Furniture. MJ Cabinetmakers, Braithwaite, near Keswick

‘Great craftsmanship’ and ‘beautiful furniture’ should be two short phrases that spring to mind when you pull off the A66 at Braithwaite and head down the lane to the workshop and showroom of MJ Cabinetmakers, the workshop officially opened by Prince Charles in 2005. 

Matthew Jardine had set up the business five years before and over time ‘contemporary design married to traditional methods of making’ has led to a range of eye-catching furniture: dining tables, dressers, bureaux, chests of drawers, writing tables, side tables, dressing tables and kitchen cabinets and worktops.

All pieces are made with hardwoods including oak, ash, spalted beech, cherry and walnut and much is made to commission. Lake District slate might find itself into one or two items of furniture as well.

Take a look in the showroom - at the cabinets, shelves, wooden boxes, coasters, clocks, bowls, the dresser and lily cabinet - and you’ll get a pretty good idea of the standards the business sets itself. 

And to think that Matthew Jardine’s love of timber started as a child whittling sticks and that everything now starts with the huge chunks of tree that lie tidily on the ground outside. What a transformation!

MJ Cabinetmakers, The View, Braithwaite, near Keswick CA12 5RY: 017687 78339, www.mjcabinetmakers.co.uk

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