Visit: Charleston Farmhouse and Brighton Royal Pavilion – Thursday 14th April 2016

Morning coffee and a private tour of the famous home and meeting place of members of the Bloomsbury Group, followed by a visit to the Regency/Indian extravaganza that is the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

Our coach will take us first to Charleston Farmhouse in East Sussex where we have coffee before a tour of the house and gardens. For some 50 years from 1916, Charleston was the home of the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan grant, mainstays of the Bloomsbury Set.

Inspired by Italian fresco painting and the Post-Impressionists, they lavishly decorated the walls, doors and furniture. We shall see rooms showing all aspects of their decorative art:- murals, painted furniture, ceramics, paintings and textiles.

Also there is a collection of art by Renoir, Picasso, Derain, Matthew Smith, Sickert, Tomlin and Delacroix. The walled garden was designed in a style reminiscent of Southern Europe, with mosaics, Box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds but with a touch of Bloomsbury humour in the placing of the statuary.

From Charleston we will travel into the heart of Brighton. There there will be time for lunch at the cafe or restaurant of your choice before our tour of the Royal Pavilion. In 1815, the then Prince Regent, later George IV, commissioned John Nash to convert his modest Marine Pavilion into an opulent seaside Pleasure Palace with no expense spared. Externally Nash’s building appears Indo-Islamic in style with domes and minarets while internally the designs by Frederick Crace snd Robert Jones show strong Chinese influences. The result is a colourful, flamboyant, extraordinary flight of fancy that will round off our day of remarkable sights.