Home to Virginia Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell, their family and passing friends, a visit to Charleston Farmhouse is a must for anyone who loves colour and textiles. Anyone who is inspired to design will take heart from wandering around the rooms where many of the objects of decoration are home-made. The lesson is simply: Begin Now!
I spent yesterday walking on the downs above Charleston. Yes, I know it is perverse that English Downs are ups. It took a friend in the Netherlands to point out that perhaps Downs is linked to the Dutch duins - linked to dunes. Just to walk in this area is an inspiration itself - expanses of dazzling chalk drifted into white siftings over grey brown newly tilled earth - stubble of collected harvest glowed golden - green, almost turquoise stands of corn tufted other patchwork squares, and buttoned in between were chartreuse-lichened roof-tops. A palette to dream on.
The cupboards at Charleston were full of textiles designed by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell and now there is to be an exhibition of this reserve collection. On 15th September there will be a talk given by Charleston's curator, Dr Wendy Hitchmough, between 6pm and 8.30pm on the Bloomsbury textiles, glass of wine and open-house visit included. If you have the day to spare you can enjoy a vintage rag-rug cushion session from 10am - 4pm with Debbie Siniska. Fee is £58 and includes artisan lunch. Call 01323 811626 for bookings.