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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday's Kitchen

Mantlepiece in Sunday's kitchen as it appears today

Yesterday I bought a beautiful book called 'Sunday's Kitchen: Food and Living at Heide' co-written by my friend and one-time colleague Lesley Harding. I can't tell you just how beautiful it is. It's full of evocative black and white photographs of John and Sunday Reed and the artists and writers who sought refuge at their property on the Yarra in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg (now Buleen). It also includes many coloured photographs of the gardens, the paintings they inspired and recipes used by Sunday to create simple bohemian feasts.

If you don't know about Heide you can read more about it here and here. In essence, it was a community not unlike the Bloomsbury group with John and Sunday at the centre acting as mentors, promoters and philanthropists. Artists such as Sidney Nolan, Albert Tucker, John Perceval and Mirka Mora were closely associated with the Reeds whose support helped them during crucial periods of their artistic careers.

Heide is a very special place. Walking around the grounds and through the houses there is still a very palpable sense that John and Sunday are right there beside you. If you're in Melbourne there is a complementary exhibition showing at the moment so pack a picnic and make the pilgrimage. If that's not possible you might like to follow Sally Heath's blog 'A Season of Sundays' which has been inspired by the book.


  1. I'm looking forward to adding this book to my collection. Heidi is one of my favorite places to visit! Personally, I can't imagine a better way to spend a Sunday evening than recreating a beautiful bohemian feast with my friends!

  2. I have this book too and have read The Heart Garden and Mora's autobiography too. Fabulous reading, all of it.

  3. I hadn't heard of Sunday Reed,what a lovely name. But I often visit Charlston a farm in the Sussex countryside where the Bloomsbury Group used to gather and talk and create grow vegetables and cook. Like Heide, you can still feel the energy of the artists and writers who lived there. Duncan Grants studio is just as it would have been the last time he used it.

    Mum used to talk about him often after meeting him at the Mid day studios in Manchester as a young woman

  4. I'm so glad there are people out there who love Heide as much as I do and I'm glad that I was able to introduce you to it Debby. Hopefully one day I'll get to Charlston. I just know I'd love it too.

  5. Tee hee. You're right about the professional suicide. Can you imagine those little faces if you said you didn't have HP in stock?

  6. I always had plenty of stock on hand believe me!