Eat & Drink Europe Travel

Culinary Cumbria: The Perfect Evening at L’Enclume

Cartmel roadtrip-1088This weekend took us to the quaint village of Cartmel in the gorgeous English Lake District. Good company and several culinary delights were waiting for us here, with dinner at Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume being the main event.
We had a family celebration to do, and can you think of a better place to do this than a restaurant that has held 2 Michelin stars since 2012, was awarded a perfect 10 cooking score and topped the list of the UK’s best restaurants in 2014?
Exactly. That’s what we thought too.

I have great memories of the Lake District as that is where the Hobbit proposed to me 2 years ago, so I was thrilled to go back; it is such a pretty area, with rolling green hills, mirror lakes, and lovely villages. Some bits are more touristy than others, but the sights when driving around are just breathtaking.
Our first stop was at the Inn at Whitewell; a gorgeous country-pub.
We did not stop for food this time as we had done that before, but we nipped out to see the Stepping Stones in ‘Little Switzerland’, as Whitewell is called locally.
Whitewell-1004We were very lucky with the weather; the clouds appeared to be hand-painted by Bob Ross himself and the abundance of green made me feel like I stepped into a scene of ‘the Hobbit’. (Yet height-wise,  I would be have to be an Elf then, I suppose 🙂 ).


Cartmel roadtrip-1148

We continued our journey to Cartmel as we had booked a very nice room which we wanted to take advantage of, plus we wanted to explore the village before the rest of our party arrived.
Cartmel roadtrip-1087
Not only can you book a table for dinner at L’Enclume; they offer accommodation as well within a stone’s throw away from the restaurant.
Not all rooms are in the same building; our room was above the local coffee shop overlooking the ‘main’ square of Cartmel, which gave it quite a homely feeling.

Cartmel roadtrip-1062
Our guests would be staying one floor below us, so we had our own private two-floor apartment, sort of. Both rooms were very spacious, and well facilitated.

The bed was wider than it was long.
(my suggestion to turn 90 degrees was dismissed by the Hobbit. )
Cartmel roadtrip-1056A bath that was very Tall People Proof AND which had a window in the roof above it to look at Bob Ross’ cloud paintings in the sky, whilst having shoulders and knees under water at the same time, which in itself is pure luxury.
Cartmel roadtrip-1057
All amenities one would expect were present.
Cartmel roadtrip-1066
We then went to have a look at where our main event was going to take place the next evening, but I had to stop in the local souvenir shop first.
The Hobbit was not patient enough and went ahead to L’Enclume, and I followed shortly after (with a new necklace, oops).

The lovely 800 year old rustic building looks very well maintained and has loads of character, inside and out. L'enclume-1030
I love how they have really managed to bring the outside in; both in the produce they work with to create the daily changing menu (the majority of which is grown on Rogan’s own farm), and in the décor as well.
You will not find any formal white linen here, but everything breathes ‘nature’:
wooden tables and chairs decorated with pebbles and a wooden candle holder. L'enclume-1040^The conservatory (where we had requested to sit, and were granted that privilege) is flooded with natural daylight and the huge windows make it feel like you are having dinner in the green garden along the stream.
L'enclume-1037In the other area of the restaurant, the rustic beams in the ceiling give that typical warm and cozy atmosphere, while plenty of light still floods in and where the connection with nature is made by bringing plants and flowers in.

We went for the 17 (yes, that is right, seventeen) course tasting menu with wine pairing. I would not be able to choose from this selection so I’d rather have someone who is knowledgeable to do the choosing for me.
Out of respect for the restaurant and our table guests, I did not take any pictures of the food, as that can get a bit annoying I suppose, especially with 17 courses to go.
It just wasn’t the right setting, so you are going to have to take my word for it that the food was exceptionally good and that the presentation was exquisite.
Even in presenting  the food, they managed to connect the outdoors with the indoors.
We had dishes served on slate, in a nest of hay and on a rustic plate.
Other than this award, no white china was to be found anywhere, which really added to the ‘natural’ experience of the evening.
One final thing has to be said about the staff as they made our evening so much fun; not only were they professional and knowledgeable, each one of them also had a great sense of humor. They took their time to answer our questions and we had a bit of banter with them. Not often do you find that in a place of this stature; it tends to be rather formal and a bit distant in my experience, but not here; it felt very personal.
L'enclume-1034It was a wonderful experience, so if you ask us if we would go again:
we already have our next dinner lined up for December and we managed to get the last room for the weekend we are going.

If you are tempted to go too; make sure you book well ahead as you don’t want to find the door closed on you.


  • Reply
    11 August 2015 at 01:39

    I love the stone walls indoors and the decor

  • Reply
    11 August 2015 at 20:22

    The meal sounds like quite a delightful experience. Anytime I can eat exquisite food with a more relaxed waitstaff serving me, I’m much happier than when eating exquisite food in a stuffy/formal atmosphere. I just might have to put the Lake District on our travel list. So many places to visit, not enough time. Sigh!

    • Reply
      Tall Wife
      13 August 2015 at 10:23

      It’s absolutely gorgeous there! The landscapes are stunning in the area! That dinner was amazing too; I’d really recommend it; I get the feeling that you and your man appreciate good food and wine too, so it would be a great weekend away. Rogan has ‘taken over’ Cartmel and has another restaurant there too where they serve a great a la carte menu. Get it booked! 😉

  • Reply
    antesAltaquesinsilla (@aAltaqsinsilla)
    12 August 2015 at 18:58

    The experience couldn’t be better told. I’m stil waiting for my vacations so reading your post has made me live as if I were there for a moment. Great pictures and a very recommendable experience. Hope I can live it in the near future. Thanks for sharing!


    • Reply
      Tall Wife
      13 August 2015 at 10:29

      Thank you Paty! It was great and I can really recommend it! 🙂 xx

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