Saturday, 27 June 2009

First Stop Blackwell

We're just back from a week in the Lake District.

The third load of washing is on, we've unpacked, and the cases are back in the loft. We've had dinner etc. and having checked up emails, and caught up with friends' blogs, its time to share some of the lovely things we did over our holiday.

First stop was Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House. Just south of Windermere, this treat of a place, was everything I had expected to be and more. The White Drawing Room just glows with the light reflected off the lake, and the very clever placement of small mirrors in the panelling, means that even with one's back to the windows, you can still see the Lake. There was so much to be amazed by, the only sad thing is I wonder whether there are the crafts people in England and the will and the wealth to build such places today.
The view over Windermere is just breath taking. On the side of the house facing the lake, there is a terrace with tables, and a long border against the house, but otherwise it is the natural landscape which reigns supreme.

We had a delicious lunch in what used to be the kitchen, before spending more time in the garden. It was good to see that much care had been taken in the choice of furnishings, crockery, cutlery and menu to give an eating experience in harmony with the house.
I was intrigued by the charred wooden piece set in the lawn. It was large in scale, and must have taken so many trees and so much work to construct.

Everywhere were well executed details, which ranged from plasterwork, woodwork, massive stone chimney breasts in the Hall, and even to patterns on the external guttering and hopper heads. The Architect Baillie Scott must have loved this commission.

Living for a number of years on the edge of the Cotswolds, I have grown to love and appreciate the furniture and textiles of the Art & Crafts movement, and used to pop into the Museum in Cheltenham, where they have a very good collection of furniture

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