The Upper Sixth boarding house, Westlake

Tatler Schools Guide Review of Blundell's

‘I honestly couldn't find anything negative about this school’ enthused our mole, after a delicious lunch (cooked by a MasterChef finalist, no less) and an audience with four sparky and engaged pupils. Tatler Schools Guide 2019, magazine coverBlundell's is a reassuring mix of the traditional (it's been around for more than 400 years) and an on-the-pulse modernity, with bright, homely dorms and polished facilities.

Boarding is a hit with families who have second homes in the lovely Devon and Dorset countryside, and results are sound (68 per cent A*-B last year) with 'not an ounce of that London hothousing’, according to one mother. Oxbridge numbers have skyrocketed in the past few years but, says a parent, ‘the school's greatest strength is the all-rounder element'; there are music scholars in the 1st XV rugby team and a whole roster of opportunities from surfing to quad biking to fives. News of pupil Barrie Karea’s magnificent solo try in the U18 Champions Trophy made it as far as New Zealand (seriously, Google it) and girls rugby took off with a bang last year, when the team reached the finals of the Rosslyn Park Sevens tournament.

Sadly, ‘truly inspirational' head Nicola Huggett departed for Cheltenham College in the summer – the good news is Second Master Bart Wielenga has just stepped up. Parents have historically referred to the duo as the 'dream team, so we've no doubt the place is in good hands. ‘We don't take ourselves too seriously,’ says the school. ‘Life is for living, after all.' We couldn't agree more.

This review appeared in the Tatler Schools Guide 2019 (page 49).