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The Good Lady and I recently decided the cobwebs had built up a little over the winter period and a good dose of bracing sea air was required to blow them away. Looking at the map for destinations within a few hours transport we put a pin in the map at the Morecambe Midland Hotel, a beacon of Art Deco Design in amongst the North Wests Victorian past.

Built in 1933 the interior and exterior has several statement works of art by Eric Gill. In it’s heyday icons such as Coco Channel, Laurence Oliver and the famous detective Hercule Poirot passed over the threshold.

The first time a fellow walks through the landward doors you are taken back to an altogether more pleasant golden period, sympathetic restoration of the building, thoughtful furnishings and marvellous staff transport you back to the height of 1930’s opulence (without the inconvenience of having to find a TARDIS).

This however is not a pastiche to the “Good Old Days” it is a good quality hotel with the service levels and quality you have every right to expect in this grade of establishment.

Shortly after we had checked- in I noticed a display of various souvenirs, as I was leafing through a book on the history of the hotel I was approached by the receptionist and offered kindly offered their copy for our perusal during our stay. Central to the hotel is a sweeping cantilevered staircase, with a gorgeous polished aluminium handrail, that as a guest you get to majestically sweep up and down as many times as you desire. Stairs ascended, bags dropped off, view from room out of Morecambe Bay given the joint seal of approval, we descended the stairs again for Afternoon Tea in the Sun Room, a modern but sympathetic addition to the Hotel offering yet more picture perfect views out over the Bay.

I shall hold my hand up now and admit that this British institution is not usually something that I partake in, I did however agree to nibble one or two morsels in order keep the good lady company. I have to admit I nibbled rather a lot the multi-story food fest was scrumptious with consensus being the chocolate éclair coming out triumphant. This was all washed down with tea (naturally) and one or two rather good Martinis.

The building positively encourages a fellow to drink cocktails, and make a bit of an effort with one’s wardrobe. Anything in a pint glass or heaven forbid made from denim could only be considered Yahooish. Fortunately the cocktails were rather good so no hardship has to be endured. Afternoon tea finished and a walk down the promenade, to clear our heads and settle our stomachs before the evening meal, naturally preceded by a drink or two in the Rotunda Bar.

I am pleased to report that the evening meal was if anything even more satisfactory than the Afternoon Tea, excellent locally sourced food and of course the world famous Morecambe Bay shrimps.

Walking back to our room via the lobby (that staircase again) we were discussing the Hotels décor, when the night receptionist came over and asked if we had seen Gill’s Map of the North West yet? We had not, so he got his keys out unlocked a few doors and took us into the “Eric Gill” suite so we could view the artwork first hand. The pride in the Hotel and its history was noticeable in all the staff we spoke to, an innocent question usually answered with the sort of details and passion only an historian or an individual who is adores the subject can give.

We may have been a long time going, but we are already looking for an excuse to go back again.

Adam Rodgers

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