Friday, 4 November 2011

Dining in the Dark

I suppose I should be thinking about how to pay my credit card, or what to feed the kids when they get home, or seeing if the artist is OK... and maybe taking him up a bit of toast or something, but I have been whiling away the hours day-dreaming about MY LATEST FIXATION.... a DARK, candle-lit dining-room. There's a sweet-smelling, wood-burning fire. The vestiges of an effortless but elegant meal are strewn over the table - a simple candelabra, linen napkins, graceful Georgian wine-glasses, cracked wall-nuts, pretty crystalised-fruits, an exquisite bone-handled knife left beside a piece of crumbled cheese, a cascade of grapes... I can make out dark, velvety chairs in the dimly lit room. A black cat is curled up asleep on a window seat. All sight and sound of the outside world is muffled by heavy silk swags and drapes at the windows. Decades of candle smoke have turned the ornate plaster-work ceiling a soft sooty grey. The satiny walls are so dark they look black but the sheen on them softly reflects the candlelight giving the room a warm lustrous glow. It's like being right in the middle of a Dutch oil painting. This isn't a scene from a film... or my imagination: it's the beautiful front room at the Dennis Severs House in Spitalfields. We went there last week and I have been lusting after it ever since. 

In danger of being swallowed up by looming, thirty storey office blocks on all sides, the terraced Georgian house is like stepping into another world, where the smells, sights and sounds of life in 17th Century London have been perfectly conjured up. Lots of inspiration for Dark Weekend! Which reminds me... if you haven't received your email invite get in touch sarah@hackneychateau and I'll send you all the details.

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