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Looking like an illustration from a Beatrix Potter storybook, Hipping Hall straddles the borders of two spectacular landscapes: the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. Its grand dining room – complete with a minstrel’s gallery – dates from the 15th century, although the food is a world away from the gluttonous medieval feasts of the hall’s past. Head chef Oli Martin puts local and seasonal produce at the heart of his menus, wowing fans with his distinctive take on contemporary British food. Readers speak of “solid cooking”, “big flavours” and “really clever cuisine”. There’s great potential here, witness a starter of Cartmel Valley rabbit with lardo, celery and borlotti beans, perfectly pink pigeon on a salty-sweet hazelnut purée enriched by plump elderberries or wild sea bass with shrimp butter, salt-baked celeriac and aubergine. To finish, we’re fans of the show-stopping Willy Wonka-style chocolate sphere with truffle, caramel and mandarin sorbet, although pomegranate, curd and sorbet with toasted rice and popcorn also sounds rather wacky. The well-considered wine list does its job, and knowledgeable staff are on hand to provide further guidance.
0152 427 1187
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