The French call the little, personal and inconsequential anecdotes that are most revealing of life, les petites histoires. Charleston Farmhouse is full of them, signposts and memoranda of the lives of the illustrious, clever Bloomsbury Group who pain...
August 12th, 2020
The Pauper's Cookbook and The Country Kitchen, china, compost heaps, cold frames & - country life by Jason Goodwin
Ever since I wrote Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, I’ve been brooding. On the face of it the Ottomans had precious little to shout about, though they ruled from the castle at Buda to the deserts of Arabia.
June 18th, 2020
On delighting in cracked, chipped, 'Rescued' things and coming back to her old family house in Scotland, by Domenica More Gordon
It is an odd thing to find yourself living back in your childhood house at the age of 40 with your parents and your own young family and husband. Sometimes as I walk through the house and garden I slip from mother to daughter and from adult t...
June 7th, 2020
House, hearth, home and garden by Bridget Elworthy (@thelandgardeners)
An Argentinian cousin of my fathers once said to me - you do not choose a house - it chooses you. And I have to say she was totally right.
Having moved rather a lot since leaving my home in NZ in my early twenties I have found that some houses grace...
May 30th, 2020
For the Love of Houses by Veere Grenney
My childhood was in New Zealand, a pleasant and distant land, still rooted in England in all its forms and a society anchored to the land. Affluent but middle class, “Surrey in the South Pacific “ yet still egalitarian, thanks...
May 22nd, 2020
Egyptomania, Portobello Market, Camels, Whippets and Ottoman textiles, At home in London by Lulu Lytle
These have been very long days sitting at my makeshift desk (3 Nigerian batiks draped over a folding picnic table) writing endless emails and communicating on zoom.
May 17th, 2020
Friends, not Chickens, by Jasper Conran
Waking up this morning I realised that our house, the things in it and I have much in common. We are mostly chipped, frayed at the edges, quite old and sometimes, especially in my case, desperately in need of restoration.
May 10th, 2020
Gavin Houghton, On Wallpaper, The World of Interiors, Painted Floors, Jack Russells - and Darren.
I found my house in Stockwell 20 years ago. It’s an early Victoria terraced house second from the end, with steps up to the apple green front door and a ground floor bay window on metal stilts.
May 3rd, 2020
On Moving House (for the Fourth Time) to half an Elizabethan House with a 'Jennifer Archer ' Kitchen - and hanging sill-length curtains...By Isabel Bannerman.
The bibleobritishtaste has asked what it is that one does turning to a new place and re-using all the leftovers for the fourth time in a lifetime .
April 30th, 2020
S J Whitework's Design Heroes: Cecil Beaton, J.E.T. and Marthe Armitage.
I started trailing the designer Susanna White because of a lamp shade. It was a tall cone printed with 'Hunters,' the dashing repeat design of a man and woman on horseback drawn by her grandmother Joan Evelyn Thomson - aka J.E.T. 'Hunters' is entirel...
April 24th, 2020
By Ben Pentreath: A Month in the Country and the Story of Parsonage Pink
It’s four weeks now since we’ve been here, down in Dorset. I’d say a couple of weeks ago the house got very tidy indeed. Everyone in the country, housebound and feeling helpless, went on a massive spring clean. We were no exception. It was ...
April 19th, 2020
the bobt: a trip to the archives
To mark April's Renaissance, the bibleofbritishtaste presents new stories and themes. Some are being commissioned from generous and talented friends. But these are not them. Today's story is an amuse gueule from its archives of thousands of pictu...
April 8th, 2020
I am a painter and I paint every day: Romi Behrens at Prussia Cove
Romi Behrens, b.1939, who lived at Prussia Cove in West Cornwall, belonged to no school of art and received no formal painting tuition
December 17th, 2019
Peter Hone, Master-Plaster-Caster.
I've called on Peter Hone in his Notting Hill studio flat a few times recently
I was working in the zoo serving the fellows, Sir Solly Zuckerman and the man who was the Naked Ape man, what’s his name? Luncheon, and f...
January 6th, 2019
Old Albion, Ben Pentreath, Charlie McCormick and their Old Parsonage.
As some of you will know, architect and designer Ben Pentreath and plantsman, florist and collector Charlie McCormick live for most of the time in a small hamlet in West Dorset, although they have a London life as well. The dogs and their...
October 14th, 2018
Trereife House in West Cornwall, Lost Land of Lyonesse.
They rebuilt the 'new' house at Trereife in 1710, on and around the older one, as has so often been the case. There's a back drive with high stone gate posts and rhododendrons and this front one, running up beside the old park palings. The Le Grice...
September 2nd, 2018
Min Hogg's World of Interiors: Seaweed wallpaper.
Min Hogg lives round the corner from the V and A and the Brompton Oratory. She is the creator and founding editor of the World of Interiors magazine, generally considered to be outstanding in the western world. Interiors (as it was originally cal...
June 24th, 2018
At Wardington Manor, the Land Gardeners.
'Walled gardens - and restoring them - is what we really want to be doing,' says Bridget Elworthy. Four years ago Bridget and her friend and partner, Henrietta Courtauld, started the Land Gardeners. Cutting gardens and seasonal cut flowers, soil ...
March 4th, 2018
Measure, Draw, Build: George Saumarez Smith, architect.
George's exhibition about drawing, the essential tool of the design process, Measure, Draw, Build, is at the RIBA until Novemb...
October 30th, 2017
The Old Sweet Dove of Wiveton.
Almost everything here was inherited from Desmond’s grandparents Primrose and Dick Buxton, who bought Wiveton in 1944. The Buxton's beautified the house and improved its gardens and model farm. Chloe Buxton, their only child, met her future...
September 24th, 2017
David Bridgwater, his curious world.
David Bridgwater wrote to me a few weeks ago. He had read the art book that I published with Yale, Owning the Past, about the English collectors who scoured Italy, Greece and Turkey for antique sculptures in the eighteenth century and brought the...
June 25th, 2017
Shulbrede Priory near Lynchmere.
On the borders of Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, Shulbrede Priory is the surviving corner of the rather obscure religious house of Wlenchmere, founded at the end of the twelfth century and suppressed by Henry VIII in the 1530s.
April 2nd, 2017
Back to the Drawing Board: Pat Albeck.
In the autumn of 2016 I visited the artist and renowned textile designer Pat Albeck in the Oxfordshire gate lodge where she has lived for about four years. She came there with her husband the acclaimed stage and costume designer Peter Rice (w...
February 5th, 2017
Wonders of the East End: Malplaquet House.
Grateful thanks to Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe Gowan.
All images copyright bibleofbritishtaste/Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe Gowan. Excerpts and links may be...
February 28th, 2016
Stone and shell in Somerset-shire: Belinda Eade.
Flanking the chimney in Malplaquet House - the home of Tim Knox and Todd Longstaffe Gowan - are shell candle sconces in the Baroque taste made by Belinda Eade almost 20 years ago.
As a pupil at Marlborough School Belinda had helped to restor...
December 31st, 2015
Trematon Castle : "Escape culture all day & night at Bannermans."
All images except this one, copyright bibleofbritishtaste. Excerpts and links may be used,...
February 22nd, 2015
The real thing, Tanya Harrod, essays on making (and Peggy Angus).
Tanya Harrod published 'The Real Thing, essays on making in the modern world,' this week. Its essays are about art, craft and design, and the shifts and spaces in between them.These are subjects she has been thinking and writing about for 30 years....
January 25th, 2015
New year, new build, Bavent House in East Anglia.
Lucy, Clea and Richard Turvill have been here now, in the house they built, for about 5 years. While they lived in London their countrified alter-egos had been well disguised. I thought they were truly metropolitan, but now I realise that they were s...
January 13th, 2015
The Way We Live, Now.
'Nothing much has happened to our house for about 20 years in terms of its look,' says Christina Moore. 'It's not designed although I guess when we first put it together it was. We moved in here in 1984. Now it's about managing the amount of stuff th...
November 17th, 2014
Big Old House, Fen-land.
Richard and Patricia Hewlings live in the Fens, the district known as the Holy land of England. Their house is a flat-fronted, red brick farmhouse with a pretty Georgian doorcase, and an older wing jettying out into what was once the farmyard at the ...
September 14th, 2014
Reminiscences of my visit to Smedmore.
I stayed at lovely Smedmore House in Dorset, settled in its green declivity between ridge-backed Purbeck hills, in May. The first day was grey, with scudding wind and rain, but then the sun came out. This is a room in the old kitchen range, not much ...
August 17th, 2014
John Martin Robinson, Maltravers Herald Extraordinary and architectural historian
This is the London dwelling of John Martin Robinson, aesthete, architectural historian and controversialist. He holds the offices of Maltravers Herald Extraordinary, Librarian to the Duke of Norfolk and Vice Chairman of the Georgian Group ( tho he ha...
April 10th, 2014
Romilly Saumarez Smith, a maker and her house in East London.
From a temporary gallery arranged in the downstairs rooms of her house in Stepney, Romilly Saumarez Smith has just sold her latest jewellery collection. 'That collection is done now, we'll make up the orders but then we'll go on to the next one, an...
December 28th, 2013
The Englishman's Room, Gavin Stamp and Anti-Ugly.
The architectural historian and writer Gavin Stamp is one of the 'new Georgians,' pioneers of gentrification who brought up their families in the unloved and unlovely bits of London, where boarded up and multi-occupied old housing stock survived ...
November 6th, 2013
Mr. Dodd at home, 2 : Country.
Local children nicknamed this seventeenth century folly 'Mustard-pot Hall.' It stands on the edge of a field in south-eastern England. ALAN DODD has lived here since the 1980s. I was a guest here one weekend about a decade later and I was smitten, an...
October 3rd, 2013
Philippa Kunisch, Jeweller.
Philippa Kunisch lives in north London,
Philippa's jewellery has been sold in Liberty's, the General Trading Company and specialist shops in New York and all over America, Florence, Paris, Milan and Japa...
September 23rd, 2013
'Nymphs and Shepherds, Come Away' - Nicky Haslam's Hunting Lodge.
This week Nicky Haslam's Folly de Grandeur was published. It's the story of the house in which he has lived for over thirty years, told in a prose which is never purple but ever so slightly lilac. He writes in the same distinctive, confidential ton...
March 26th, 2013
More Spitalfields Life.
Eloise and Will Palin live in an old house in Spitalfields. It was built for a Hugenot silk weaver in 1717, one of the refugees from religious persecution in France who colonised the area then, and its beautifully proportioned rooms were paid for by ...
February 10th, 2013
A large family grew up in this early nineteenth century villa, standing close to the course of the Thames where it runs into London from the west. Most of these children have come of age but none have completely left yet, and their discarded winter...
February 3rd, 2013
Sue and David Gentleman.
The artist David Gentleman and his wife Sue have lived in the same north London house, in the hinterland between Camden Market and Regent's Park, since 1971. I have never seen it untidy, it is always serene, but there is a visual intelligence and h...
January 21st, 2013
At home in West Dorset, John and Julia de Pauley.
John and Julia de Pauley and their two daughters live in Bridport, a market town next to the west Dorset coast. These photographs were taken on a broiling day towards the end of last summer.
January 6th, 2013
In Camden Town.
This is the Camden Town desk from which the bible of british taste is published each week. There are many good things about living in NW1, but for years now all my old affection for the place has been drowned by the horribleness of being just around ...
December 31st, 2012
Stephen Medcalf's books.
Just after bonfire night in 1989, Stephen Medcalf, who was tickled by the idea of being photographed at home, wrote to me , 'I do not promise not to tidy it a bit ... a clergyman in Norfolk told me what my room looked like from the way I sat in my ch...
December 2nd, 2012
Virginia White at home.
Virginia White is an art collector who works as an interior designer. She is a brilliant colourist. She likes Kettles Yard and the St. Ives painters especially. The last room in this sequence belongs to her daughter Iona. https://virginiawhite...
November 12th, 2012
The Anthony Shaw Collection.
Every surface on the lower floors of the small terraced house in which Anthony Shaw grew up used to display pieces from his collection. They were even on the kitchen worktops next to the toaster, but there was a palpable sense of more, unseen rooms o...
September 17th, 2012
Mr. Dodd at home, 1 : London.
ALAN DODD was born in Kent in 1942. He attended Ashford Grammar School, Maidstone College of Art (where David Hockney was one of his teachers) and then the Painting School at the Royal Academy. By the 1970s he was painting murals : five large archi...
March 21st, 2012
The best hand-made wallpaper in the world is by Marthe Armitage.
Marthe Armitage studied painting at Chelsea School of Art just after the war. When marriage and motherhood interrupted she laid down her brush, but then in the 60s she and her architect husband wanted to live with a new more minimal style of decora...