Restaurant Manager Craig Blackburn
Craig is the third generation of his family to find himself in the hospitality industry, like his parents and grandparents before him. Alongside his brother head chef Ryan Blackburn, Craig co-owns the one Michelin starred Old Stamp House, in Ambleside, in the Lake District.
And just like his brother, Craig is a passionate born and bred Cumbrian. The pair both grew up in nearby Great Langdale and there’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever that this plays a central part in their restaurant philosophy. Everything they have created in their flagship restaurant The Old Stamp House is firmly focussed on their surroundings, drawing their inspiration and influences from the place they are proud to call home.
Craig’s journey in the hospitality industry began at his family’s pub the Blacksmiths Arms, Broughton Mills, where he cut his teeth waiting on tables and helping out in the kitchens. He loved it and as you might imagine this set the tone for his future career path. After which he went on to The Border Hotel, Kirk Yetholm, where he worked in the restaurant, all the while learning more about the craft of restaurant service.
After a few years, the bright lights of the big city called, and he found himself learning to become a cocktail impresario and all round wine enthusiast at Edinburgh’s Harvey Nichols Restaurant. With those skills under his belt he headed across the pond to the state of Minnesota, where he worked for a period of time for Noble House Group, gaining a more in-depth insight into the world of wine and of course fine dining.
It’s clear to see from the moment you step through the doors of the Old Stamp House that Craig runs front of house with a calm efficiency that belies years of experience, perseverance, hard work and total dedication to his craft. All these attributes have played no small part in helping to establish The Old Stamp House as a must on any discerning Lake District visitors' restaurant list.