Monday, July 16, 2012

Inspiration from England

St. James Place, London -- October, 2011
Photo by Sunday Taylor

I am very excited about the Summer Olympics taking place in London this year.  If you are like me and have been thinking about England and London because of the upcoming Summer Olympics, you might enjoy reading a blog I love called "Inspiration at Ben Pentreath."  A while back the Telegraph published a piece listing "The 20 best interiors blogs."  Ben's blog was one of them.  I read it and have been smitten ever since.  It is the equivalent of opening up a box of chocolates.  Each blog post is visually delicious.  Ben is an architect and interior designer who lives in England. He has a home decor shop in Bloomsbury, London.  He also has a charming country house with an enchanting garden in Dorset called the Parsonage where he retreats on the weekends.  He often writes about the Parsonage and its garden. Behind the house is a small village church and the photos that Ben takes of his house and garden look like images right out of Jane Austen.  He also features his London store and his current design projects on his blog.  I am so inspired by his store and the great home decor items that he carries, his design ideas, his upcoming book, and his Dorset home and garden, that I frequently find myself checking in with Ben via his blog to see what he has been up to. Take a look:

Here is his London store:

He sells beautiful English home furnishings.  I love these chairs, hmmm... there must be a corner of my house where I could put one of these:

Bloomsbury Library Chairs

His book on English decoration is coming out in September.  I have already placed my order:

You can order a copy here

 He often takes us to the Parsonage (his home in Dorset) where we can see what he is up to in the garden:

The setting is right out of an old English novel 

His house is cozy and charming

 And the garden is beautiful

He gives us a peek into the inside of his charming country home

He has a flat in London and posts beautiful photos of the city.   In fact, his blog is often a love letter to London.

And also to the English countryside.  Ben happily goes from one to the other, enjoying the best of both worlds:

Recently he took us to Garsington Manor near Oxford where he attended a concert and picnic.  This is the house that Ottoline Morrell lived in one hundred years ago and where D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, and Duncan Grant would go for summer parties.  (By the way, it is for sale!)  The property is now used as a summer concert site.   I was very happy to read this post and look at all of Ben's images of Garsington, because even though I have many books with black and white and grainy photos of Garsington, I have never seen it like this! You can read about it here.

Garsington Manor 

I am happily enjoying Ben Pentreath's English life via his fabulous blog.  Please go over and visit.  If you want to vicariously enjoy life in London as well as the English countryside, look no further.  You will also be able to keep up with some exciting English design projects.  With the Olympics coming up, we will all be thinking about England.   And I can't wait to visit his store next time I am in London.

All photos (except the first one) from Inspiration at Ben Pentreath


  1. Definitely off to go check out his blog! I'm so glad we planned our trip for the autumn so we won't be in London for the Olympics. It'll probably be mayhem!

    1. Lauren, that is a great time of the year to go to London. Make sure you visit the Dennis Severs house in London. It will appeal to you with your love of the past and England. It is in Spitalfields and is a house that has been recreated to look as if a family from the 18th century is living there. You will love it. A very unique experience and a highlight of my trip to London last year.

  2. Very excited about the Olympics. This shop is lovely & is also just round the corner from The Persephone Bookshop.

    1. Joan, that is even greater motivation for me to visit his store if it is near the Persephone Bookshop, always a destination for me. I have 5 or 6 Persephone books that I bought last time I was in London. I'm really looking forward to the Olympics.

  3. See, here I am. I am checking out Ben's blog immediately after commenting here. And researching his book at Amazon. Do not need another decor book, but am as addicted to them as I am to cookbooks to Jane Austen, and to Edith Wharton.
    Thanks for the heads-up.

  4. Thank you so very much for the introduction to Ben and his amazing blog. I am stunned by his beautiful pictures and charmed by his writing. Another blog that I will add to my Google Reader subscriptions!

  5. The house in Dorset is beautiful, I can absolutely visualise Jane Austen wandering around there. I'm looking forward to the Olympics too. My 8 year old son has won a ticket to see an Olympic women's football match with his school. It's not in London but in Newcastle which isn't too far from where we live. He is beyond excited!

  6. *Sigh*...How lovely. Bloomsbury is beginning to feel like my home away from home so thank you for adding another 'must visit' shop to my list, Sunday.

    Is it wrong to admit that I am looking forward to the vignettes of London more than the sports events during the Olympics?

  7. Sunday, Beautiful photographs. I did check out Ben's blog and intend on spending more time browsing. I hope you are having a beautiful week.

  8. These are just beautiful! I'm heading to check out Ben's blog next! Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos. I found you via quintessence's blog and I'm now your newest follower! great blog