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Fun Things To See And Do In December

fun things to do and see in December via Miranda's Notebook

The holiday season is well and truly here, and December is a month that should certainly be filled with lots of joy and laughter. Here are some of my best recommendations to make the most of this month.

++ Buy a special Christmas ornament. I know a lot of people (myself included) have a tradition of buying one special Christmas ornament a year. I love having rituals like this that instantly put you in a festive mood. My favourite places for a special ornament-buying outing are Liberty and Petersham Nurseries.

++ Create a Christmas playlist. Now is the time to embrace Christmas tunes blaring all day long. As soon as December 1st comes around, I hit play on Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

++ See a ballet. The Nutcracker is a classic, of course. This year though, I’ve got tickets for Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Opera House (crossing my fingers the flu I’m currently suffering from won’t prevent me from going…). The ROH has a truly magical atmosphere this time of year (remember my pictures from seeing Don Quixote last year?).

++ Attend a Christmas jumper party. Having spent the majority of my childhood in the States, where Christmas jumpers weren’t really a thing (are they now?), it took me a while to understand the culture of the Christmas jumper in the UK, but now I fully embrace it!

++ Go ice-skating. Somerset House is a magical experience (even for those who – like me – are frankly terrible on the ice), and I also like Hampton Court Palace.

++ Write and send out your Christmas Cards. Get this done asap (why not tonight?) so they’re not preying on your mind.

++ Take care of yourself. December is an incredibly busy month for most people, which can lead to higher stress levels. Make sure you’re still committed to fitting in your workout and allow time for yourself to slow down, take a breath and relax. It’s also important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and sticking to healthy food choices as much as possible. Two of the best ways to counter-act stress and to remain focused on your positive habits are meditation and keeping a gratitude journal.

++ Decorate the house. Because I’ll be in the midst of packing and moving, I’m not having a Christmas tree this year, but that isn’t stopping me from making the flat feel as festive as possible. I’ve got Christmas santons to set out and have a ordered a wreath with candles that will act as a table centrepiece from the wonderful Little Lake Flower Co (I can’t wait to pick it up this weekend!).

++ Watch your favourite holiday films. For me, these include Love Actually, It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard (what can I say, I love a good action film, and there are plenty of Christmas references!).

++ Make your own glögg. Glögg is the Scandinavian version of mulled wine and is absolutely delicious. I love Signe Johansen’s recipe for it in Scandilicious.

What’s on your list of fun things to do and see in December?

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The Best Online Shops

Guide to the Best Online Shops.

I’m not much of a Black Friday kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale, but I hate shopping, especially in a crowd. During my student days, I often worked a summer job at Harrods, and there’s nothing that puts you off sale-season shopping more than serving customers during the Harrods July sale. People get crazy!

Whenever possible, I much prefer to browse and buy in charming independent shops that are well curated with knowledgeable staff. Even then, my shopping limit tends to be about two different places, three at most. Truth be told, I’d often much rather shop online, and I’m always looking out for good online shops that offer something different from the usual run-of-the-mill stock and shopping experience. Below, I’ve picked some of the best online shops that make browsing their beautiful websites and well-chosen products a real treat (which – even better – you can enjoy from the comfort of your sofa, cup of tea in hand). You can feel great about the fact that you’re supporting independent businesses, too. A beautifully wrapped, interesting gift from The Hambledon, for instance, makes a truly personal gift and shows you’ve put a lot of thought into your gift-buying.

++ The Foodie Bugle Shop ++

The Lowdown: The Foodie Bugle is a gorgeous food and homeware shop in Bath (I’m planning a trip to Bath just so I can visit this shop) that I first discovered through their stunning instagram feed. Luckily, they have a great online shop too, offering beautiful ceramics, pantry supplies, kitchen and homeware and pretty stationery.

Buying For: This is the place to pick up stocking fillers and larger gifts for Mum and Dad, or any of your especially domestic, country-loving friends.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Straw Basket  2/ Paul Jessop Jugs  3/ Just Bee Votive Candles

foodiebugle

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++ The Hambledon ++

The Lowdown: Oh, how I love The Hambledon! It stocks all manner of lovely things, from kitchenware, to gorgeously designed jewellery, interesting books, good food and pretty clothes.

Buying For: All the stylish, design-centric ladies in your life. You know, the ones that spend hours on Pinterest, host great parties and produce jaw-droppingly good DIYs.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ But First Coffee Thermal Mug  2/ Asago Scarf 3/ Sticks Bracelet

thehambledon

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++ Smallprint ++

The Lowdown: Smallprint is a family-run, independent print and book shop that sells handpicked, beautifully illustrated children’s books and charming prints. Their website features appropriate books according to a child’s age category, and I love their Book Club packages, which deliver 1 picture book a month for 6 or 12 months.

Buying For: All the children in your life who deserve an extra special story-time.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Grandma’s House  2/ Dorothy Print  3/ A Lion in Paris

smallprint

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++ Luna & Curious ++

The Lowdown: Luna & Curious is a lifestyle shop in Shoreditch, which happily has a good selection of its stock available to buy online. Expect to find fun toys for children, great-quality knitwear, unusual homeware and minimalist jewellery.

Buying For: The wooden toys are perfect for young children, and anyone who appreciates classics with a twist would love anything from this shop. The ABC teacups are especially good for girl friends.

My Top Three Picks:  1/ ABC teacup 2/ Fairisle Knit Jumper 3/ Dolls’ Green House

Best Online Shops: Luna And Curious

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++ The Conran Shop ++

The Lowdown: The Conran Shop on Marylebone High Street is one of my very favourite London destinations, and they have a great online shop that ships worldwide too. They specialise in design-led homeware and lifestyle accessories. It’s the perfect place to pick up unusual stocking fillers, and I especially like to browse here if I’m stuck for gifts for men in particular.

Buying For: The foodie products are super for secret santa gifts, and there’s plenty for the design and tech-centric man (or woman) in your life.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Ipad Air Case  2/ Bluetooth Headphones  3/ Drink Me Prosecco

Best Online Shops: CONRANSHOP

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++ The Future Kept ++

The Lowdown: The Future Kept is the online lifestyle shop run by blogger Jeska of Lobster & Swan. It sells a collection of magazines and many handmade goods, and the shop prides itself in carefully sourcing from independent designers, makers and artisans.

Buying For: The minimalists you know, and those who appreciate handmade, quality products. The beauty products stocked use all natural ingredients, so are a good choice for people with sensitive skin too.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Hand Turned Oak Bowl  2/ Cereal Magazine  3/ Natural Lip Paint

thefuturekept

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++ Papermash++

The Lowdown: My favourite place to get beautiful stationery online. I love their fantastic collection of Rifle Paper Co products.

Buying For: The girl who thinks you can never have too many notebooks.

My Top Three Picks:  1/ Birds of a Feather Notebooks  2/ Recipe Tin  3/ Cities Calendar

papermash

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++ THECORNER.COM ++

The Lowdown: If you’re looking for high-end, high-fashion statement pieces, look no further. Here you’ll find an eclectic mix of designer items that always have an emphasis on the fun and trendy.

Buying For: The fashionista in your life.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Richkids hat 2/ Charlotte Olympia Bag 3/ Dsquared2 Gloves

thecorner

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++ Hornseys ++

The Lowdown: An exceedingly well-curated collection of beautiful prints. I’ve purchased all of my Emily Sutton prints from Hornseys, as well as a few other prints too! Books, children’s toys, homeware and fashion accessories are also stocked. The Karen Mabon scarves are well worth checking out.

Buying For: The art aficionados amongst you.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Moomin Enamel Mug  2/ Advent Calendar  3/ Penguin Scarf

hornseys

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++ The Peanut Vendor ++

The Lowdown: Mostly (very nice) furniture, but there’s also some home accessories, and I especially like their collection of goods for under £20 – there’s a really nice selection for when you want something special, but not too pricey.

Buying For: Your favourite colleagues, or stocking filler gifts.

My Top Three Picks: 1/ Faye Toogood bowl  2/ Salt Bowl  3/ Compagnie de Provence Soap

thepeanutvendor

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++ Some Honourable Mentions ++

Labour & Wait: gorgeous enamel.

The French House: vintage French tableware.

The Design Museum Shop: a great place to shop for gifts for men.

Persephone Books: beautiful books for discerning readers.

Frank: handmade, British goods.

aStore: there’s something for everyone in this lovely shop.

Well, that should be the Christmas shopping sorted then, right?! Which are your favourite online shops? Do please let me know in the comments below so I can check them out.

Have a lovely weekend!

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Miranda Loves: Giles Newman Hand-Carved Spoons

Giles Newman | Hand-Carved Wooden Spoons. These gorgeous spoons would make the perfect wedding or anniversary gift.

I love instagram because it’s so easy to make fabulous discoveries through this wonderfully visual medium. One such recent discovery is the intricate hand-carved wooden spoons by Giles Newman. His instagram account is gorgeous, and although there isn’t much listed on the Giles Newman Etsy shop at the moment, I’m hoping there will be more soon (but I’m sure requests could be made for particular spoons too, as custom orders are available).

I think there’s something so special about an article that has been handmade in this way, and a Giles Newman spoon would make the most perfect wedding or anniversary gift. These spoons are small works of art that are made to be treasured for a lifetime.

Giles Newman | Hand-Carved Wooden Spoons. These gorgeous spoons would make the perfect wedding or anniversary gift. Giles Newman | Hand-Carved Wooden Spoons. These gorgeous spoons would make the perfect wedding or anniversary gift. Giles Newman | Hand-Carved Wooden Spoons. These gorgeous spoons would make the perfect wedding or anniversary gift. Giles Newman | Hand-Carved Wooden Spoons. These gorgeous spoons would make the perfect wedding or anniversary gift.

Which spoon is your favourite (I’m especially taken with the oak leaf)?

Note: all images via Giles Newman Instagram.

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Fall TV Guide

Fall TV Guide

One of my favourite ways to trick myself into thinking I’m taking a break (whilst I’m editing photos or writing something), is to enjoy a TV show or podcast at the same time, and today I thought I’d share the latest TV seasons that I’m excited about this autumn.

++ The Good Wife. This is probably my very favourite TV show. Alicia’s growth through the series has been expertly handled, and there’s an exciting feeling that the show’s characters really have a life of their own. Just as novelists say that their characters end up dictating what is written next, it feels as though this is also the case with The Good Wife, and it keeps every season fresh and engaging.

++ Scandal. Although the plotline of Scandal always tends towards the absurd, I still love it, not least for Kerry Washington’s drop dead gorgeous wardrobe. I do appreciate the way more and more TV shows are placing women firmly in their leading roles (Major Crimes and How To Get Away With Murder also spring to mind), and frankly I find Scandal only becomes a bit of a drag when they linger too long on her romantic entanglements (thank goodness, in the latest episode they managed to refrain from yet more ramblings about making jam in Vermont). Similarly to The Good Wife, Scandal does a good job at fleshing out a range of more minor characters, which definitely adds a lot of interest to the show, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the highflyers of Washington D.C. get up to in this series.

++ Elementary. Although this doesn’t start back until later in the autumn (woe!), I’m really looking forward to the return of Holmes & Watson fighting crime in NYC. Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are excellent together, and I’m hoping the new season does a better job than the last in staying true to their brilliant dynamic (I found the introduction of Kitty pretty annoying last year, so I’m crossing fingers she doesn’t make a reappearance). Again, fashion lovers are in for a treat when watching Elementary: Joan is the ultimate inspiration for chic, laidback style, and I want everything in her wardrobe!

++ The Blacklist. This show is a favourite of mine mainly for James Spader’s performance, which is extraordinary. I have to say, even x series in, I don’t have much of a clue as to what is going on with the overall plot, but I don’t care! This is definitely worth a watch if you’re in the mood for action-packed entertainment.

++ Strictly Come Dancing. I am a huge Strictly fan and am already loving the latest season. I was too busy to watch it last year, so this is the first time I’m properly getting to appreciate the show’s choice of using two female presenters (yay!), and it has definitely made Strictly a whole lot better. I love Tess and Claudia together. This year’s celebrity cast seem incredibly strong, and I’m already rooting for Helen George, who won me over, not only with her lovely dancing, but with her admitting she used to have posters of Darcey Bussell all over her bedroom wall. You and me both, Helen!

++ Outlander. I really enjoyed the first 8 episodes of Outlander, and it was frustrating when they stopped so abruptly. The next 8 are now available on itunes, though, so I’m happily working my way through them. Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander tells the story of Claire, who has just been reunited with her husband at the end of WW2. On holiday in the Scottish highlands together, Claire stumbles upon a magical rock that transports her back in time to 1743 Scotland, where she becomes embroiled in the Jacobite risings. For various convoluted reasons, she is forced into an arranged marriage with a young Scotsman, Jamie, but soon falls in love with him (and, if I remember the novel correctly, ultimately chooses him over the rather dull husband left in the 20th Century, and I can’t say I blame her). It’s all very silly, but rather fun, and the beautifully filmed Scottish countryside is breathtakingly lovely.

++ Cider With Rosie. This series, based on Laurie Lee’s classic novel, has just started in the UK, and I’m very much looking forward to watching the first episode. It seems the perfect show to watch on quiet evenings when all you want to do it snuggle up with a blanket and hot chocolate.

++ Midwinter of the Spirit. I think Anna Maxwell Martin is a brilliant actress, so I’m tempted to try out her latest TV show, Midwinter of the Spirit, which sounds a little creepy, but should certainly get me in the mood for Halloween!

What shows are you looking forward to this fall?

Note: original image via Pinterest.

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Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio

Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics

I have a real weakness for pretty ceramics, and I practically squealed in delight when I discovered Suite One Studio‘s gorgeous collection of handmade tableware. I love designer Lindsay Emery’s choice of delicate colour palettes and feminine details. The ceramics are made by Emery in her studio in North Carolina (but she ships internationally!), and new collections are added every Tuesday to her online shop (the next one is due out on September 29th, so make sure to bookmark the page and check back!). Emery makes each piece without moulds, paints them with a watercolour-inspired glaze and usually adds her signature gold rimmed finish.

From ring dishes, to dessert plates, platters and bowls, it’s exceedingly hard to choose which items I like best, and I can’t wait to look at the new collection.

Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics Miranda Loves: Suite One Studio Ceramics

Do you like dainty ceramics too? Does anything from Suite One Studio grab your eye in particular? I’m hoping more ring dishes like this one will be back in stock soon – there couldn’t be a prettier way to keep my jewellery organised and accessible!

All images via: Suite One Studio

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September Top Ten Must Haves 2015

September Top Ten Must Haves

Autumn seems to have arrived early this year, but, although I was sorry to see summer go, I’m starting to enjoy the shorter days and cooler temperatures. I’m looking forward to the leaves changing colour and to having an excuse to put pumpkin into every baked good I make. September can often feel an odd month – no longer summer, not quite autumn, but this year I feel already entrenched in the spirit of Fall and am loving cosy flannel dresses, floppy black hats and glowing candles in the evenings.

Here are my Top Ten Must Haves for September:

1/ The perfect shirt to wear for an apple picking excursion.

2/ Autumn always seems to call for a new hat, and a black fedora goes with exceptionally well with knit dresses and boots.

3/ Ever since noticing Honey & Co serve cake on pretty tiles rather than dessert plates, I’ve wanted to do the same myself. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to hop on a plane to Portugal to pick some up in street markets, but I figure these rather attractive (and currently on sale!) tiles from Fired Earth are the next best thing.

4/ More and more, I’m drawn to pared back basics in jewellery, and I love this bracelet made by Danish designer Pernille Corydon that was inspired by a New York fire escape.

5/ As the nights draw in, I’ve started thinking of getting candlesticks out again. I love this impressive pewter piece from The French House.

6/ Theatre season has started! There’s so much I’m excited to see, but I was especially pleased to snap up tickets to Husbands & Sons the National Theatre. Tickets are selling out very fast to this, so if you fancy going don’t waste any time getting your seats.

7/ In my recent video, I spoke about some magazines I’ve been pleased to discover. One I didn’t mention, but have loved flicking through this week, is The Collective Quarterly. The latest issue certainly puts you in an autumnal frame of mind, with its gorgeous photography featuring beautiful American homes and landscapes wreathed in Fall splendour.

8/ Since I’ve started doing more videos on a regular basis, I’m thinking about getting this microphone which I’ve heard is good for improving sound quality and seems reasonable at £10.

9/ If you’re as much of an Instagram fan as I am, then do I have a revelation for you! Iconosquare allows you to easily track and reply to comments online (no more laborious searching for the person you’re replying – hitting reply automatically includes their name in your post). It’s much easier to comment too, as I for one am much quicker at typing on a keyboard. I only started using iconosquare the past couple of days, but it’s definitely one of my favourite discoveries of the month!

10/ These Jessica Zoob leggings make you feel stylish even when you’re essentially spending a day in your pjs.

What would be your September Top Ten Must Haves? I’d love to know!

++ View previous monthly Top Ten Must Have lists ++

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Friday’s Gratitude List #42

Knitting

Quote of the week: ‘You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.’ ― Maya Angelou

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week. I have to admit, I’ve really struggled with energy levels this week; the after effects of flu can be tough. I’m finally starting to feel some spark come back to life though, and I’m glad to be retuning to my usual routine (it felt odd to not have the regular Gratitude List last week). And this week has made me realise how important it is to believe that ‘you are alone are enough.’ Not thinner, or happier, or smarter or more energetic. Just you. Even on an off week, you’re enough.

Here are my top 3 things for which I’ve been particularly grateful this week.

1/ Beautiful yarn. I couldn’t take a trip to Loop last weekend without coming away with some beautiful wool. I have an idea for a striped linen scarf I want to make, and I’m still trying to sort out the pattern in my mind. It’ll be the first time I try to develop a pattern of my own so I’m excited about it!

2/ Spending more time in the kitchen. I’ve had so much fun messing around in the kitchen and trying out some new recipes this week.

3/ My Dad. Who worked really hard to fix Miranda’s Notebook when it went down earlier in the week. I was having a major panic attack envisaging almost a year’s worth of posts (i.e. the whole blog) just disappearing… Which has forced me to realise I really need a system for backing up photos and blog posts. Do any of you have any advice? My blog is so photo heavy that I find I fill up external hard dives / dropbox etc etc incredibly quickly. Any tips for storing such a vast amount of data safely? I’d definitely appreciate them!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! What are your plans? I’m excited about going to the ballet (La Sylphide) tomorrow!

++ View previous Friday Gratitude Lists here. ++

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Miranda Loves: Anthropologie Kitchen Sale Picks

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookRudy Fruit Pie Dish, £16.95

It’s that time of year when I seem to spend far too much time drooling over the Anthropologie sale pages (I’m not alone in this, right?!). I’m a huge fan of their kitchen and home range, and I’ve selected some sale picks that I think are particularly special.

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookClambake Cocktail Napkin, £1.95

These nautical cocktail napkins are adorable – perfect for a summer party!

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookBibelot Rolling Pin, £7.95

An exceedingly pretty rolling pin that’s perfect for making pastry when baking summery quiches or fruit tarts.

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookClementines and Cream Tea Towel, £4.95

This tea towel screams summer to me.

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookBotanist Knoll Tablecloth, £52.95

How pretty would this table cloth be for al fresco dinner parties?

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookRosie Casserole Dish, £20.95

This casserole dish reminds me of an abstract painting, and I love the pastel tones.

Anthropologie Sale Picks | Miranda's NotebookHabari Table Runner, £26.95

I’m a big fan of table runners, and this one is gorgeous!

What are your favourite picks from the sale?

++ View more Miranda Loves posts here ++

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Miranda Loves: The Basket Room

The Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook

The Basket Room was founded by Camilla and Holly, two fashion graduates with a love for baskets and for Africa. Inspired by their travels in South and East Africa, they came together to create The Basket Room, a platform that ethically and respectfully connects the handmade products of talented weavers in Ghana and Kenya to a wider audience. I first discovered their beautiful baskets at a design fair, where the bright colours and interesting designs of their products stood out clearly amongst all the other stalls. Here are a few of my favourite woven goods:

The Basket Room | Miranda's NotebookThe Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook{Brightly coloured baskets in a mix of sizes, perfect for any and every kind of storage, with prices ranging from about £9 – £49, depending on size and pattern.}

The Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook{If I had a bike, I couldn’t resist their decorative bike baskets, £55}

The Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook The Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook{Woven bags that are perfect for a trip to the market or beach, or to take on a picnic, £35 – £49.}

The Basket Room | Miranda's Notebook{The perfect bread basket, £28.}

Which are your favourites?

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Monk’s House

Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook

Monk’s House, Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s former home, is one of my favourite places on earth. Nestled in a picture-perfect village in the heart of the Sussex Downs, the National Trust owned property offers a marvellous glimpse into the life of one of Britain’s greatest writers.

When she first viewed the house, Virginia wrote: the rooms are small…the kitchen is distinctly bad. There’s an oil stove, & no grate. Nor is there hot water, nor a bath… These prudent objections kept excitement at bay; yet even they were forced to yield place to a profound pleasure at the size & shape & fertility & wildness of the garden.

Monk’s House garden is indeed everything an English country garden should be, complete with beehives, an orchard, winding paths, a wisteria arch and a writing shed. Walking amongst the pink-tipped blossom, with the bees buzzing and a light breeze stirring, I felt as if I’d stepped back in time to a more tranquil era, when there was space in the day-to-day hum of life for tea in the garden and picnics under trees.

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We spent ages in the garden, sitting on deck chairs in a shady patch of grass and admiring the glorious views. ‘All nature is to be had in 5 minutes,’ said Virginia of the South Downs, and I do see her point: this particular corner of Britain is especially lovely, and it is easy to see why so many writers and painters alike have been inspired by it.

It isn’t just the garden, though, that makes Monk’s House special  – I love the house itself, which is filled with Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s instantly recognisable designs and has an atmosphere of calm serenity. Virginia, apparently, was particularly fond of green paint, and the sitting room is painted a remarkable, pistachio ice-cream shade. There is a very lived-in quality to the room: all the usual writing paraphernalia is left out on Leonard’s desk; books are piled on tables and lavender sits drying in bowls. It is as though the Woolfs have just that minute stepped out – perhaps on a walk over to Charleston to see Vanessa and Duncan – and will be back before sunset to take tea in the cosy armchairs by the fire. Incredibly, I can reach out and touch a chair that Virginia perhaps once scraped back in a hurry to leave the dining table.

Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's NotebookMonk's House | Miranda's NotebookMonk's House | Miranda's Notebook

Only the ground floor of the house is viewable to visitors, but happily Virginia Woolf’s bedroom is one of the rooms open to the public and must not be missed. It is a room surrounded by garden, with a door leading direct to the outside. Standing at the doorway, you can look down the whole stretch of the garden to the church tower presiding over the treetops.

‘A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction,’ Virginia famously wrote in A Room of One’s Own. It is easy to imagine that inspiration would fly from the pen in such an appealing room, although apparently it was used as a bedroom alone, rather than a work room, as Virginia was very particular about the height of the table she used to write. Still, such a room would provide a fine refuge at the end of each day.

Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook Monk's House | Miranda's Notebook

Beautiful as Monk’s House is, there is a hint of bitter-sweet poignancy that clings to the air; a touch of sadness that mingles with the echoes of footsteps trodden long ago and the words of Virginia Woolf, which used to reverberate through the house as she read aloud in the bathtub every morning (where the acoustics were good), checking the rhythm to her lines was right. It is impossible not to walk through her former home without remembering the novelist’s tragic end. Equally, though, it is impossible not to feel that, when she could find happiness, she found it here.

Returning to Monk’s House made a memorable end to our recent day in East Sussex, and if you haven’t been yourself, I do urge you to go. It has an incredible atmosphere that is all its own and must be experienced in person for it to truly resonate.

Have any of you visited Monk’s House already? What did you think of it?

++ See my post on Charleston House, home of Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister) here ++

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