This beautiful building is a real Art Deco gem with its sweeping facade, imposing central tower topped off with two seahorses and to the rear, a circular room with long distance views across the sea towards Barrow-in-Furness.
Built in 1932, the Midland was designed by Oliver Hill and replaced the Victorian hotel that was originally constructed on this site. Hill enlisted the multi talented artist/sculptor/print maker Eric Gill to undertake the exterior seahorses sculptures and interior details such as the ceiling medallion of Neptune and Triton situated over the circular main staircase and the frieze of Odysseus currently located behind the reception desk .
|Apparently, the frieze was the victim of an attempted theft when the hotel was disused|
In its heyday, the hotel's clientele included Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson, Noel Coward, Winston Churchill and Coco Chanel, but the onset of the Second Wold War resulted in it being requisitioned for the war effort.
The post-war years saw the hotel pass through the hands of numerous owners, but the boom of affordable foreign holidays meant that people didn't want to venture to their usual holiday spots at home when they could buy a package holiday and fly to warmer and more exotic locations.
So, like many other seaside hotels, the Midland fell into decline until the development company Urban Splash brought the hotel in 2003 intent on restoring it, but keeping the integrity of its history and architectural heritage; it was re-opened in 2008.
I could only access the public areas such as the restaurant and cafe, but was pleased to see that although the building had obviously been thoroughly restored, details like the original flooring in what is now the cafe remained in-situ, even though its obviously very time worn.
|Did the chic monochrome feet of Coco Chanel skim over this same floor?|
|Another original detail|
I fell in love with the the red and pink bar area with its padded booths; the perfect place to sip a cocktail and daydream. The bright colours and padded seating reminded me of a Terry de Havilland shoe - in fact I could have been sitting in one!
|Sipping on a 'Bramble' cocktail - it went down very well!|