A stay at Langshott Manor
To arrive at Langshott Manor hotel is to jump back in time. One moment you are in urban Surrey, passing through towns like Horley and Redhill and all the other hotels near Gatwick airport. Then, all of a sudden, you arrive at a historic hotel like no other – with chimneys, mullioned windows, gables, a bell tower, patterned brickwork, looking as if it has come straight off the set of a film about the Tudors.
What is amazing is that Langshott Manor is the genuine article: a 16th-century manor house which has miraculously survived centuries of redevelopment even though it is just a few miles from Gatwick airport. As an airport hotel it must stand alone in the world as a way to jump forward 450 years between checking out of the hotel and the airport check-in desk and Langshott Manor certainly stands alone as a destination in its own right, as well as a pre-holiday stopover.
Since I stayed at this delightful hotel, Langshott Manor has become more of an exclusive hire venue, but is still available to book for certain dates, known as the ‘Lovely Langshott Escape‘ so do check what dates are available. There are 22 bedrooms and suites at this unique historic hotel which is also a popular venue for afternoon tea, so if you want a little slice of history along with a slice of cake, jam and scones, then you know where to come.
The grounds at Langshott Manor
Those used to spacious boutique hotels with endless corridors and acres of land might have to adjust to 16th-century dimensions: while Langshott Manor used to be surrounded by a moat and parkland, meadows and pastures just a semi-circular lake and a pretty garden at the rear of the hotel remain.
However while the approach to the hotel is through houses, the other side is pure forest with lanes and footpaths to explore and made for a lovely afternoon walk before the sun set and we headed back to warm up in our room.
Langshott Manor bedrooms
More than with other hotels, I would say that choice of room at Langshott Manor is crucial. Many of its 22 rooms are modern and so lack the historic character which you would expect one’s first impression of the hotel. Others are the real deal for those wanting oak-panelling, open fires and four-poster beds. The Catherine Parr room, for example is a modern room which could be in any hotel, while the Leeds junior suite in the main building not only has a four-poster bed but a quite bonkers four-poster bath squeezed into the minute bathroom (the only one in Europe, I was informed: I’m afraid I couldn’t quite see the appeal).
If you are looking for an authentic historic stay at Langshott Manor then I’d recommend choosing the Leeds Suite, the Anne Boleyn Suite or, my personal favourite and the hotel’s top suite, the Henry VIII Suite.
The Henry VIII suite at Langshott Manor
In my opinion there is only one room to choose if you want the full medieval luxury feel: the Henry VIII room in the Moat House block (the rooms are named after Tudor characters, racecourses or castles).
The room not only has a large four-poster bed but a lakeside balcony, good-sized bathroom with a walk-in shower, twin sinks and a vast free-standing bath tub and best of all, a real log fire which someone will light for your on request.
Drinking a pre-dinner cocktail in front of your very own fire makes for a really special hotel experience and we were feeling very well looked-after as we walked across the courtyard to the main building for dinner.
Exploring Langshott Manor
As well as the restaurant and some rooms upstairs, the main building has a galleried reception which was really impressive and certainly set the historic feel from the very beginning. There were also three small lounges, a couple of which – if I’m honest – could be improved somewhat in furnishing and decoration to fit in with either an Elizabethan or luxury hotel theme.
Earlier people had been enjoying afternoon tea in front of the fires and while the hotel doesn’t have a bar as such, staff will happily make cocktails for a pre- or post-dinner drink.
I chose to try the gin and prosecco-based cocktail of the month which was excellent and a great start to the dinner which was served in the light and airy Mulberry restaurant at the rear of the hotel.
Dinner at Langshott Manor
Dinner was a mixed bag: some of the dishes were excellent, some less so and at this price point, the service should be first class rather than slightly hit and miss. The menu was certainly eclectic: starters included mosaic of game with red fruit mustard, pickled blackberries and chocolate; smoked beetroot terrine with gorgonzola and horseradish and tartlet of crab thermidor with cheese sable and samphire.
I played it relatively safe with seared breast of wood pigeon which came with Jerusalem artichoke, truffle and leek and followed it with seared fillet of Gigha halibut and celeriac, truffle dashi and black cabbage.
They were both well presented and were perfectly acceptable (although the pigeon wasn’t wildly tasty and everything could have been hotter) and I liked how the menu offered simpler options too – so if you didn’t fancy the idea of ‘coco nib-crusted loin of venison with cauliflower and coconut’ you could opt for a plain rib-eye instead.
My dining companion’s choice of aged fillet of beef (£5 supplement) was the stand-out dish of the night though – perfectly cooked, excellent accompaniments and a generous size. A nice touch came at the end of dinner, with a labelled box of petit fours (so you knew you were tasting grapefruit macaroon and salted lemon fudge without trying to guess) and we returned, replete, to our room to find the turndown service had made it even cosier for us.
Langshott Manor breakfast
After an excellent night’s sleep in our four-poster bed and saying hello to the ducks who were happily splashing about in the lake below our balcony, we made our way back across to the restaurant for breakfast. Again the service was patchy (there was only one very over-worked waitress on duty) but my smoked kippers and poached egg was just what I wanted.
With a little work making the lounges feel cosier and more luxurious the hotel could be a real winner – but if you are prepared to shell out for the Henry VIII suite then that will suit you perfectly as a really memorable night away: with the real log fire you’ll never want to leave your room.
Hotel information and book Langshott Manor
off Ladbroke Road
Horley, Surrey, RH6 9LN
If you’re looking for hotels in Surrey then you’ll love Family fun and activities galore at Foxhills, Surrey; Shepherds Huts and llamas at the Merry Harriers; Brooklands hotel with Concorde and racing cars; Pennyhill Park hotel and spa – a hotel fit for the England rugby team; Runnymede hotel and spa, a riverside stay near Windsor;