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Chef Kevin Tickle learned his trade at high-rolling L’Enclume before decamping to this fairy-tale Victorian gothic mansion, set in over 40 acres of beautiful grounds (including an ample kitchen garden). As you might expect, his cooking is built around foraged findings, home-grown ingredients and locally sourced produce with a seasonal date stamp. It’s an ever-changing feast, but for maximum thrills, we suggest the 10-course ‘Grand ’Un’ tasting menu – an array of “really lovely, inventive dishes” with Michelin-starred cred. Be prepared for jaw-dropping creativity as you progress through a daily line-up inspired by the local landscape: ‘campfire’ chanterelles cooked in bone marrow with corned brisket and mushroom broth; venison pastrami with smoked juniper yoghurt; Cumbrian rare-breed pork with smoked potato custard, damson and ‘garden shenanigans’; scorched pear with malt, ginger beer and birch sap – plus majestic cheeses from the Courtyard Dairy. Paired drinks are equally innovative, from zesty aperitifs to Old World wines, sparkling saké and sticky sloe gin. Forest Side’s elegant dining room and warm, genial staff tie the whole package together for a truly memorable experience.
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