L'Enclume - Cartmel
For an exceptional, memorable, simply outstanding lunch in London, then book a table at Simon Rogan's 'Fera' in Claridges - book, book, book!! Although pricey, you get what you pay for, and, the eating experience there is out of this world. I have dined for lunch at Fera twice before, and those two times left me craving more of what Rogan has to offer! However, last summer, over the August bank holiday weekend, I discovered L'Enclume. Rogan's two Michelin starred restaurant over in Cartmel, Cumbria. Just when you think food can't possibly get any better? It DOES! Prior to my trip, I had read lots of positive reviews on TripAdvisor and other online food forums, so I couldn't wait to take a seat at L'Enclume to experience what everyone has been raving about.
From the moment Scott and I arrived, we were treated with such care and attention; immediately taken to our table next to french doors which looked out onto a pretty, landscaped (very wet) garden!
Once seated, we were given the choice of a six course lunch (£45 pp) or, a Full Tasting Menu (£120 pp), which consisted of 16 courses; six small dishes followed by six mains and four puds. Given we had travelled from Bath, and had a long journey back home, we couldn't resist opting for the latter!
To begin, 'Oyster Pebbles;' a delicate apple meringue concealing a rich, smooth, creamy oyster filling. It was the perfect way to start off our meal.
'Mackerel, Malted Wheat, Dill;' a brittle, crunchy malted wheat cracker topped with diced raw mackerel and a dusting of dill snow. So colourful, so delicious!
We were then presented with 'Oxtail Dumpling,' coated in breadcrumbs. The oxtail flavour was intense and married the cheesy breadcrumb coating harmoniously.
Onto the 'Smoked Eel with Ham Fat' which were coated in crispy deep-fried shallots and tapioca.
The penultimate starter was as equally amazing as the first four! 'Langoustine, Caviar, Oxalis;' a delicate, salty pork skin cracker, topped with chopped raw langoustine, caviar and oxalis.
The final small plate 'Pea and Cod Sack' arrived in two white porcelain sacks. A cleverly engineered, playful dish.
All six starters were outstanding and gone within an instant! Such is life in a restaurant when the food is that good! We were then offered a warm loaf of sourdough and creamy, whipped butter before moving onto our mains...
The mains then arrived; just as beautifully executed as the starters. The first; 'Salt Baked Carrot, Westcombe, Cured Pork and Savoury.' A colourful soupy concoction of salt-baked carrot, grated carrot and carrot sauce, Westcombe cheddar, thin strips of cured pork and sweet, oyster mushrooms.
We then moved onto 'Shorthorn, Charcoal Oil, Mustard, Apple and Celeriac.' The beef was lightly seasoned and the dish as delicious as it looks!
From meat to fish; gorgeous 'Grilled Scallop and Cauliflower, Strawberry, Barley and Ice Plant.'
Then to 'Heritage Potatoes with Lovage, Crab, Crispy Chicken and Nasturtium,' and on to 'Brill with Mussel, Courgette, Smoked Bone Marrow, Sea Vegetables.' Unfortunately, I didn't take any snaps of these two dishes as I got carried away eating them as soon as they arrived!
Here we have 'Randolph Lop Suckling Pig, Redcurrant, Beetroot and Mead;' a party on a plate, don't you think?!
We had almost arrived at the end of our Full Tasting Menu, every dish polished off so far! Now to four incredible puddings that I could quite easily demolish right now looking back on these photos! The first; 'Raspberry and Anise Hyssop.'
'Plums, Apricot Kernel and Honeycomb.'
'Apple Marigold, Blueberries and Buttermilk' which in the excitement of it arriving, I forgot to photograph!
'Blackcurrant Leaf, Meadowsweet and Almonds.'
Lastly, a colourful crown of pretty homemade 'Cornets.' The dish looked so celebratory when it arrived to our table...
Apple flavoured cornet filled with apple ice cream topped with tarragon sugar, a pear flavoured cornet filled with pear ice cream topped with sorrel wood sugar, and then the strawberry flavoured cornet filled with (you guessed it) strawberry ice cream topped with cicely sugar!
Every last bite, completely demolished! I would certainly love to revisit L'Enclume this summer. If you are over in Cumbria, then definitely stop by this gem of a restaurant, I can't recommend it enough!