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Archive for August 3rd, 2016

Wandering around Bloomsbury on my first day in London this June, I happened upon the Morton Hotel.

I wasn’t exactly looking for it. But Ann Martin of the University of Saskatchewan had planted the name in my mind with an offhand comment at this year’s Woolf conference. Upon hearing that I would be alone in the capital city for a few days, she remarked, “You could have tea at the Morton.”

And so I did. I had written about tea at the Morton before — back in 2014 — but I had forgotten the details. Consequently, my afternoon relaxing in the hotel’s Library bar and lounge was full of a series of lovely surprises, all with a Bloomsbury touch.

I chose a seat in front of the fireplace, where I set in for a good read as well as refreshment. I relaxed with a selection of books about Bloomsbury laid out on a sofa table and the Morton’s traditional afternoon tea, which is truly lovely and reasonably priced at £15. It included a tiered dish of tiny crustless sandwiches, pastries and fresh fruit, along with scones served with jam and clotted cream.

All around me — from entry to ladies room — were photo collages of Bloomsbury figures as well as reproductions of art by the Bloomsbury group and Hogarth Press book covers designed by Vanessa Bell.

Next time you’re in London, take tea at the Morton. It’s open 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Monday through Sunday. Meanwhile, take a look at what you’ll find.

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Entry to the Morton Hotel, 2 Woburn Place, in Russell Square

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The chandelier in the entryway features Hogarth Press book covers.

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Once inside the entry, look to your left and “take the lift to the basement.”

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The cozy sitting area in front of the fireplace, my chosen spot.

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Books ranging from Bloomsbury Rooms to Bloomsbury Portraits are available for browsing.

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Traditional afternoon tea: as delicious as it looks.

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Collages of Bloomsbury photos decorate the walls.

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This sitting area nestled into a corner featured art by Vanessa Bell.

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Even the hallway to the ladies room — as well as the ladies itself — was decorated with Bloomsbury art.

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