Tag Archives: Duncan Grant

Escaping To Bath…..Bliss!

Bath Reflections, Rocking Dog

Bath Reflections

It was a day of escaping to Bath yesterday. I was keen to visit The Victoria Art Gallery to see “A Room of Their Own- Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30”

The exhibition recreates as far as possible several lost interior schemes by Roger Fry, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant. It reunites objects and paintings from both public and private collections, items which haven’t been seen together for fifty years.

I have loved all things Bloomsbury for three decades. It started in earnest when Laura Ashley launched their Bloomsbury collection of fabrics etc.. in 1987. The company had acquired the rights to a rare selection of Charleston House patterns. Grapes and Queen Mary are designs which stand out for me. In 2013 a range of the fabrics/wallpapers were relaunched in celebration of Laura Ashley’s 60th year. Since 1987 none of the houses we have lived in have been without Bloomsbury fabric somewhere in the mix.

In time I went to see Charleston, near Lewes and it is truly lovely. It is a real home with every surface painted and embellished by one or other of the inhabitants, or indeed guests just passing through.

The garden is equally beautiful and a book has just been published to celebrate its creative country charm.

The exhibition in Bath was bijoux but lovely. It has made me want to get my paintbrush out, and to pull out a stash of unused 1987 fabric. Watch this space! In a new house we once lived in, my brother in law kindly recreated the hermaphrodites which grace the studio at Charleston onto a bare wall. I’d love him to do a repeat performance!

After culture, I had a little bit of a mooch. I loved the reflections of the Georgian and not so Georgian buildings in the windows of Anthropologie. I stopped at The Whole Bagel for a.. bagel! Delicious, I couldn’t help but choose the filling I always select, Pear, brie, walnut and Parma ham.

I wandered down Walcot Street and it was alarming to witness the amount of empty shops. Rates are notoriously high in Bath. I bought ink and nib supplies at Meticulous Ink, such a lovely shop. Further on I headed to Owl in the Ivy, with its beautiful collection of old items to buy. However my heart was taken with the owners’ gorgeous Wire Haired Dachschund. Puppies are planned….,tempting, but I don’t think Real Live Rocking Dog would like a new puppy on his territory, he’s getting much too old and grumpy!

A reviving Americano and piece of Tunisian orange cake was enjoyed at an outside table at The Fine Cheese Company. It was great to watch the world go by, and to glance along to a building I love. The Corn Market building is so tall and narrow, it reaches to the sky with its elongated persona. However, that is not the whole story it extends behind a long, long way.

I loved taking time out in Bath, it was wonderful to get an aesthetic “fix”. I feel very inspired, but think the guilt of a mountainous ironing pile will make me abandon plans for Bloomsbury style painting for at least a little while.

Have a lovely weekend how ever you intend spending it. Love Rocking Dog x

Reaching To The Sky, Rocking Dog

Reaching To The Sky

Patriotic Door, Rocking Dog

Patriotic Door

How Much Is That Doggy?, Rocking Dog

How Much Is That Doggy?

Scrummy Bagel, Rocking Dog

Scrummy Bagel

Whole Bagel, Rocking Dog

Whole Bagel

Meticulous Ink Supplies, Rocking Dog

Meticulous Ink Supplies

Coffee & Cake, Rocking Dog

Coffee & Cake

Bloomsbury Style, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Style

Bloomsbury Grapes, Rocking Dog

Bloomsbury Grapes

Loose Ends Tied Up

Marmalade potted and Bloomsburyfied!, Rocking Dog

Marmalade potted and Bloomsburyfied!

The week has started with tying up loose ends. Thus, the Marmalade was labelled and frou’d, more recipes transcribed and a small pile of drawstring bags completed.

My Bloomsbury Marmalade gained ties and pot covers cut from a fabric which was originally designed by Duncan Grant, one of the Bloomsberry Group. In 1986 Laura Ashley reproduced some of these designs and filled the shop with wallpapers, fabrics, rugs, borders and lamps. I bought some of these fabrics, wallpapers and borders in sales. I also bought display curtains and they have dressed some of our windows ever since. In the last couple of years Laura Ashley has re-released a more scaled down range at unfortunately non 1986 prices! A few years ago I was very fortunate to find some L.A. Queen Mary linen fabric (featured in main photo) in an Indian fabric shop in Bristol for £1 a yard. You will learn I love a good bargain!

The transcription of my original 1846 cookery book is going slowly but enjoyably. I have gleaned what a hair sieve is amongst other things. Can you believe there were sieves which had a gauze made of horse hair? The recipe for Tomato sauce sounds quite delicious and involves oven roasting the tomatoes overnight. I think I might have a go at the recipe, but unfortunately won’t have a hair sieve to pass the mixture through.

As for my drawstring bags, they are ready to take off to a far flung beach or be hung on Shaker style pegs. Made from vintage gingham and table linen they are lined with a cheery polka dot remnant. Part of the Rocking Dog summer range complete!

Difficult Transcription, Rocking Dog

Difficult Transcription

Looking For The Sun, Rocking Dog

Looking For The Sun