During the Victorian Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movement there was a love of beauty and nature that was reflected in all of the arts of that time period. The artists were rejecting the coming machine age. Upon entering 10 Clarke Place, a bed and breakfast in Frederick Maryland, I was immediately transported into the Victorian world of the Art Nouveau and Pre-Raphaelite painters. The experience felt as if I were in one of those famous romantic painter's homes. Resplendent in texture and color, comfortable without being stuffy, an abundance of period antiques invited you to immediately sit and relax. Every detail observed gave the impression of living in another time, and I was loving this house! This was the perfect retreat from modern living, be it to get away from an industrialized age, or the pervasive electronic technology of today! I was grateful to be in this magical space. We were welcomed into this glorious home by the vivacious owner and designer Monique. Ben and I knew we had come to the right place for our get-a-way weekend!
Once inside, I was thrilled to find the living room walls were covered in the finest wallpapers from Bradbury and Bradbury. These masterwork wallpapers have been favorites of mine for years. How wonderful to see the many layers and trims built up along the borders and onto the ceiling of this room up close. Gorgeous! The sofa and club chair reminded me of ones I once owned. I felt at home!
Every lamp, whether it hung from the ceiling, stood on a stand, or rested upon on a table, was unique. The lovely hostess and her husband have done an astounding job of decorating and restoring this beautiful period home. They are quite a team, and we get to enjoy the benefits of their creation.
We felt entirely fortunate to find such an amazing place to stay, given our short notice of a few days. Having just moved, living among boxes at the old castle, then being surrounded by the dig out from those boxes at 'Hobbit House,' we needed to get away! Our brains were fried, and this remarkable B and B turned out to be a sublime solution! A big thanks to my fantastic husband and his thoughtful idea! I did not know just how perfect it would be for me! The Queen was in her personal heaven.
Anyone who knows me, would be aware of my love of iridescent peacock feathers, as I have them all over my home in various displays. So imagine my awe and wonder, at seeing a dining room inspired by the famous Whistler/Leyland Peacock Room from the Freer Gallery Of Art in this home! Jaw dropping! Magnifique! The decorative artists who worked on the rooms of this house were indeed talented. Since that was my former profession too, I am happy to say they did it right! I am ready to sip a cup of green tea by this fireplace, please. Then off we went with Monique up the staircase to check out our room for the night. Passing a stained glass window, and another glorious lamp on the newel post, we turned into a long hallway. What is behind door number two?
We enter and once again I am floored at how this bedroom is so me! A romantic twig bed that is just perfect for this Fairy Queen! Yes, it's another out-of-this world piece of romantic design by Monique.
Note the hand painted lace wall in the lightest whisper of color in the photo below. This is a time consuming faux glazing technique that is well worth the effort when done in such a subtle color scheme. The wonderful charming bedroom was also appointed with a large elaborate mirrored antique armoire wardrobe. Maybe it leads to Narnia! You can see The Queen is pleased!
After gushing about our room, we unpacked and decided to go for a walkabout in Frederick for the afternoon and evening. The weather was inviting and sunny, so we were off to enjoy the day!
Out past the porch swing and avenue of impeccable historic Victorian homes we went. We were quite happy there were no brown boxes in sight! Ahhh! This felt good!
We decided to start with the little shops of Shab Row and Everedy Square.
We meandered slowly through the quaint area, and sadly a few shops had already closed for the day. Still it was a good walk through the neighborhood.
Hungry, we stopped in the casual Frederick Coffee Co. And Cafe for some healthy and delicious veggie sandwiches. I think this was the best powerhouse type of sandwich I have ever eaten. You can see from their menu boards they have an excellent vegetarian selection. Which for a vegan is really important! We definitely will return to enjoy the food at this cafe again! Now, if they could add a fresh green juice, and green smoothie bar that would be awesome!!!
Check out the vintage coffee grinder sitting in the corner of the room.
As evening set in we drove uptown towards Market street. I always love the view of the church spires from atop this parking garage on Church Street. We seem to be floating in the clouds.
Gee I wish we had gotten to this art gallery below earlier, but we were not on a schedule, just wandering...there is always much to do and see in downtown Frederick! Looks like we missed a very cool art show featuring psychedelic posters from the sixties.
As it became darker we headed back to our comfy B and B to relax and enjoy the surroundings. Moving past the whimsical fountain display, I had to peek at the walls in The Peacock room again!
Then we sat for awhile in the living room to take in that amazing wallpaper and room decor!
I love the tapestry drapes that hang from the entrance to each of the sitting rooms downstairs, as they really give the air of authenticity. Just look at that wooden hand carved decorative Victorian birdcage. What a beauty! Those fantastic giant palms are a nice touch too!
It's time to retire to our soothing room where sparkling water waits on the nightstand.
We awoke to the smell of breakfast in the air. Anyone want to take a long peaceful soak in the claw foot tub below? A glass enclosed shower stall, and hand painted sink on a marble topped chest was equally lovely in this light filled room. You can get pampered easily here.
Breakfast was served in the Peacock Room! As the morning light filtered through the windows I thought, "What a wonderful room to start our day!" More eye candy for me!
One of my favorite parts of going to a Bed and Breakfast along with the intimate settings is getting to know new people. So we invited Monique and her husband to join us for breakfast. I was fascinated by these people who would create such a lavish setting, and share it with guests. Just imagine going on antique hunts with Monique! We ran into her a few months later in town, and that was exactly what she was doing! She has the best eye for what works together! Below is my tasty mango smoothie!
Pictured is Ben's generous breakfast plate of Monique's home made chocolate waffles with strawberries, fresh whipped cream, and a side of bacon. I spy fresh muffins too! They were sent over from a neighboring B and B, so nice!
Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, I no longer eat meat. Monique provided me with fresh kiwi slices instead of bacon, and an extra helping of strawberries on my waffles! Yum! During breakfast some very nice friends of the owners stopped over, and we all sat around the dining table chatting and having some tea. I loved learning more about this home and the historic area.
After our divine breakfast it was time for us to go to a Renaissance festival in Annapolis for the day. We really enjoyed our stay, and we will return again... and probably again...to 10 Clarke Place. The captivating setting, friendly hosts, and the fresh made food, provided us with all we could have wanted for our quick get-a-way weekend! Monique and her husband have lovingly restored this stunning home, and the care taken is evident in every exquisite detail, I think you will like it here too!
I have an idea, which is the only way they could improve on this Victorian immersion experience for me, this would be to create a bedroom dedicated to my favorite Art Nouveau graphic artist Alfonse Mucha! (See my old Mucha foyer here) Then perhaps scatter a few Pre-Raphaelite influenced paintings or tapestries throughout the home! Something like this, this or this. (Of course there are so many more...) The Painting Queen thinks such romantic artistry would fit nicely into a home based on such elegant beauty. So wonderful to live in our dreams! That is what this bed and breakfast does for me!
Ben and I can highly recommended this gem of a bed and breakfast at 10 Clarke Place that's nestled on a very quaint Victorian street in Frederick, Maryland. Once you step inside to this quieter place in time, you will be surrounded by the picturesque loveliness of another era. A breath of fresh air in a busy world. Dream on.