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Archive for the ‘Woolf and food’ Category

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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Ever since the holidays, I have felt a disturbance in the Force, the Force of Virginia Woolf in the Universe. From mid-December until now, the number of Woolf sightings has diminished greatly. At times, they have even disappeared.

I don’t know what to make of this unusual development, but take heart. Woolf has broken new ground. This month, her novel To the Lighthouse has been credited with inspiring a video game (4). And I have heard talk that an Israeli Woolf has been sighted (13).

  1. Showing her funny side: British Library to release Virginia Woolf’s last The Independent
    The British Library is to show the mischievous and comic side to Virginia Woolf, with the release of her last unpublished work later this year. The 90-year old writings dubbed The Charleston Bulletin Supplements will be published for the first time in 
  2. Virginia Woolf’s fun side revealedThe Guardian
    An affectionate, mischievous side to Virginia Woolf is set to be revealed in the author’s last unpublished work, a series of 90-year-old family vignettes that will be released for the first time this summer. The Charleston Bulletin was a family 
  3. Virginia Woolf and other great literary cooksThe Guardian (blog)
    When the US food-and-lit blog Paper and Salt (paperandsalt.org) last week published a recipe for a cottage loaf as Virginia Woolf might have cooked it, other sites linked to it eagerly, suggesting America is at least as baking-mad as we are. Even more 
  4. How Virginia Woolf inspired Far Cry 3Shacknewsvideo game
    What was the reasoning behind making such a compelling character leave the narrative so early? Lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem explained that Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse inspired that decision. In Woolf’s novel, “the main character dies in the 
  5. Watch Patti Smith Read From Virginia Woolf, And Hear The Only Surviving Huffington Post
    In the video above, poet, artist, National Book Award winner, and “godmother of punk” Patti Smith reads a selection from Virginia Woolf’s 1931 experimental novel The Waves, accompanied on piano and guitar by her daughter Jesse and son Jackson.
  6. Was the first world war accompanied by a rising literary nationalism?The Guardian (blog)
    In one of the talks this weekend, Rachel Bowlby will discuss Virginia Woolf’s justly famous essay from 1923 (pdf), “Mr Bennett and Mrs Brown”, and take on her teasing contention that “on or about December 1910, human character changed”. I can’t imagine Read more about The Rest is Noise event at Southbank Centre, London, on Feb. 2 that included Woolf.
  7. Book News: Alice’s Appeal, Virginia’s Pastime, New Yorker (blog)awritersdiary_woolf-1
    Virginia Woolf
     on the virtues of keeping a diary. Data analysis of literary works reveals Jane Austen and Walter Scott tobe the most influential authors of the nineteenth century. A new digital edition of Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl 
  8. Happy birthday, Virginia WoolfLos Angeles Times
    Today is the 131st anniversary of Virginia Woolf’s birth. Happy birthday, Virginia Woolf! Woolf was a groundbreaking writer, an incisive critic and a catalyst for the modernist movement in British letters. Among her most significant works are the 
  9. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF’S BIRTHDAYThe Hour
    Legendary British author, Virginia Woolf was born on January 25, 1882. On January 26, 2013 her birthday will be celebrated in a most auspicious way at the Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton. 20 actors have been scheduled to read from 
  10. Virginia Woolf and NeuropsychiatryPhys.Org (press release)
    Virginia Woolf and Neuropsychiatry, written by Maxwell Bennett, one of the leaders in the field of Vw and neuropsychiatryneurosciences, provides an explanation of the symptoms and untimely suicide of one of literature’s greatest authors, Virginia Woolf. The sources used are 
  11. Jaipur Literature Festival 2013: I am proud to be related to Virginia Woolf Zee News
    On Day 1 of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2013, Resham Sengar of Zeenews.com managed to have a quick chat with William Dalrymple who also happens to be the festival’s co-director. Read on to know what he said about being related to Virginia Woolf, his 
  12. A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf – reviewThe Guardian
    “Greetings! my dear ghost,” Virginia Woolf addresses her older self whom she imagines might one day read the diary entry she is writing. The pages are haunted with such hypothetical selves but also with her fictional characters as they are brought into…
  13. The Israeli Virginia WoolfHaaretz
    “I am holding a book by the Israeli Virginia Woolf,” she announced. “You must write about it!” She handed then editor Benjamin Tammuz the first novel by Yael Medini, “Kavim U’keshatot” (“Arcs and Traces” ). Tammuz held Kahana-Carmon – a revered author 
  14. The joyous transgressions of Virginia Woolf’s OrlandoNew Statesman
    In Orlando (1928), Virginia Woolf did away with the usual co-ordinates of biography and set off through time as though it were an element, not a dimension. The story is simple: Orlando is a young nobleman, aged 16, in the reign of Elizabeth I. After a 

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The Guardian reports on the cooking exploits of writers, including Virginia Woolf, by quoting a post published on thecottage loaf Paper and Salt blog on Woolf’s 131st birthday that provides some detail about her experiences in the kitchen.

Bread, particularly the traditional British double-decker cottage loaf, was her specialty. And even her cook knew it. Cook Louie Mayer is quoted describing how Woolf taught her how to make the dough, knead it, shape it and bake it. Her memories are included in Recollections of Virginia Woolf.

Was Woolf’s baking advice helpful or snobbish? Was Woolf’s interest in cooking and baking a relaxing diversion from writing or a betrayal of her feminism?

The Guardian article gives Angela Carter‘s views on both issues. Post your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Read more about Woolf and food.

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This week’s collection of Woolf sightings includes a glaring oversight. In a book claiming to collect the 40 greatest parties in literature, Mrs. Dalloway’s famous party is missing. Scroll down to 4 for the details. Another notable item on this week’s list is America’s Top Model contestant’s Kim Stolz’s plan to open a restaurant named The Dalloway with a “lesbian-implied theme.” See 8. Oh, and guess what — someone is calling Virginia a snob. Again. See 9 and 10.

  1. Constellation of Genius, 1922: Modernism Year One by Kevin Jackson – reviewThe Guardian
    According to Virginia Woolf – one of the sources on whom Kevin Jackson leans heavily for his account of what he believes to be modernism’s momentous year – “in or about December, 1910, human character changed.” If we look five years either side of
  2. Books You Have Always Meant to Read: Mrs. DallowayHeraldNet (blog)
    This time around we are in for a treat when Kevin Craft from Everett Community College discusses Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf on Tuesday, October 23rd from 7-8:30 pm at the Main Library. Mrs. Dalloway is, to put it mildly, an extraordinary novel 
  3. Creativity and Mental Illness are LinkedOnlymyhealth
    English author Virginia Woolf had walked into the river Ouse with stones in her pockets, thus killing herself; and throughout history we have known how creative people have always been depressed and on the brink of self destruction. Now according to 
  4. Imaginary Party PeopleWall Street Journal
    Women writers are largely ignored—no Virginia Woolf, so no Clarissa Dalloway. Novels of the past century account for the largest share of the fun. Yet Ms. Field says she has aimed for eclecticism in terms of “genre, country, period and style.” No 
  5. U of Minn. concert to showcase Argento’s musicHouston Chronicle
    He won the Pultizer for music in 1975 for his song cycle “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.” He won a Grammy in 2004 for Best Classical Contemporary Composition, for his song cycle “Casa Guidi.” The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall 
  6. Zadie Smith’s “NW” charts a bold new path for the novel and offers its readers Salon
    Like Big Ben overseeing every page of Virginia Woolf’s modernist classic Mrs. Dalloway, time — even the actual word — haunts NW with a needling and anxious insistence. These textual echolocations with Mrs. Dalloway patinas the novel as a literary 
  7. Walls buzzing with creativity at ARTworks basketry classHilton Head Island Packet
    In her famous essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Virginia Woolf wrote, “Women have sat indoors all these millions of years so that by this time, the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has indeed so overcharged the capacity of bricks and 
  8. Model Stolz ’05 Lands New Job, Restaurant, Book DealWesleyan Connection (blog)
    The Dalloway, named after Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway, is set to open later this month and will have a “lesbian-implied” theme. While at Wesleyan, Stolz was awarded honors for her thesis, “The Impact of Exit Strategies of United States 
  9. Nick Hornby blasts Booker, Woolf and snobbery at the 92nd Street YNew York Daily News (blog)
    Hornby — after bringing the house down with a lecture on Virginia Woolf and signing a mountain of books — is enjoying a well-earned cigarette. He is the acclaimed author of hit novels such as “Fever Pitch” “High Fidelity” and, most recently, “Juliet 
  10. The Under 30 Crowd Reads More Books; Bill O’Reilly Humbly Takes the The Atlantic Wire
    Today in books and publishing: People under 30 most likely to read; who keeps buying O’Reilly’s books?; Nick Hornby finds Virginia Woolf snobby; Jackie Collins recaps Revenge. Kids these days, am I right? Everyone concerned about whether or not 
  11. 10 Writers’ Mental And Physical MaladiesHuffington Post (blog)
    Most great writers experienced emotional or financial turbulence in childhood. Swift, Defoe, Byron, Keats, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Melville, Thackeray, the Brontës, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath all lost a parent in childhood. Poe, Tolstoy, and Conrad 

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Do you long for a morsel of Proust’s madeleines? Does the thought of Virginia Woolf’s Boeuf en Daube make your mouth water? And do elevenses a la Paddington bear tickle your fancy? – The Novel Diner’s website

A pop-up supper club in London called the Novel Diner, which stages meals from famous novels, includes Virginia’s famous boeuf en daube meal from To the Lighthouse.

The club promises to bring “to life famous novels with food, performance and setting” and immerse diners into the world of a different book” at each event.

Learn more by reading “Playing With Food, for Art’s Sake” in the Wall Street Journal.

Read more about Woolf and food on Blogging Woolf:

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Van Gogh is Bipolar is an unlikely name for a restaurant. And Virginia Woolf’s Tears is an unlikely name for a soup.

It’s an organic turkey soup with chopped green apples and thinly sliced purple cabbage that aims to alleviate depression and compulsive behavior.

The Woolf dish, along with others named after famous people, is made with ingredients that restaurant owner Jetro Rafael says affect mood and produce happy hormones. On the list are salmon, honey, cabbage, nuts and tea.

The unconventional restaurant with the unusual theme is located in Quezon City, Philippines. It’s so unconventional that it only serves 12 diners per night, and those 12 diners place their own orders, bus their own tables and pay their bills on the honor system.

If they are lucky enough to find the place open. Right now, the restaurant’s Facebook page has an alarming red banner that reads “Closed for now” over its profile photo.

Perhaps the owner and his chef are busy blissing out on happy hormones.

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I was delighted to see Paula’s post with Woolf sightings in cookbooks. Many people would think it unlikely to find Woolf associated with cooking and the enjoyment of food, recalling her as an anorexic who took little pleasure from eating.

But in fact, just as she was lively and outgoing when she was well compared to the depression and anxiety that accompanied her sporadic mental illness, so too, she had a vivid appreciation for food, in both her personal enjoyment and appreciation of it and her use of it in her novels and essays, letters and diaries.

This was the premise of my paper at the 2010 International Conference on Virginia Woolf , “’A Certain Hold on Haddock and Sausage’: Dining Well in Virginia Woolf’s Life and Work.” In my research, I waded through several volumes on the psychological analyses that attributed her eating disorders to mental illness and/or childhood trauma and found them narrowly focused on her dysfunction at the expense of her artistry.

I chose to focus on Woolf’s own words instead, and there are so many to choose from. In 1907, she wrote to her friend Nelly Cecil, “Why is there nothing written about food—only so much thought? I think a new school might arise, with new adjectives and new epithets, and a strange beautiful sensation, all new to print.” She proceeded to do that throughout her life.

The reason bouef en daube has been immortalized in literary cookbooks is because it is one of the most sumptuous and sensuous dishes described in literature, and the meal at which it was served is the pivotal point in the connections among the Ramsey family and their circle of guests. E. M. Forster said of this scene that, “Such a dinner cannot be built on a statement beneath a dish-cover which the novelist is too indifferent or incompetent to remove. Real food is necessary, and this, in fiction as in her home, she knew how to provide. She put it in because she tasted it.…”

Food descriptions in The Waves are mouth-watering. Consider Neville’s “delicious mouthfuls of roast duck, fitley piled with vegetables…,” the butter oozing through Bernard’s crumpet, and Susan plunging her hands into the bread dough. And in Orlando, the phrase “good to eat” is used because there isn’t a word for “beautiful.”

Someone commented that if only there had been an Alice B. Toklas to chronicle Woolf’s feasts and private pleasures; well, Woolf was the consummate artist, and she brilliantly recorded them herself. I haven’t even touched on her own cooking and eating, which I believe to be the “proof of the pudding” about Virginia Woolf ‘s love of food, but I’ll cook something up for next time.

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