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In her essay “On Cookbooks: Collections and Recollection,” Alice Lowe travels through BloomsburyCookbook_title_26523the decades, from her first casseroles to Julia and Jacques, from Betty Crocker to Virginia Woolf.

In it, she shares her love for Woolf and her thoughts on Woolf and food.

Here’s a teaser: “My time in England launched and nurtured my interest in Virginia Woolf; my retirement has enabled my studies and published work on her life and writing. Books by and about Woolf have increased as cookbooks decline. The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art weds literature and artwork by Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell, and others of the legendary Bloomsbury circle, with anecdotes and stories, recipes and repasts both real and fictional. I haven’t allocated it to a shelf yet—is it a Woolf book or a cookbook?”

Visit Alice’s blog to read the rest.

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After an unforgettable time at the Woolf Conference in Leeds, my boyfriend and I treated ourselves to a short stay in London as a reward for ourselves. I successfully presented a paper at the conference (and didn’t pass out from being so star-struck over all of the scholars!), while he had successfully completed chapter two of his Ph.D dissertation.

We tried to pack in as many literary trips as we could, and we couldn’t leave England without making a trip to check out the Dalloway Terrace, named after Clarissa Dalloway herself.

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Menus and a Woolf book outside of the restaurant.

The Dalloway Terrace restaurant is located in The Bloomsbury Hotel which is in a fantastic location in the heart of Bloomsbury. The hotel is a three-minute walk to the British Museum, seven-minute walk to Russell Square, and ten-minute walk to many Woolf sites, such as the lovely statue in Tavistock Square dedicated to the author.

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A view of the terrace.

The dreamy atmosphere is the highlight of this outdoor restaurant. Marble topped tables are surrounded by benches which are made comfortable with big pillows. Each chair on the terrace is draped with a wool blanket in anticipation of the ever changing English weather. Candles flicker on tables which are separated by big pots of lush, green plants. It is absolutely lovely.

The servers were kind, helpful and highly attentive, and the food was delicious. The restaurant offers several different menus, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner menus, along with a tempting cocktail menu. The afternoon tea at the Dalloway has been getting rave reviews, and many Londoners suggest making a trip to the Bloomsbury Hotel specifically to enjoy the tea service.

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Cake and cream at the Dalloway.

We ordered a few British specialties, such as fish and chips, and we couldn’t skip the delectable dessert menu, from which we ordered a few ice creams and cakes. Everything was presented very elegantly, and every bite was full of flavor. We decided that the old cliche about British food being bland is highly incorrect and dated!

After a few Bloomsbury-themed afternoon cocktails, we started to feel that Clarissa herself might enjoy this restaurant; one could almost see her among the twinkling lights, charming friends between the spatter of rain drops on the clear dividers—planning her next party perhaps.

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Afternoon tea on the terrace (image from TripAdvisor.com).

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The dissertation felt worlds away while at the Dalloway!

The meal was delightfully regenerating and the terrace was a perfect place to take a break from enjoying one of the most exciting and literary cities in the world. One could easily spend a few hours on the terrace, sipping cocktails, enjoying small cakes, and discussing the importance of Modernist literature. We did this several times during our trip!

My partner and I enjoyed the Dalloway Terrace so much that we dined there multiple times while in London–and we are already dreaming of our next meal at the this beautiful and delicious restaurant. Enjoying yummy food in such a dreamy environment was a highlight of our trip. We highly recommend making a trip to visit this lovely retreat in the heart of London.

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A happy Yankee on a London terrace.

We did not make reservations for our dining experiences, but the restaurant highly recommends reservations, especially on the weekends.

The Dalloway Terrace accepts reservations for individual dining, group dining, and private events.

If you are in London you can find the Dalloway Terrace inside of the Bloomsbury Hotel located at 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN, or phone the restaurant at +44 (0) 207 347 1221.

You can find information about booking a room at The Bloomsbury Hotel here.

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Here are some books to add to your list for either giving or receiving this holiday season:

  • Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar, Ballantine, 2015, $26. A novel Vanessa & Her Sisterfeaturing intimate glimpses into the lives of Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, as well as other writers and artists in the Bloomsbury Group. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • The Other Shakespeare by Lea Rachel, Writer’s Design, 2015, $8.96. A novel that brings Judith, Woolf’s imagined sister of William Shakespeare, to life. Stay tuned for Blogging Woolf’s review.
  • 9780500517307_26521The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, by Jans Ondaatje Rolls, Thames & Hudson, 2014, $39.95. An extensive compilation of recipes and social history of the Bloomsbury Group that includes artwork, quotes, letters and personal reminiscences.
  • Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Anne Fernald, 2014, $150. Part of The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf. This labor of love provides aMrs. Dalloway Fernald substantial introduction, including the composition history of the novel, documenting how Woolf’s reading, writing, personal life and the world around her contributed to the book. Explanatory notes compile decades of scholarship while identifying numerous new allusions to Homer, Shakespeare, Tennyson and others.
  • Personal Effects: Essays on Memoir, Teaching, and Culture in the Work of Personal EffectsLouise DeSalvo, edited by Nancy Caronia and Edvige Giunta. Fordham University Press, 2014, $29.99. Examines Woolf scholar DeSalvo’s memoirs as works that push the boundaries of the most controversial genre of the past few decades.
  • Labors of Modernism: Domesticity, Servants, and Authorship in Modernist Fiction, by Mary Wilson. Ashgate, 2013, $104.95. Wilson analyzes the unrecognized role of domestic servants in the experimental forms and narratives of Modernist fiction by Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein, Nella Larsen, and Jean Rhys.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, edited by Beth Rigel Daugherty and Mary Beth Pringle, MLA, 2001, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • Approaches to Teaching Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, edited by Eileen Barrett and Ruth O. Saxton, MLA, 2009, $19.75. From the Approaches to Teaching World Literature series.
  • For a catalog of rare books related to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, contact Jon S. Richardson Rare Books at yorkharborbooks@aol.com. Richardson founders Jon and Margaret Richardson have made hunting down the works of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group their mission since opening York Harbor Books more than 20 years ago. Among other interesting offerings, including Hogarth Press advertising flyers, the Holiday 2014 list includes:
    • A first American edition (1931) of Mrs. Dalloway with the Vanessa Bell dust jacket, $950.
    • A first edition of The Common Reader (1925), published by the Hogarth Press, $585
    • A 1910 edition of the Life & Letters of Leslie Stephen, which includes Woolf’s first appearance in print, $95.

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What would Woolf drink?

If Virginia Woolf stood in front of the counter at Manhattan’s 114th Street Starbuck’s, what would she order?Woolf mug

A recent post on the Spectrum blog of the Columbia Daily Spectator speculates that her drink of choice would be a green tea cream frappuccino.

The post is said to be inspired by the new Tumblr titled Literary Starbucks, which does not include a Woolf sighting.

However, Woolf does show up in a humorous rant on the torturous process of writing a final paper published by the Spectator last spring.

Woolf herself mentions coffee in The Waves. Here’s the quote:

How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.

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Fictitious Dishes“When there are fifteen people sitting down to dinner, one cannot keep things waiting for ever.” So starts a passage from To the Lighthouse that accompanies a photograph of a bowl of boeuf en daube—the solid brown chunks of meat accented by shiny black olives and bright orange carrot slices—accompanied by a dish of Brussels sprouts and a glass of claret, served on a green cloth scattered with seashells.

This is just one of the 50 extracts from novels included in Fictitious Dishes by Dinah Fried (“fried,” really—would I make it up?). The opulence of the elegant tea spread for Rebecca and the cocktail party fare—caviar, smoked salmon and more—to represent The Great Gatsby are balanced by a simple and sumptuous basket of strawberries for Emma and, of course, Proust’s tea and madeleine.

I can’t resist the juxtaposition of food and literature, food in literature, and especially Woolf and food. It was the topic of my paper at the 20th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf: “’A Certain Hold on Haddock and Sausage’: Dining Well in Virginia Woolf’s Life and Work,” which was published in the selected papers from that conference.

This collection was a delightful find. There’s a website too, but the book is a visual feast. Do what I did—buy it for a gift but read it first!

 

 

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Jans Ondaatje Rolls, author of The Bloomsbury‬ Cookbook will be giving talks at a number of festivalsBloomsburyCookbook_title_26523 and venues this year, but you will have to be in England to attend.

  • May 24, noon – 1 p.m., Charleston Festival, Lewes, East Sussex
  • July 15, 2–3 p.m., Buxton Festival, Derbyshire
  • July 17, 7–8 p.m., National Portrait Gallery, London
  • Sept. 14, 3:30–4.30 p.m., Hampstead & Highgate Literary Fetitval, London
  • Sept. 27, TBA, Porlock Literary Festival, Somerset
  • Oct. 4, TBA, Ilkley Literary Festival, West Yorkshire
  • Oct. 6, TBA, Cheltenham Literary Festival, Gloucestershire
  • Oct. 16, 2:30 p.m., Knutsford Literary Festival, Cheshire

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Thanks to Chris Sullivan for sending Blogging Woolf this image of a recipe for Angelica Garnett’s Cherry Tart. It’s from Jans Ondaatje Rolls’  The Bloomsbury Cookbook: Recipes for Life, Love and Art, published this spring.

The book offers more than 180 recipes — some handwritten and never before published — from Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett.
Bloomsbury Recipe

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