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|Address:||Cavendish Street, Cartmel, Cumbria LA11 6PZ|
|Price: £72.00||Wine: £21.00||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Wed-Sun 12N-1.30pm Mon-Sun 6.30-9pm|
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On a thoroughly wet & miserable day in Cumbria, I was fortunate enough to have a lunch booking at L’enclume, a 2 michelin starred restaurant, also rated the week before my visit (September 2013), as the best restaurant in the country by The Good Food Guide. (given 10/10, the only other to get this is The Fat Duck of Heston Blumenthal!) Having looked up various sites on the internet to try to get a menu, (even their own site doesn’t list one) my best guess would have been a selection from the pictures I viewed on Tripadvisor.
Anyway, we could choose between the 6 course lunch menu at £45 per head, or the 21 course tasting menu at £120 per head.
The lunch menu was nearer to my budget! (although I had been saving for a good while for it too!) Drinks were ordered (water for me as the car driver )
1; Cod “yolk” with watercress, runner bean, salt & vinegar. – the “yolk” was a gel filled with something like a brandade, on a bed of salted crisped rice. Initially this seemed a little salty, but if you combine a bit of each element then it works well.
2; Atlas carrots, hen of the woods, truffle, nasturtium. Well I couldn’t detect truffle, but again the balance of the whole thing was excellent, the whole carrot just done so had texture, the hot soup over saw a little “melting” of the cream quenelle, and the pepper of the leaves adding against the sweetness and cream. The bread rolls arrived with this course, a stout and grain one, an onion and wholemeal, and a plain. Served with whipped butter that had a slight cheesey hint. These were excellent.
3; Valley venison, charcoal oil, mustard, fennel. Served raw, not a carpaccio but not a tartare either. Tender small dice of venison, made zingy with mustard, the aniseed of the fennel and the sharp onion rings. Delicious.
4; Suckling British lop, turnip, leek, blackberry. Porcine perfection! The crackling on the pork as thin, crispy and delicate as a tuile biscuit, the meat moist but not fatty, the charred leek giving contrast of chew, crunch from the baby turnip, sweetness from the blackberry and a “jus” of deeply intense porky flavour I just had to use my finger to dip up every spot of it (It wouldn’t have done to lick the plate!)
5; Plum with malt and brown sugar. Soft sweet plum dice under a caramel icecream, surrounded by crispy malt with a caramel shard. Another dish of taste and texture contrasts.
6; Meadowseeet, blueberry, bucklers sorrel, walnut. Here the meadowsweet was incorporated into the mousse, a sweet light tang but a bigger tang from the blueberry and puree it sat on. Another different tang from the sorrel, and a nice crunch and sweetness from the walnut crumble.
Finished with coffee but didn’t ask for petit fours. You might think you would be hungry looking at the size of the portions, but i was well fed, perhaps because i had an extra bread roll? Who knows?
Final bill with 2 drinks and 2 coffees included was £153 for 3 people. (No charge for tap water)
I would go again as a treat, save up even longer for the full 21 course taster, as although the menu “changes” often, you may see from the tripadvisor pictures many of the elements are repeated so only seems minor changes.
It is an experience to do at least once though.