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“Fascinating house and history let down by service”

Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Enjoy a serene day out at the most enchanting historic houses in the Lake District. When you visit you are invited to relax and immerse yourself in all the beauty and craftsmanship of Blackwell. We encourage you to sit and soak up the atmosphere in Blackwell’s fireplace inglenooks, which have fine examples of tiles by Arts & Crafts designer William de Morgan. The inviting window seats offer stunning views of the surrounding Lake District scenery. You can appreciate the house as it was originally intended, without roped-off areas. Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, including a rare hessian wall-hanging in the Dining Room, leaf-shaped door handles, curious window catches, spectacular plasterwork, stained glass and carved wooden panelling by Simpsons of Kendal. The rooms contain furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts and Crafts designers and studios.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

A beautiful property in stunning surroundings (would have been 5 stars). A pleasure to explore with lots to read and absorb. The 100 years of Moorcroft exhibition was also a great addition (be aware this changes in July). If you're interested in the Arts & Crafts movement or appreciate architecture and traditional craft then a visit is a must. The gallery/gift shop was lovely with a selection of hand made contemporary crafts and books all reasonably priced.

Beware though, allow sufficient time if you intend to visit the tea room (hence the 3 stars). We arrived around 2.30pm and the tea room was around half full. We counted 6 members of staff in and out of the kitchen and still, we had to wait 30 minutes plus for two drinks and a brownie. Watching the way the staff worked was purgatory, at not even half capacity, several tables had to chase up their order even being taken let alone items arriving. One couple on the table next to us almost left they had been waiting so long. Whilst the quality of the drinks and cake was good, it's such a shame that the quality of the service didn't match.

We had to wait so long that we asked at reception how long we needed to allow to look around the house so as not to miss out. Our intention in asking at this stage wasn't to complain even so, the lady was quite hostile in her responses and wanted to shirk responsibility over to the catering staff. After eventually finishing our drinks we did point out that the wait time was unacceptable that that the service we had received was below par. Their excuse was that they were really busy but for the duration of our visit there were 6 staff working and at no time did the tea room reach more than half capacity. We dread to think was busy lunch service would bring!

1  Thank Craig O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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399 - 403 of 613 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2014

This was our first visit to the house and it was wonderful We went around the house, had lunch on the terrace and enjoyed the house so much we went around it all over again. Its hard to believe this oasis of art craft and beauty is just 10 minutes away from the hideously heaving overcrowded tourist infested towns. It was simply to wonderful to walk down the wooden panelled corridor to reach the fabulous white room with wonderful views over the lake Windermere. So many lovely window seats in the house for public to sit and admire the interior of the house and the beautiful views outside. The staff were very friendly welcoming and helpful. We enjoyed the temporary exhibition and also the permanent displays in the rooms. The lunch was beautifully presented and so tasty. It was a refreshing change to be able to sit on a terrace enjoying the sun and enjoy the views without being bothered by smokers. So good to get a nice lunch instead of the usual boring fare that other tourists attractions have on offer. We loved the house so much that we had a second visit around the house and then had some lovely cakes.. We will definitely be back again.

Thank stormchaser
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

The house is gorgeous, and the setting superb. However, having visited House of an Art Lover in Glasgow, which is designed in the same style but built in the 1980s, I was disappointed by the museum aspect to the house. It's not very informative for people who are not knowledgeable about the architecture of that style. House for an Art Lover has audio guides that provide so much detail and appreciation for the place. Blackwell had a pamphlet with a small paragraph on the few rooms open.

Several of the rooms are just museums for modern, beautiful pieces of ceramics and that kind of objet d'art, some of it for sale if you have several hundred or thousand pounds to spend. This isn't my thing. I love social history, and being educated to have an appreciation for something I know little about. This didn't provide me as much as I'd have liked. I'd have been more annoyed if I'd not been given free entry as a student. But as a student, I didn't come out that better educated. It's like they want you to buy the books to gain that knowledge.

But I do want that white drawing room! It's absolutely gorgeous.

We didn't try the cafe, but I've heard it's very nice. The gardens are very limited, but on a nice day it would be ideal to sit on one of the terraces and have tea or lunch.

Thank Fenedin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

If you are an aficionado of the English Arts and Crafts movement you will love this house beautifully situated overlooking Lake Windemere. Every room is a delight to the eye - there is so much wonderful detail. As a ceramicist who makes reproduction Art Noveau and Arts and Crafts tiles, I loved seeing seeing the De Morgan pottery and fireplaces. The special exhibition of Moorcroft Pottery was an added treat.

Thank VadoinItalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2014

Absolutely beautiful historic house with excellent touring exhibitions. Amazing views across the lake and hills, amazing decor, and lovely helpful staff

Thank Brianbollin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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