When Lola came to stay, I felt it was my duty to show her as many of the local delights as possible. With the sun shining so brightly last weekend, it was the perfect day for visiting Charleston Farmhouse. Our local area has a lot of links with the Bloomsbury group – a bohemian set of writers and artists including Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. Snippets of their work and lives can be found across East Sussex but Charleston Farmhouse was the country home they withdrew to, painting, decorating and living in for decades.
After Duncan Grant died the house was left empty, with the paint peeling and all the remnants of their lives gathering dust until it was restored by a trust. It is now reset to the 1950s, with the paintings and furniture renovated, and the gardens replanted and maintained. You can’t take photos inside but trust me, it is beautiful. It is full of colour and light, with pretty much every surface embellished with patterns painted on by the varied artists of the group. It is a place where creativity and aesthetics were placed at the forefront of life, and every corner seems to reveal another experiment. I have been a number of times and never fail to find another new detail to fall in love with.
It isn’t just the house which reflects the creativity of the owners.The gardens around the house were also designed by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and to see them in springtime is just glorious. It is currently a riot of colour with the daffodils and tulips everywhere, little spots to sit in the sunshine, alleys and nooks to explore, and sculptures hidden among the trees. It truly is a wonderful, inspiring spot to visit and soak in for a few hours.
If you fancy a visit yourself, all the info is here: Charleston Farmhouse