The Romantic Sublime in Lakeland


ASIDE from London and the Thames Valley, it’s perhaps difficult to think of British locations where the real estate is as impressive as those properties which gracefully line Lake Windermere.

All the more appropriate then that the new apartments at sprauncy but accessible Windermere Marina Village should reflect a definite style and extravagance, overlooking the wonderfully secluded and multi-berth fully serviced marina at the same venue.

WMV has been welcoming visitors to its numerous apartments for years and has become a cornerstone of the Lake District visitor and vacation economy.

But a new apartment block, and neighbouring Boathouse Bar and Restaurant – all freshly built and opened within short months of each other, are proving to be a winning flagship combination.

In fact, with its clean lines, immaculate presentation, imaginative use of a la mode wallpapers in select areas and clever lighting, against the backdrop of lake and mountain, there are intimations of   what the Lakeland poets called the Romantic sublime about the place, only with an ultra-modern twist.  The sort of sublime in which the wonders of the Lakes meets twizzle-touch NEFF hobs and a state of the art lofted techno den etc.

A glib comparison maybe, but perhaps Wordsworth et al  - lovers of storms, cataracts and other natural cataclysms, and all that inspired the senses, might have appreciated the dramatic irony which has resulted in the striking ‘Windermere’ apartments coming into being.

A flood of almost Biblical proportions in 2009 devastated the lower floors of the older apartments and Spinnaker Clubhouse in situ. Water levels rose by at least 12ft overnight.

But in its wake, a divine provenance of sorts has resulted in a sparkling new Boathouse Bar and Restaurant, offering fine dining on two levels, and the magnificent new ‘Windermere’ apartments, both built by Lakeland contractors and wholly in keeping with the look and extant surround.

The jewel in the crown of such is the penthouse suite, which sleeps ten, which offers all the style and elegance one might expect to see in a chic London apartment.

With a superb kitchen area offering NEFF reaction hobs, two ovens, and a horseshoe breakfast bar, all stylishly lit beneath a high vaulted ceiling, visitors could be forgiven for thinking they had walked into either a smart apartment in Belgravia or a studio set.

A nearby lounge area with two strikingly modern grey Chesterfield style settees overlooks a compact tv lounge area complete, with widescreen tv and home theatre system, abutting a balcony with lovely marina views.

Two king size bedrooms - complete with decoupage designs and canvas printed Lakeland shots, are down a chic hallway, flanked by two equally impressive twin rooms.

Modern wallpapers are a feature throughout as are wonderfully private and refreshing en suite bathrooms with walk in showers.

But the jewel in the crown of the penthouse (no 43) is the quite remarkable lofted den which runs along a significant length of the modern roof space, offering spectacular views over the marina and hills thanks to an elongated windowed gable end.

It also offers space for lounging on bean bags for youngsters of all ages (and very high quality ones at that!).

A huge ten seater  ‘C’ shape settee faces a backlit cinema style widescreen tv complete with home cinema system. A compact shower room is also nearby, an unusual but stylish feature for an upstairs loft room.

A pull-down double bed, complete with inlaid storage space and even hidden lights, completes the thoroughly modern look.

A perhaps more mundane but welcome ergonomic feature is the built-in laundry room in the lobby area – with efficient washing machine and dryer. All the heating and electricity was included in the rental price on our visit.

A ten-seater dining table in pine, overhung with octagonal style chandeliers adds that extra sparkle.

The apartments are approached by a clean, bright communal hall and stairs; the doors and handles are thick and heavy and soundproofed enough so as to insulate any possible noise from neighbouring apartments in the same impressive block.

In fact, the remarkable peace of the place is a major plus point; for a week in the February out of season period, despite numerous apartments being full, all we heard for much of the time was the clanking of the sheets against the many masts in the marina basin.

The equally new Boathouse, a vision at night across the marina with its brushed steel balconies, glass long plate windows and split levels, is just a few paces away providing a variety of hearty and imaginatively cooked dishes; the staff are exceptionally knowledgeable and amiable. The Boathouse is open to the public.

While WMV and its surrounds were already synonymous with a high standard, the new apartments with their solidly pleasing modern features have significantly upped the bar in the competitive higher end market. Sleeping ten, perfect for two-three families, or extended families.

Full details and pricing are available at