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“There’s more to Cartmel than pastry and puds… and it’s wonderful”: so writes a fan of two-Michelin-starred Simon Rogan’s sympathetically converted Lakeland smithy – and we wholeheartedly agree. Here is a “beauteous dining space that culminates in pure joy”, where nature, landscape and the seasons gel harmoniously and the chef revels in all things local. Produce from his increasingly productive 12-acre organic farm combined with foraging trips and an unswerving commitment to Lakeland ingredients show in a multi-course tasting menu, devised on the day and delivered in style by staff who are always on top of their game. It’s all about inspired artistry, subtlety and pure, undiluted flavours, with “glimmers of theatre” and surprises at every turn. No wonder readers marvel at Rogan’s almost “reverential” understanding of plants and vegetables: “never has the humble carrot brought such pleasure”. Other culinary wonders range from ‘Reg’s’ duck with redcurrant, turnip and wood blewits or brill in poultry juices with lovage, yeast flakes and fermented mushrooms to buttermilk-poached plums “turned up to 11”, served with honeycomb and apricot kernels “ground into a fabulous frangipane mousse”. Most of the staff are “as local as the kitchen’s ingredients”, while the gregarious maître d' is “generous with his warmth and time”. Finally, a thoughtfully collated wine list adds the ultimate gloss to this truly “unbeatable”, life-affirming tour de force.
Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK 2016 is compiled using votes from our annual survey, last conducted in spring 2016. Thousands of readers and bloggers took part and the results were moderated by the Squaremeal editor and his nationwide team of professional reviewers. The survey does not ask for or include any restaurants in London. Click here for a full list of Squaremeal’s Best Restaurants in the UK.
The drive from Glasgow to Cartmel takes roughly three hours, for us a journey like no other. A rather nostalgic feeling of excitement; the feeling of being a child going to Disney land for the first time or waiting to open your presents on Christmas morning, that’s how we felt on the trip to Simon Rogan’s much acclaimed L’Enclume. Awarded a perfect 10/10 with the good food guide 2014, L’Enclume took over from the Fat Duck as the best restaurant in the country. Michelin has also acknowledged the restaurants credentials awarding the first star in 2005, followed by a second in 2012...
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L’enclume has been voted best restaurant in the UK by the Good Food Guide for the last few years now. We visited in December 2015.The entrance is modest, quite bright and neither pretentious nor stuffy looking. The whole village is lovely. Down to earth with friendly villagers to match.There’s a lengthy wine list, cocktails and local beer – we covered our bases and had a glass of Nyetimber English fizz, a couple of negronis and two different bottles of Unsworth beer which is brewed in the same village a few streets away.L’enclume is a visual feast so we have plenty of photos but the photos perhaps...
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