Hemingway’s Kitchen ~ A Truly Gorgeous Space
I have an affinity for all things Ernest Hemingway. I love everything about the man, except the fact that he was so tormented by the loss of his memory, due to the electroshock therapy he underwent to treat his bipolar disorder, that he took his own life. Well, that and the fact that if he wasn’t an outright male chauvinistic pig, it certainly is rumored that he was discriminatory to the women in his life. I don’t see that in his writing, however, especially when he speaks of his first wife Hadley. But I love his books, his style of writing, his sense of adventure, and especially his passion for the things he enjoyed. He experienced life wholeheartedly until he just couldn’t. I am a little embarrassed to admit, however, that the thing I probably like most about Papa is the kitchen in what was his Key West home.
I am fanatical about gorgeous kitchens and love looking at photos of them. While small, Hemingway’s kitchen has all the elements I look for in a dream cooking space. The big retro range– which wasn’t retro when it was installed, but top-of-the-line– a drainboard sink, corner china cabinet, French doors, room for a table and, most importantly, radiant sunlight streaming through its numerous large windows.
That’s probably what I covet most about Ernest’s home, the floor-to-ceiling doors and windows that allow such an abundance of pure light to enter its rooms.
I don’t know if the pretty bottles and platters, or even the tiles on the backsplash, were there in Hemingway’s time, but they add the perfect touch, as does the little shelf that runs from window to corner over the range.
I wondered, as I looked at Hemingway’s kitchen, if he ever really did much cooking there. When we visited, a tour guide informed us that all of its fixtures were raised to accommodate his greater than average height, so I’m assuming the avid fisherman and hunter did play in this Florida kitchen. He certainly was fond of fine food and mealtimes, if A Moveable Feast is any indication. And, really, how could he not be inspired to create in this simple, efficient, but decorative space that opens to the studio in which he cooked up so many works of literary art?