Sunday, October 13, 2013

An English Autumn

Autumn in Sussex

My trip to London and Florence was wonderful. Autumn was a magical time to visit. The weather was crisp and cool, and there was inspiration around every corner. Once I catch my breath, I will write all about it. Here are a few of the highlights from London:  a production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap (in its sixtieth year now!), a visit to Kensington Palace and Gardens, a tour of St. Paul's Cathedral, shopping at the legendary food purveyor Fortnum & Mason, and tea at Brown's Hotel. There was much, much more...but one of the most special experiences was a trip out of London and into rural Sussex on a beautiful fall day...

There was lunch at this pub

Ploughman's Lunch was the perfect thing to order
Good English Cheddar and home cooked ham served with warm bread from a nearby bakery

Then a visit to this very special home

The garden was still blooming

The sitting room was painted an ethereal shade of green

The bedroom was filled with books by her favorite writers and art by her sister Vanessa, including a lighthouse on the fireplace surround.

I finally made it to Monk's House, the country home of Virginia Woolf. This cozy and unpretentious house is filled with the spirit of Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Everywhere I looked I could imagine the conversations and creative work that happened here. It is a home bursting with their personalities. To visit was a dream come true! More details to follow... 

There's much more on London coming up, including this.
It's impossible to resist Sticky Toffee Pudding when you're in England!

The first photo is of the conservatory at Monk's House


  1. I have read many of Virginia Woolf's books and saw a movie about her life and just to imagine visiting her house sounds thrilling. It must have been a highlight for you Sunday. That is a great picture of you!
    Look forward to seeing and reading more of your trip.

    1. Leslie, if you are a fan then you would love visiting Monk's House. Virginia Woolf's writing hut is on the grounds, at the back of the house, and it is a very special thing to see.

  2. Sounds like an absolutely wonderful trip, Sunday! Looking forward to hearing more about it.

  3. Oh my gosh, what a trip! I've enjoyed your daily photos on Instagram and now these. How wonderful it all must have been. That first picture of the conservatory just makes me want to step in and stay, breathing in the wonderful aroma of autumn apples. I love the picture of you too. So nice to see.

  4. Sunday...I am so glad you visited Monk's house. I know this means so much to you and the picture of you was beautiful. Could you feel Virginia Woolf's words still hanging in the air?

  5. I’ve never been to the country house of Virginia Woolf so I’m adding it to my itinerary on my next visit to London. It looks charming. I love Kensington, the house and gardens are beautiful. I once attended a Choral Evensong at St. Paul’s at Christmas. It was magical! Your lunch looks so delicious and it must have been a delightful trip. Look forward to more from your trip.

  6. Sunday your trip sounds FABULOUS! I cannot wait to hear more about all of the wonderful places that you visited.

  7. I would love to visit Monks House one day, and also to go to Charleston. I'm also a fan of the ploughman's lunch, I think a good ploughman's lunch is one of my perfect meals.

  8. What a wonderful trip and I've loved seeing all of your images...enjoying vicariously!!

  9. See many American tourists around,so am looking forward to hearing(seeing?) your perspective of our beautiful country.I remember thinking how cold their houses were back in the 20/30's all that brick flooring!
    I stay frequently at Brown's when in town bit Aggie Christie don't you think?
    My HB was a chorister at St Paul's he looked so cute! Amazing 60yrs still going did you enjoy?

  10. Lovely to see here, Sunday, and, I imagine, even lovelier to spend some in and around. I really look forward to seeing more of your trip. Welcome back.

  11. Sunday, I enjoy reading your thoughtful appraisals of books and have bought books upon your recommendation. I trust your judgement. Sometimes I am made aware of books from reading your blog, before they in the bookshops here in Australia.
    I am enjoying seeing your images on Instagram. I particularly enjoyed seeing the photos of Monk's House. In years past, I made the trek to Charleston and also to Sissinghurst, both of which are wonderful, for evoking the spirit of their owners and for the beautiful gardens. If you are a Bloomsbury fan, these places are special to visit! Thanks for sharing!
    Deborah from Melbourne, Australia.

  12. Deborah, thank you for your kind words! And you are right about Sissinghurst and Charleston. As a Bloomsbury fan I have made the pilgrimage to both. Charleston twice! Monk's House was a place I had always wanted to see, and it truly was wonderful!
    Best, Sunday

  13. Wonderful pictures. I just adore the fireplace surround with the lighthouse. And I guess I'm hungry as I keep looking at your sticky toffee pudding photos! Hope you'll post a bit about Florence too.