Laidback Living | Out & About: Bloomsbury Tea at The Charlotte Street Hotel
Laidback Living by Doris Lee is a lifestyle blog that centres around casual everyday living
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Out & About: Bloomsbury Tea at The Charlotte Street Hotel

When I first started blogging, it was to fulfil a need to be creative and to share all the things I had learned about Interior Design with the world.


I loved the process of writing down my thoughts and idea’s and as the blog grew, together with my confidence I started to reach out to those who were on a similar journey to myself. What I didn’t know was just how valuable being able to make friends through the blogosphere was until I met a couple of other Interior Design students who were undertaking a similar path to me.
It’s been almost 2 years now since, Sue, Annie & I have been meeting for lunch and afternoon tea on a regular basis. We have tried very hard to make it a monthly occasion but sometimes these timelines slip. As a new designer who was working on my own at the time, it felt isolating to be running a small business with very little help or knowledge and as we were all in a similar situation it has been really lovely to spend a couple of hours a month meeting each other, sharing ideas and helping each other to grow.

Another added bonus, is that our mutual love of Interior Design takes us to meet in the most lovely spaces. Every time we meet, I am constantly kicking myself about the fact that I never ever bring a camera to document the space. That coupled with a client who I met last week providing me with a reference that they loved the design of the Charlotte Street Hotel, I was motivated to take my camera and then write a blog post about it today as it also happens to be Virginia Woolfs Birthday which makes the timing of this blog post most fitting. You’ll find out why further down.

Kit Kemp has such a distinctive style. Whenever I walk into a Firmdale Hotel I am instantly transported into a space that feels both homely and yet sophisticated at the same time. Her love of using craft and specialist artisans in her spaces adds to the quirky nature of the interiors she designs. Her style provides us with joy and includes elements that bring in intrigue and curiosity that create a sense of adventure and fun. And yet comfort & quality are at the core of her interiors also.


On a rainy and miserable Saturday afternoon, I met my lovely friends at The Charlotte Street Hotel. The design of the hotel was inspired by the “Bloomsbury Group or set” who were a group of associated writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists. The best known members included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey and one of my all time favourite writers, E.M. Forster.  They were a loose collection of friends and relatives who were closely associated with Cambridge University and lived, worked or studied together near Bloomsbury, London during the first half of the 20th Century.

The style and colours from the Bloomsbury set are apparent throughout the hotels design. The beautifully colourful mural in the Hotels restaurant, created by Alexander Hollweg  is a depiction of everyday scenes of modern life inspired by a photograph of an original mural by Duncan Grant.


The Drawing Room, includes the Bloomsbury-inspired curtains, rugs and cushions, tailor-made for the room which have cleverly become the art collection.
And so how was the afternoon tea I hear you ask? It was lovely. Head Chef Brand Johns created a delicious treat inspired by authentic recipes that I can imagine The Bloomsbury Set would have enjoyed at Tea Time.


If you would like to pay a visit to the The Charlotte Street Hotel to have a look around details can be found here.


Till next time,

  • Maree Persen

    January 26, 2018 at 8:15 am Reply

    Thanks for this post, Doris – very interesting to hear about your journey from interior design business beginner to fabulous professional! Also I am a huge Virginia Woolf devotee and have visited many sites associated with the Bloomsbury Set, around East Sussex and Kent, and of course Bloomsbury itself. But I haven’t come across The Charlotte Street Hotel and will look forward to seeking it out.

    • Doris


      January 26, 2018 at 9:30 am Reply

      Hi Maree, You will not be disappointed with The Charlotte Street Hotel. Thanks for the comment. xDoris

  • Maree Persen

    January 26, 2018 at 8:16 am Reply

    And I forgot to wish you a happy Australia Day, from a fellow Aussie living in the UK 😀 🇦🇺

    • Doris


      January 26, 2018 at 9:30 am Reply

      Ahhh yes Happy Australia Day to you also 🙂

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