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If you have Acorn, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted Lovejoy on the menu lately. If you’re anything like me, you may have also binge-watched all 6 series. For those who haven’t done either of those things, though, I’ll summarize.
Played by Ian McShane (who you may recognize from Pirates of the Caribbean or Deadwood), Lovejoy is a roguish antiques dealer with an abnormally high degree of skill at spotting quality pieces. Though he’s a fairly accomplished con man, he reserves those morally questionable schemes for people who really deserve it. Between his good nature and charismatic personality, he’s hard not to like. Together with a band of colorful friends, Lovejoy scours the British countryside looking for deals and finding trouble.
If you want to watch Lovejoy, your options are somewhat limited for now.
- Amazon Streaming – Previously available via Acorn on Amazon, currently unavailable.
- Complete Series DVD Set – available for purchase (DVD is encoded for North American DVD players, though, so that’s good news for those who don’t have a region-free DVD player).
The show is based on a series of picaresque novels by Jonathan Gash (real name John Grant). There are actually quite a lot of them, but many seem to be out of print. You can order some of them here, though.
But What About That Lovejoy Fantasy?
Well, I was very surprised to learn tonight that there’s such a thing as Lovejoy fan fiction – but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the fact that you can actually stay at Lady Jane Felsham’s Suffolk estate if you’re so inclined. They also host small (<50 guests) weddings, should you be in the market for that sort of thing.
Belchamp Hall, the location used as Lady Jane’s home, is now available for weddings or overnight stays. They have three incredible suites on site: Lovejoy’s Mill, Lovejoy’s Studio, and just plain old Lovejoy’s. If you opt for Lovejoy’s you’ll be staying in what served as his workshop during the last two seasons of the show. Regardless of which one you book, you’ll be surrounded by the same level of luxury and refinement enjoyed by Lady Jane herself (which I consider infinitely better than staying somewhere more like the places where Lovejoy typically lived).
Although it couldn’t exactly be filed under “budget travel”, it’s certainly quite a draw for any hard-core Lovejoy fan. While you’re at it, you can go down to the Half Moon Inn of Belchamp St. Paul. It’s been a public house for over 400 years now, so it’s an antique in its own right – quite fitting for a Lovejoy-themed excursion. Reports indicate that the inside has changed a bit since then, the exterior remains largely unchanged.