The Lake District is the place where many (non-British) forest girls’ dreams were born–exploring the land of Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth felt like returning to a childhood home that I’d never visited before. I imagined all the romanticized visions of idyllic woods-and-country life from children’s stories playing out before me as we drove by the lakes and trees and mountains and stone cottages…
The first stop, though, was a place entirely unlike a simple “cottage”: Blackwell, a great Arts & Crafts manor decorated in the most beautiful Art Nouveau-esque style. Every grand, sweeping room included tiny windowside reading nooks, tucked-away places for contemplation and creation.
(So who wants to contribute to the “let me live in an Arts & Crafts house in the Lake District” fund? I promise it will be a good investment [for me, at least]!)
Everything from the wall friezes to the books on display reflected the same core design values of simplicity, beauty, and a connection to nature. Works for me!
Speaking of connections to nature, each room also included several massive windows showcasing the real art on view–the surrounding landscapes! I almost started crying when I first sat on one of these window-seats and stared out at the stormy skies above the lake. Can you imagine living here? Enjoying a cup of tea and admiring the trees every day?
Or playing the piano in the evenings after taking a long walk?
I couldn’t leave this splendid place without picking up a few postcards (and a little gift for a pen-pal friend who’s particularly fond of Art Nouveau–you know who you are!): so if I write to you, expect a taste of the Lake District sometime soon!