18 October 2012



The main reason to head south last weekend was to visit this place, Charleston Farmhouse, home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant from 1916 - artists and members of the Bloomsbury set. The house where they lived and entertained their circle of intellectual, artist and writer friends. This heavily decorated house with barely a surface left untouched is truly inspirational, they themselves were inspired by Italian fresco paintings and post-impressionism. There is quite a collection of paintings to see, including works by Renoir, Sickert and Toulouse-Lautrec casually sprinkled around the house, but it's the murals and decorated surfaces that are truly marvelous, the colour palette so pretty and the little touches; ornaments, vessels, vases and collected objects placed throughout the house that I loved so much. A true artists home not just painting but pottery too, by Vanessa's son Quentin Bell, I loved the quirky colander style lampshades that hung in the rooms. We visited on a Sunday and each room had a knowledgeable attendant to fill us in on what was what and helpfully point things out that we might otherwise have missed. Photography wasn't permitted in the house itself hence lots of pictures of the gardens! You'll need to visit to see for yourselves what a marvel it is. Have a look at the website for a taster of what's inside. Just up the road in Berwick you'll also find a church where they painted murals on the walls, it looks just like any other typically English church until you step inside. Again no pictures but some of the pretty churchyard with the South Downs peeking through the hedgerow. 

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