One of the highlights of our recent trip to Key West in Florida was a nosey around Ernest Hemingway’s beautiful home. As you might expect, all things Hemingway are big news in Key West and this stunning house is a main attraction. Tucked away behind a high brick wall, shrouded in palms and mature trees, this is where Hemingway spent 10 years of his prolific writing life.
Visiting the house was an absolute treat. We took advantage of one of the free tours and found ourselves educated and entertained by an extremely knowledgable and even more extremely enthusiastic guide who led us in and out of all the rooms which are open to the public. Full of anecdotes and stories, and an obvious love of Hemingway’s writings he managed to bring this house to life in such a way that I almost wouldn’t have looked twice if the great man himself had appeared, all sunburnt and perhaps a little worse for wear.
The kitchen, lounge, dining room, bedrooms and writing room are all open. Walls are adorned with pictures and memorabilia and there is so much to see and read that after the tour we found ourselves wandering around again, unaccompanied and unhindered. Despite the large number of visitors the house remains in pristine condition and still manages to feel peaceful and inviting.
This was one of my favourite views, the pen and notebook, the typewriter with paper in it. The chair slightly pulled out from the table as if he had just got up to get a drink and would return any moment.
Around 50 six toed cats all descendants of Ernest’s original cat Snow White are in residence here. As you can see from the picture below they are unfazed by the myriad of visitors and can be seen lolling around in sun and shade all over the house and gardens. They are very much part of the home and are all individually named and cared for.
I adored the verandas surrounding the upper floor. Cool and shady, shutters painted in green to match the lush tropical foilage. Long views across the gardens and down to the swimming pool. The perfect place to enjoy an early evening cocktail whilst watching the sun go down.
Such a beautiful home and so wonderfully preserved. I could quite easily see myself taking up residence with the cats, the books and of course the lovely pool to dip into when the heat became just a little too much.
Images 1, Hemmingwayhome.com; all others, changing pages