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All About Bloomsbury


I spent this weekend sitting under a big oak tree in my garden reading ‘The Bloomsbury Cookbook’. It’s a wonderful book filled with stories, recipes and artworks all involving my favourite 20th century artists and writers from the Bloomsbury Group.

This painting “Oranges and Lemons” was created by Vanessa Bell in 1914, after receiving a box of Tunisian fruit from Duncan Grant. The colours were so vibrant that Bell was compelled to put them straight into a jug and paint them directly. I love the way she has painted the background. It is abstract whilst textural with unusual colour combinations which epitomise Bloomsbury design. It fills me with such joy and reminds us all to be spontaneous when creating.

We love this menu created by Vanessa Bell or Duncan Grant for the opening dinner party launch of the Omega Workshops in July 1913 at 33 Fitzroy Square.

The Omega Workshops was a design collective that included many of the most avant-garde artists of the day. Inspired by the new, vital spirit of Post-Impressionism they designed thrillingly bold, playful and inventive items for the home, from printed fabrics and textiles to ceramics, furniture and clothing.

Chest of drawers, Roger Fry, c. 1919

It was Roger Fry’s belief that “It is time that the spirit of fun was introduced into furniture and into fabrics. We have suffered too long from the dull and the stupidly serious”.

Duncan Grant's collage design for a fire screen panel

Charlotte Street Hotel is situated in the heart of Bloomsbury and the interiors are our homage to the Bloomsbury Group.  I like to imagine Lytton Strachey enjoying his favourite rice pudding with Leonard Woolf in our Drawing Room, filled with original Bloomsbury artworks and fabrics inspired by the group. On the curtains, we used a special fabric bought from Charleston, Duncan Grant’s ‘Queen Mary’ design.

This week we have revealed our designs for The Great Potato Printing Society organised by Molly Mahon to raise funds for Charleston house, the home of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant in East Sussex. Please CLICK HERE to read more about the auction.

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