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Names of rooms can be as uninspiring as the mass produced prints that grace hotel and motel bedrooms : flowers (Rose, Violet, Mimosa), illustrious (often aristocratic) personages (Wellington, Churchill, etc), or picturesque tourist destinations (the Edinburgh suite, the Canterbury room) are the order of the day.

Simple numbers may not make you dream but have a certain sobriety. Naming the rooms after colours (Red Room, Yellow room, Blue Room) is slightly more imaginative but may cramp your style of decoration and even disturb the colour-sensitive guest, though it at least has country house overtones (as in ‘Put Mr Wooster in the Purple Room, Brabinger’).

As this is a family country house and we love literature the titles of family sagas seemed appropriate. Here in the Perche, the Thibault suite came naturally : the author of The Thibaults, Roger Martin du Gard lived just around the corner in Bellême (at the château du Tertre) and we’d spent our first winter in Normandy reading his marvellous evocation of pre-World War 1 France. Each of the saga’s two heroes, Antoine and Jacques, has his own room.

Our other literary families are the Pasquiers (from Duhamel’s novels), the Guermantes (Proust) and the Forsytes (Galsworthy). Are English family sagas thinner on the ground than French ? Probably, and so, to continue our English connection, we have a literary group instead, the Bloomsbury Group : in the Bloomsbury suite Virginia’s room is next to Maynard’s.


The Forsyte Saga Du côté de Guermantes Les Thibault Chronique des Pasquier Keynes's General Theory A Room of One's Own The Bloomsbury rooms

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