Langdale Chase hotel: Heaven in the Lakes

Langdale Chase

Combining tradition and heritage with contemporary luxury on the shores of Windermere, Langdale Chase is the perfect spot for a wonderfully Cumbrian retreat

langdale chase
The boot room

You can’t help but audibly gasp in delight as you turn into the driveway of Langdale Chase Hotel. With Windermere’s shores lapping gently just metres away, this grand hotel occupies one of the most beautiful spots in all of the Lake District, and the Lake District is brimming with beautiful spots.

langdale chase
The Great Hall

Having started life as a Victorian villa created by Edna Howarth in 1891, Langdale Chase has been welcoming guests as hotel since 1914 and this heritage remains an integral part of their identity today. Now a 5-star choice for travellers looking for that extra bit of luxury in the Lakes, the hotel has recently undergone a huge restoration project and is truly a jewel in Cumbria’s excellent hotel scene.

A historic image of Langdale Chase

If the setting wasn’t enough, the grand Victorian villa itself, with its turrets and crenellations recently restored to full glory, is mightily impressive. Traditional outside, and stylish inside, the hotel invokes the charm of a classically English country house. Original features like the enormous fireplaces and glorious wood panelling are front and centre, and the grand entrance hall, lounges and bar areas are somewhere you’ll enjoy sitting for a little while. On squishy sofas and armchairs, with impossibly perfect views across Windermere, guests can sit here next to the fire, drying off after an invigorating walk, reading the paper and enjoying a pot of tea, an afternoon snack or perhaps a cocktail or two.

The sitting room

With piles of books and board games dotted around and friendly staff around to answer your every need, it would be very easy to spend an entire afternoon here, just gazing out across the beautiful lake.

However, it is more than worth getting up to explore the rest of the hotel at some point during your stay.

The bedrooms are particularly impressive. There are 30 refurbished bedrooms and suites across the hotel, all designed with the hotel’s heritage in mind, and more than enough luxury too.

langdale chase
Langdale Pikes Suite

We stayed in the Pullwood Bay Suite, a beautiful room with uninterrupted views of the lake and its own sitting room area – the perfect spot for reading, relaxing and gazing out over the water. This room also has a special feature in the form of a stained glass light well above the bed, filling the room with a mesmerising, dancing coloured light – it’s well worth leaving this open through the night as the morning sunshine that comes through is particularly special.

langdale chase
Some suites have these sitting room areas with views out to Windermere

The bathroom in the Pullwood Bay Suite is a dream. Hidden behind closet doors you enter into a sweetly scented world of marble, complete with a bath, a spacious walk in shower and a Japanese toilet. The hotel also use toiletries from the local company Bath House, whose products are all inspired by the natural beauty of Cumbria and include scents like Climbing Trees and Fig and Nutmeg.

Bath House products in the bathroom

As well as several other suites and gorgeous bedrooms in the main building, the hotel offers some rather special rooms in the Lakehouse, just a short walk from the main building – a serene and quiet lakeside setting in the heart of the gardens, and with their own private balconies overlooking Windermere – could you ask for anything more?

A Lakehouse balcony

While you’re here, make sure to spend some time in the hotel’s cosy little reading room, which occupies a turret and is packed full with fabulous reading material, plenty of board games and yet more squishy sofas. And the icing on the cake? There’s also a cinema room where you can escape if the Cumbrian weather isn’t playing ball, or to relax after an indulgent dinner.

The Cinema Room

Last, but certainly not least, is the hotel’s excellent food offering.

An all day dining menu and afternoon tea is served both in the more relaxed lounge areas, where you can sit fireside in the squishy sofas, and in the contemporary, light-filled restaurant, with its spectacular floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic views of the lake – the choice is yours, and both are good. In the warmer months, food is also served on the lovely stone terraces and gardens in front of the hotel – Cumbrian weather permitting of course.

langdale chase
The Dining Room

One thing is for sure, a stay at Langdale Chase wouldn’t be complete without an afternoon tea. Wonderfully elegant, with hints of playfulness, this longstanding British tradition is done excellently here. You’ll be treated to a round of inventive savouries and sandwiches, including potted shrimp served on a crumpet, fresh lobster roll, duck croquettes and a cheese and truffle donut. But save room for sweet – the unbelievably delicious freshly baked scones must be eaten piled high with clotted cream and jam of course.

Then come the fancies – beautifully presented in the colours and shapes of different fruit, indulge on black forest gateaux, banoffee pie, apple crumble, key lime pie and a pina colada cake.

langdale chase
Lakeland Dexter beef with crispy oyster and stout

If afternoon tea was anything to go by, evening food was going to be fantastic, and sure enough our dinner, served in the beautiful dining room, was the highlight of the stay. Making the most of Cumbria’s abundant larder, the menu changes frequently so they can serve freshly caught fish from the lake, local meat or foraged ingredients from the fells. The results are dishes that are sophisticated and distinctive, like shellfish consommé, butter poached cod with smoked turnip or local guineafowl with wild mushrooms. Finish your meal with regional cheese and a glass of port, or indulge in one of the tempting puddings. The highlight, for me, was the chocolate delice with poached pear and black dub blue ice cream – a blue cheese ice cream that was surprising, and absolutely delicious.

The chocolate delice

Breakfast is also served in the dining room and is the perfect opportunity to fuel up before a day exploring; expect a full English and other traditional breakfasts like eggs royale or florentine.

For all its cosy corners, excellent food and luxurious bedrooms, Langdale Chase is perfectly placed for exploring the very best of the Lake District. Staff are on hand to offer tips for the best walking routes, provide warm fluffy towels after a bracing lake swim, or can make arrangements if you’d like to try something a little different, like water sports, clay pigeon shooting, or even chartering your own boat for a cruise around Windermere.

Views of Windermere from the hotel

Before you leave, stop for a refuelling lunch of steak sandwiches, fresh pasta dishes, or perhaps a plate of fresh Cumbrian oysters, and be sure to sit in one of the many window seats to really soak in the wonder of the place.

The Boat House

As Windermere laps gently just a few metres away, the fells loom magnificently behind, and you admire the view in your fireside chair, well fed and relaxed – this is the Lake District at its finest.

To find out more about Langdale Chase click here.

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