to the long pebble beach below,
then doubled back on the A27 to Charleston, the country home of the Bloomsbury Group:
Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to Charleston in 1916, and over the next 50 years transformed the dilapidated farmhouse into a home and gathering place. Clive Bell, David Garnett, and John Maynard Keynes all lived at Charleston at various times, and Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey, and Roger Fry were frequent visitors.
Vanessa and Duncan, inspired by Italian frescoes and the Post-Impressionists, painted nearly every wall, door, and piece of furniture: there was a nary a blank surface to be seen on our tour. And the painted decoration was complemented by objects from the Omega Workshops, the Bloomsbury Group's design business in London.
© Pia Tryde
© The Charleston Trust
I fell in love with Vanessa Bell's paintings when I was an art student in London many moons ago, and there were works by Vanessa (as well as Duncan) throughout the house:
Vanessa Bell, Iceland Poppies, c. 1908-09, © The Charleston Trust
The tour finished in the walled garden, which was planted with flowers, fruit, and vegetables,
enclosed by box hedges, and ornamented with mosaics and statuary in the southern European style:
G would like a classical head for our plot too, which is fine by me. But he's also suggested livening up the flat with some sponged and stenciled decoration, which is where I think I better draw the line!