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Posts Tagged ‘Cressida Bell’

Anne Olivier and Quentin Bell’s home, Dower House, in West Firle in the South Downs of England is now listed on Airbnb for rental. So far, it has a five-star rating and boasts a “Bohemian atmosphere.”

The home has a well-equipped kitchen, book-lined study, large drawing room opening onto a terrace, two bathrooms, and four bedrooms, three with a queen-size bed. Inside amenities include a fireplace, free wifi, washer, iron, central heating, all bedding and linens, and TV. Free parking is available.

Outdoors, there is a walled garden and breathtaking views, as the house is situated in the heart of the South Downs National Park, just outside Firle village at the foot of the Downs.

The cost for six guests is $438 per night. Read more.

With its fascinating history and unique artistic and literary associations, staying at the Dower House is an unusually intimate and enriching experience.

Screenshot of the Dower House listing on the Airbnb website.

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Most of the reactions below come via Twitter, where “Life in Squares” was a trending topic after the first episode aired last night with an audience of between 1.85 and 1.9 million UK viewers.

In the aftermath, one must-read review is by Frances Spalding, acclaimed biographer of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. Her piece on The Conversation website is titled “Life in Squares: how the radical Bloomsbury Group fares on screen.”

Here’s a quote from it:

Her despairing cry may be echoed by some viewers of the BBC’s three-part series Life in Squares, for the Bloomsbury Group attracts many detractors as well as legions of devotees. — Frances Spalding

Be sure to click on the comments below to read Maggie Humm’s assessment of Spalding’s review, along with her own insights.

Family reaction

Before the official premiere, Emma Woolf, great-niece of Leonard and Virginia Woolf, penned her reaction for The Daily Mail: “How TV’s got my aunt Virginia Woolf so wrong.”

And Vanessa Bell’s granddaughter, Cressida Bell, posted this on Facebook the morning after:

Cressida Bell

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My little reading nook

While reading several blogs last week, I discovered something many of you probably already know — that the British edition of Country Living magazine is widely available in the U.S.

I headed over to my local Border’s to pick up a copy of the May issue and later spent some weekend time tucked up in my reading nook contemplating my imaginary life in the English countryside.

This Bloomsbury-inspired lampshade is pictured on Page 107 of the May 2011 issue of Country Living.

While there, I discovered a “Bloomsbury lampshade” pictured in the south Somerset home of young couple Chris and Angela Stanford. To be more accurate, I suppose it should really be called a “Bloomsbury-inspired lampshade.”

A quick Google search located an interesting site with lots of Bloomsbury-inspired products, from lampshades to kitchen cupboards. The designer says she carries forward the vision of the Omega Workshops.

Jane Garrity sent me the link to Cressida Bell’s lovely website. As the daughter of Quentin Bell and the granddaughter of Vanessa, Cressida is certainly influenced by Bloomsbury style, but she carries it out in a way that is all her own. I fell in love with her truly unique silk shawls and scarves. A visit to her London studio requires an appointment, but Jane says it is worth it.

And of course, there is always Charleston’s online shop for a limited selection of Bloomsbury goods.

The cover price of an individual issue of Country Living is $7.99, but the less expensive alternative is a subscription via Amazon at $74 for 12 issues. But if you subscribe, be patient. It takes 12 to 16 weeks before your first issue will arrive.

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