When we were at noma last year and I asked Dave where we’d get food like this in the UK, he suggested L’Enclume and it had been on our radar since then. It was early in January and I just happened to be browsing their site to take a look at their current menu. I noticed they had a special offer running for the following week with 50% off rooms & a glass of champagne – so we snapped up a room and a restaurant reservation.
We headed over to Cartmel and then struggled to find the restaurant because I hadn’t taken notice of the exact address and we found ourselves driving through and round the village looking for it. We also didn’t have a phone signal to be able to look up the address!
We were greeted on arrival for dinner with a glass of champagne (part of the accommodation package) and presented with the menus for the evening. There were 4 menus, 8 and 12 courses, veggie and non veggie. We opted for the 12 course non veggie option and some nibbles arrived while we were in the bar area. We had duck scratchings and onion tapioca crackers and wow, the duck scratchings were obviously so unhealthy but they tasted so good! We enquired about wine options and the sommelier said that although there wasn’t a set menu for wine accompaniments he would be more than happy to pair each wines throughout the meal.
The restaurant itself reminded me a little of noma in Copenhagen with its simple appearance.
PHOTO: Onion cheese wafers | Oyster pebbles | Carrot pork sacks
PHOTO: Breads (pumpernickel, spelt and white unbleached & potato flour)
PHOTO: Cod ‘yolk’ and garlic, salt and vinegar
PHOTO: Dumplings of turnip in Westcombe cheddar, radish, alexanders and rock samphire
PHOTO: Valley venison, shallots, mustard and fennel
Delicious – and I dont like cooked venison!
PHOTO: Jerusalem artichokes, Ragstone cream, tarragon, malt
I thought this was the most interestingly presented dish being set out like a garden with malt soil and trees of artichokes!
PHOTO: Roasted snow crown in beef broth, parsley and English cultivated mushrooms
I *hate* mushrooms. However, if there are mushrooms on a tasting menu I do try them to see if there’s any chance that I might like them. This was a real first for me, there were two types of mushroom on the plate and one of them I hated, but the other one wasn’t actually too bad. So I ate a second one of those and threw the other one over on to Daves plate!
PHOTO: Pink Fir cooked in chicken fat, crab and horseradish
PHOTO: Roasted monkfish in our spices, kiri squash yogurt and raspberry vinegar
PHOTO: Reg’s duck breast with chicory, duck sweetbread and muller cider
PHOTO: Chestnut, honeyoats, anise hyssop, apple
PHOTO: Fig and malted cream, Williams pear ice
This was my least favourite dish of the evening. I just wasn’t keen on it.
PHOTO: Melilot yoghurt with nuts, Cartmel grapes, brown sugar
PHOTO: Aerated parkin meringue
The accompanying wines that were chosen for us were;
- Chateau Martin – Bordeaux 2009
- Massaya Classic Rose – Lebanon 2010
- Voovray, Clos de Rougemont – Loire Valley 2009
- St Nicolas de Bourgueil Domaine du Mortier – Loire Valley 2009
- Riesling Botrytis Hegyes, South Australia 2010
I’d probably better admit here that I’m not really a wine expert but I did like them all!
We were one of five tables in the restaurant that evening, which although a lovely experience, I bet it’s much nicer when there are more people and you’re not totally aware of everyone who is there. We were in the conservatory section and as it was dark outside we missed out on the picturesque view which we saw the following morning at breakfast.
L’Enclume is the first restaurant in the UK that I’ve asked if it’s ok to take photos in (with it being so quiet, I really couldn’t be all that discrete about it!).
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Cavendish Street, Cartmel, LA11 6PZ
For more information and reviews visit thefoodplace.co.uk