Fantasy writing rooms

Wherever writers write – in a dedicated office, at the kitchen table, on a laptop in various cafes and libraries – we all dream of that perfect writing room. Here’s my latest.


The folly at Herstmonceux Castle Gardens


It looks like a mini-mansion or a life-size doll’s house. In fact it’s a folly in the gardens of of Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex.

Why it’s perfect (for me, please!):


Hertsmonceux Castle Gardens, East SussexIt has just two rooms, one on top of the other. They might be bare and a bit dilapidated but who cares?

The upper room is only accessed by two outdoor staircases which lead to rather nice balconies on either side (for outdoor writing/contemplating.)

Lovely views.




A secret cottage garden at the back accessed through the folly itself (more outdoor contemplating and wandering. Plus a little light dead-heading.)Herstmonceux Castle Gardens, East Sussex

Someone can easily nip across the garden to bring me lunch.







And when I need to stretch my legs to avoid Writer’s Bottom, I can walk around the lake or through the woods to the mysterious Wood Henge and gain further inspiration.

Wood Henge, Herstmonceux Castle Gardens, East Sussex


I can always dream.

Jera’s Jamboree : Stationery Love with Julia Lee

As it is National Stationery Week I thought I’d reblog this piece from last summer (my first blog-post anywhere!) I don’t know any writers who are not more or less obsessed with stationery. Even though we’re highly reliant on techie bits and pieces these days, we’re still very partial to an inspiring notebook and a good pen. And so can pretend we’re Virginia Woolf sitting in her garden writing room at Monk’s House and finding the perfect phrase…

Jera's Jamboree


My guest today on Stationery Love is Julia Lee.


The habit started young. My earliest stationery memories:

1)    on holiday aged 4 or 5, begging my mum to spare a page from her blue Basildon Bond notepaper so that I could draw. I had to make the pictures very small and cover both sides. Questions: why did she take writing paper on holiday with her, and why didn’t someone just buy me a colouring book? (Not that I liked colouring books much – I was more free-form.)

2)    At five, I was given a ball-point pen with four colours: red, blue, green and black. You slid a tiny lever and the chosen colour slotted into place. It was a bit chunky to hold, but I loved it. I wrote and illustrated my first book with it and my mum stitched the pages together on her sewing machine. I still…

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