Lancashire Inn & Restaurant reveals stunning makeover

A family-owned Inn & Restaurant, which underwent an extensive redesign and renovation earlier this year is welcoming more customers than ever before.

The Longlands Inn & Restaurant at Tewitfield, near Carnforth revealed the full extent of its £450,000 stunning new look this spring and since reopening has catered for more than 12,000 covers. This is an increase of around 300 more diners compared to the same period in 2021.

The popular canalside inn and restaurant is now gearing up for the busy summer season and what looks set to be a record year. By converting the previous function suite into a larger space for diners – the Lapwing Bar & Dining Room – The Longlands is able to cater for an additional 30-40 covers per sitting.   

Head chef Mark Swanton’s kitchen has had a complete refurbishment with a new layout and new equipment and has been opened for diners to see his team at work. A new bistro-style coffee area serving locally roasted speciality coffee from Atkinsons of Lancaster and freshly made cakes and desserts are a welcoming sight as you walk through the doors.

In the new-look Lapwing Bar & Dining Room, named after the area’s most familiar and charismatic birds, a custom-designed curved wooden bar with marble effect surface spans the entire bar area. Handmade by Lancashire’s Paul Case Furniture, the bar is complemented by a similarly bespoke wine station. A mix of new seating options include raised banquette booths, window seats, and tall bar tables and stools.

Feature walls have been painted with luxurious Dulux Heritage colour palettes. Rich, warming Olive Tree and decadently deep Midnight Teal were chosen to reflect the inn’s picturesque countryside and canalside location.

Throughout the refurbishment, owners, the Robinson family, were careful to maintain the much-loved character of the traditional coaching inn. Existing pieces like vintage chests in the Lapwing Dining Room have been retained, and these combined with contemporary pendant lighting, floor to ceiling black panelled glass windows, and other modern touches, help create a city chic vibe in the heart of the countryside.

So much thought has gone into the new look that even the local artwork on the walls has been arranged in themes. Every piece has been selected with a nod to the local area showcasing the location, things to do, and things to see. Expect hot air balloons taking off over Kirkby Lonsdale and steam trains at the famous Carnforth station, to mesmerising Morecambe Bay sunsets and the striking colours of local birdlife in flight and gliding across Lancaster canal.

The Longlands refurbishment is just the start of a wider 5-year programme of investment from the group of family-owned Inn & Restaurants, which also includes Plato’s in Kirkby Lonsdale and The New Inn at Yealand. A second phase of exterior work at The Longlands will include an outside bike wash (or dog wash!) area with shelter, which is due to be completed by September, followed by two new bedrooms increasing the number of rooms to 13.

Co-owner, Fiona Robinson said: “This is by far the biggest investment we have made at The Longlands, so it’s been really exciting seeing everything come together and everyone’s reaction to the changes. The Longlands is the hub of the marina and canal complex, and a popular meeting place for locals and tourists, and people can’t believe it’s the same place! It’s had a stylish yet authentic makeover taking care to keep the relaxed countryside coaching house atmosphere that our customers know and love.

“We’ve increased the number of covers in the restaurant and provided more jobs across front of house, kitchen, and housekeeping. We also took great care to use talented and skilled local tradespeople and suppliers wherever possible. It really was brilliant to see how all the trades came together and how efficient the whole project was. The co-ordination of all the trades was unreal and we’re delighted with the results.”