Monday, March 02, 2015

Charleston farmhouse, England

 I interrupt my monologue on the trip to Italy with this little blurb on Charleston farmhouse, a house lived in by some members of the Bloomsbury group. After watching the British bake off on PBS last night I couldn't resist this. I know our BBC programs are all outdated even the ones of Downton Abbey but we still enjoy them. I know the British bake off was shown in England last Summer but still the romance for me burns deep and bright. The finals last night showed family members picnicking outside the tent in a Summer setting that is so quintessentially English. I couldn't resist but remember that I was here last May (2014). Looking at these images makes me want to jump on the next flight and be here again except its still too early, England is still in the throes of Winter. Maybe later.....
 Early that day, the lawns at Charleston was empty but soon.....
 People with their picnic baskets soon started to arrive and mark out their spot on the lawn....
 Before long the grounds was filled. What a glorious day in May that was.
 I sat here outside a sandwich tent, writing under an apple tree.
 Here is the pond which Vanessa Bell described as a lake when she first visited the house with the intent of moving in with her family and friends.
 The garden was rather wild when she first saw the house but as Virginia Woolf, her sister, wrote, 'you can make it lovely.' Make it lovely she did though these gardens have been fully restored to its original glory by professionals.
 You can keep a spot in your home to honor the Bloomsbury group, have some meadow flowers in a milk jug in some corner.
 Though no photography was allowed inside the house, I took these images from a book on Charleston farmhouse.

I hope you will visit Charleston farmhouse while on your next visit to England. It is very easy even without a car. Take the train from Victoria station to Lewes. At Lewes, either take a taxi to the house or walk (quite far) or wait for the bus. While the festival is on at Charleston, there is a shuttle (not very often) that leaves the train station at Lewes and goes to the front door of the house and back to the station. You won't be the only one. When the weather is good, hordes of English people flock there, to meet up with family and friends and make a day of it. Enjoy!

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