Throwing aside the stifling mores of late Victorian Britain, the Bloomsbury Group fostered a fresh, creative and vital way of living that encouraged debate and communication (‘only connect’), as often as not across the dining table. Gathered at these tables were many of the most important figures in art, literature, politics and economics of the modern era: E. M. Forster, Roger Fry, John Maynard Keynes, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, among many others.
In The Bloomsbury Cookbook Jans Ondaatje Rolls invites us to dine with these enduringly fascinating individuals, taking us into the very centre of their world through the meals around which they argued, debated, laughed and loved.
Part cookbook, part social and cultural history, the book tells the story of the Bloomsbury Group with nearly 300 recipes, many from previously unpublished material by members such as Frances Partridge, Helen Anrep and David and Angelica Garnett, accompanied by paintings, photographs, quotations, letters and personal reminiscences.
Together they paint an intimate and astonishingly detailed portrait of the group, conjuring up the scents, colours and textures of breakfasts at Monk’s House, lunches at Charleston, tea in Tidmarsh, evening parties in Gordon Square and dinners in the south of France.
Beautifully illustrated, including original artwork by Cressida Bell, this is both a source of inspiration for the modern chef and a unique celebration of life, love and art at the heart of Bloomsbury.