell, Roger Fry, Lytton Strachey, Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster, Dora Carrington and John Maynard Keynes to name a few -  some of the most influential and visionary artists, writers and economists of the 20th Century.

After an extraordinary one million pound restoration by The Charleston Trust, created in 1980,   the house glows.

Tours of over an hour hardly scratch the surface of what the eye has to travel: framed paintings, hand made ceramic lamps, needlepoint pillows and rugs, painted doors, stenciled walls, china, original fabrics on beds, sofas and chairs, and soothing views from bedroom windows to the lovely walled garden below, all products of the output of this remarkable group of people and their friends.

Charleston is important. Art is important. The house is an outstanding example of design and colour moving off the boundaries of the canvas onto the walls, the floors, the furniture, the garden as well as blurring of boundaries of relationships. All here is alive and influences how art is seen though the prisms of writers, filmmakers, gardeners, designers and musicians.

There is no photography permitted inside the house, so enjoy the garden. It is sublime.

Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant's studio is to the right of the house. Created in 1925 to designs by Roger Fry.

The view from the garden room.

The greenhouse in the distance.

The greenhouse.

A lovely place to sit and reflect back to the house and studio.

The largest poppy I have ever seen. There is a poem in that - and the colour.

Walking the path outside the garden back to the house.

The pond in front of the house and the view back to the hills. Sit here and contemplate.

Reverse view to the entrance.

Plan to visit Charleston. See what's on. Book classes in perfume making, painted furniture effects, Capturing Charleston with iPads, Life drawing, pond life, or Young Bohemians Mini Summer School (ages 8-12). Take a twilight tour.

Celebrate The Charleston Centenary Project and help support this artistic marvel.

Additional links to

on the following website

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Travel - Alfriston in East Sussex.

I did a spin around the entire East Sussex area and stumbled upon the lovely Medieval village of Alfriston. The High Street has a brilliant interiors shop, tea rooms, lovely Inns, and the best edited bookshop I have seen in years.

The George Inn

Could we eat here please?

Diana Kelly's shop. 

This lady knows about fabric. 

Much Ado books. 
Interesting. Cozy. Welcoming with a gaggle of great works by Bloomsbury authors. 

It will always be so. 

Thank you Glen and thank you owners 
Cate Olson and Nash Robbins for making me feel at home. 

The cakes at Badgers tea house pulled me right in the door.

My lunch. 

Of course the Royal Mail. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Travel - Art - Food. Firle in Sussex

was casting around for a good place to stay close to -
the country home of the Bloomsbury set, an influential group of English writers, intellectuals, and artists including Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Lytton Strachey, E. M. Forster, John Maynard Keynes, and Virginia Woolf. 

I found The Ram Inn in the village of Firle in the South Downs of Sussex, a lovely pub in the heart of the village with four rooms upstairs and cracking good food & wine. 

The lane through the village. 

Comfy room with sheepskins on the floor and a view out to the splendid green. 

The neighbors lovely homes.

Firle stores - sweet. 

Firle from the top of the downs. 

Landlady Hailey Bayes has given Brighton trained head chef Jack Cotton plenty of freedom to experiment. The menu is varied and inventive and modern. 

Here is golden cross goat cheese with mâché. Won Best Goat Cheese in England.

Don't they look happy? Together with Linda, Glen, Georgia, Erina and Alex, the staff at The Ram Inn will take good care. Go. Eat well. Sleep well, and visit Charleston House, next post.