Langar Hall

Nottinghamshire, Peak District & Midlands, United Kingdom Book from £100

Reviewed by Tom Bell
A sublime country house set in private parkland where the England of old lives on
Langar is a true original – stubbornly English, deliciously stylish, quietly eccentric. It ticks to its own beat, a place of gentle ritual and timeless beauty. For many years the sadly missed Imogen Skirving was at the helm. Her family came here 150 years ago and during her reign she crafted a characterful retreat where marble busts sit alongside impressive modern art and playful décor. Remarkably, it retains the feel of a home. Follow your nose and you will come across a proper library, an open fire in the drawing room and a pillared dining room that is candle-lit at night. Nothing is done to impress which is why so much does, and those in search of smart country-house hospitality will be in heaven.

Half a mile up a gracious drive, the house stands on a slight hill in imperious parkland, bang next door to the church. If you have ever doubted the loveliness of the Nottinghamshire countryside, come and prove yourself wrong. Many people shy away for this very reason, making Langar all the more attractive as it remains ‘undiscovered’. Those who frequent it tend to be a friendly, eclectic bunch and they return again and again.

Highs

  • A terrifically stylish country house where peace and quiet rule supreme
  • Superb bedrooms full of beautiful things - every room possesses its own unique history
  • Exceptional food featuring rich, indulgent flavours
  • Fantastic art, old and new, across the entire house
  • A lovely team who make you feel very welcome

Lows

  • Many guests say it feels more like a home than a hotel, so those seeking a conventional getaway experience may want to look elsewhere
  • Nottinghamshire is not England’s Number One tourist destination (but it’s lovely, and you’ll have it to yourself)
  • This is a quiet place: night life at Langar is hushed
  • That said, the neighbouring church bells have been known to wake light sleepers
  • Breakfast doesn't quite live up to the standards set by dinner

Best time to go

Any time of year is good here – enjoy crackling fires and bracing walks in winter, views and strolls in the gardens in summer. The lakes and fells are always stunning. If you want to avoid the traffic, give the summer school holidays a miss.

Our top tips

Nearby Newstead Abbey was once home to Lord Byron, and Eastwood was the home of DH Lawrence.

Great for...

Eco
Foodie
Great Outdoors
Wedding
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant + bar
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
Room: Edwards

Rooms

All rooms at Langar are delightful and represent excellent value for money. Expect big beds, pretty fabrics, great views and tons of style. Some are ‘country-house’ (old rugs, brass beds, chaise longues) while others are more contemporary (tongue-and-groove woodwork, faux leopard-skin throws). One looks over a network of medieval fishponds.

Handily, each room comes with a booklet detailing its history and that of person it was named after. Hence Cartland is named after Dame Barbara, and Agnews Chalet, a super-private pavilion in the garden, is named after Jonathan. We particularly liked Edwards, a grand old space with a four-poster bed and, up a small flight of stairs, a bathroom with a lovely roll-top tub. Bohemia also has a lovely bathroom, with a skylight looking onto the neighbouring church.

Prices equate to the size of the room and as none are particularly small, you could take pot luck and be delighted.

Features include:

  • Extra beds
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Tv
  • Wifi internet

Eating

One of Langar’s highlights is their food. There’s game from Belvoir Castle (where else?), homemade soups and waist-expanding puddings. Menus change with the seasons; whatever can be is sourced locally and the odd vegetable is plucked from the kitchen garden.

We spent a decadent evening feasting in their atmospheric candlelit dining room, starting with a classic twice-baked cheese soufflé and a rather more creative caramelised savoy cabbage with wild duck, black truffle and egg yolk. The roast wood pigeon and foie gras main course came wrapped in bacon with puy lentils and root vegetables on the side – a truly excellent combination. Though the vegetarian options are somewhat limited, we were able to sample a very tasty nut-roast terrine with rich tomato relish and salad. Just request in advance if you need a veggie or gluten-free option.

Those who usually abstain from puddings should make an exception here; they are out of this world. Our chocolate basque meringue mousse with caramel ice cream was supremely indulgent, perfectly constructed and beautifully presented. Equally, the cheese board features everyone you’d want and more, all alongside delicious chutney.

Come morning, the breakfast is relatively low-key affair with cereals and fruit, plus cooked options such as a traditional full English and kippers with butter and lemon.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Langar is a destination in itself: there are summer concerts, Shakespeare in the garden once a year, the occasional fashion show, classic car event or antiques fair…
  • Borrow a pair of wellies and take a walk straight from the door into the Nottingham countryside
  • Venture into the outside world and visit Sherwood Forest with its famous Oak trees, Belvoir Castle (pronounced ‘beaver’), Doddington Hall or Calke Abbey
  • Alternatively, walk down to Langar village in search of the wild flower farm, stilton cheese dairies and go-karting and parachuting centres
  • Nottingham is well worth a visit, and much prettier than most would imagine. You’ll find medieval streets, antique shops, Nottingham Castle, good restaurants and a much-admired theatre

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Fishing
  • Hiking

Kids

Children are welcome and the house is sure to capture imaginations young and old. There are also lovely grounds to play in, and a climbing frame as well (or maybe a swing, can’t remember exactly).

Family friendly accommodation:

Bill's and Favourites can interconnect for families of 3-4. Brownlow and Edwards have space for an extra bed or baby cot.

Baby listening:

Baby listening service available on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
10/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
10/
Overall

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