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Posts posted by SaladFingers

  1. Not sure if this is the correct forum?

    How do you make the perfect mashed potato? I would love measurements, so that I can test accurately.

    So far, I boil the potatoes (2 average sized) until soft enough to to put through a ricer, then I add about 2 teaspoons of milk and a knob of butter, whip around a little bit until a reasonably smooth blob materialises. I think this is nice, but I've tasted much nicer, like old Grandma's mashed potato; I don't know what she did, or added (maybe just double cream?) but it was absolutely delicious.

    How do you make the PERFECT mashed potato?

  2. I didn't really enjoy the programme. Everyone is so polite and smiley, the only criticism coming from Michel Roux, it all feels a bit pointless.

    I enjoy the rest of the series because it is competitive and judgemental, you really get the impression everyone is trying hard to make the nicest food possible. It's just a shame the series culminates in something where a McDonalds burger would probably get the thumbs up.

    Okay, that's a tad derogatory but I didn't feel I really understood what the 3* michelin chefs thought, how genuinely impressed were they? Are they going to go home talking about this food with people? Did they learn anything?

  3. I'll leave photos out this time but we went to Linthwaite House for lunch today (£18.95 for 3 courses). What a lovely place, both in the living rooms, terrace and the dining room. Attentive staff and resoundingly good food, even the coleslaw stood out and each course was beautifully presented. Rivals Miller Howe for views, we sat on the ultra comfy couch sipping coffee for over an hour, just taking it all in. Seems to attract rather well to do people also, not sure what room prices are like.

    It was my first visit but won't be my last and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I'm sure the dining rooms are even more lovely in the evening when candles are lit.

  4. The pie was made with shortcrust pastry and was fine to eat but as you can imagine, quite heavy on the stomach. Maybe it is okay to ask for rarer cooked beef as I'd describe what I had as 'well done' and took some eating. Still it's just decent challenge food, I'd be excited knowing someone could actually finish it.

  5. Not fine dining, but worth a mention from a pure FOOD perspecitve.

    Anyone doing some serious walking in the Lake District and has the biggest appetite imaginable can visit the George (Keswick) in the evening and attempt to finish The famous Gigantic Cow Pie.


    After our 11 hour walk, I was as hungry as I have ever been in my life. This picture doesn't give any sort of indication as to how big it is. Inside it, it is just PURE beef, nothing else and is about 2 1/2 inches deep. I managed just over half of it and had most of the pub watching. Was funny and even more exhausting than the walk.

    It was without doubt the biggest plate of food I have ever seen, the only indication of this in the pic is look at the size of the fork and they were big chips.

    I'm still full now. Even the staff member who served us warned me. I'd like someone else to try this. You'll be amazed by it's size! Good time.

  6. Here is my first review, so I'd better apologise for it's poor quality to begin with.

    Also sorry about the photographs being so awful, I'm not really sure they're necessary and I hope they don't put anyone off going. Really the pics don't do the food any kind of justice. Plus these photo's make the main courses look really small. They're not, by any standards. For me, and I have an unearthly appetite, they were spot on.


    Sausage of confit guineau fowl with white bean stew

    and watercress

    I began with this and each element was delicious. I wasn't really sure of what to expect before it arrived but I soon realised this was going to be higher standard that I anticipated.


    Wild mushroom and pine nut pithivier,

    Madeira sauce

    While I enjoyed my starter, I was lucky enough to have a taste of this. And blow me, it was stunning! The pastry melted in my mouth and the wild mushroom filling was beautiful.


    Grilled Plaice fillets with saffron mash,

    chorizo and balsamic

    Terrible photo, but I was in a rush not to be seen because everyone else seemed a tad too sophisticated for such shennanigans. But still, reports were strong, I listenend to a chorus of mms and ahhs, so apparantly it was nice!


    Organic chicken Fricassee, macaroni cheese

    and buttered chard

    Tiny micro vegetables made this fricassee more refined than ones I've made and it was nice to have the macaroni cheese served in a minature pan, which was different. Again it was all melt in the mouth stuff. Heck I'm really weak at reviews, I don't know what to write.


    Apricot Sablee, star anise mousse

    and sauternes poached apricots

    This desert looked so beautiful and came with an edible mint leaf, not sure what they did to it but it was every bit as nice as the rest, including two wafer thin shortbreads that encased the mousse and poached apricot. It was light as a feather and the perfect way to round off lunch.


    Hot chocolate mousse, pistachio ice cream,

    caramel sauce

    All ready been reviewed in this thread better than I can. The chocolate mousse oozed from the muffin when you put your spoon through it and was fantastic, so was the caramel that was drizzled round the plate. Look, you can see the edible leaf again.

    The place itself is lovely, a perfect balance between cottagey oldness and modern decoration. The leather chairs look as fantastic as they are comfortable. What's strange is, after walking past L'Enclume, this place seems to look more the part as a posh restaurant, which confuses me slightly, it's such a nice place.

    The staff were all lovely, friendly and looked after us perfectly. Service was well paced and all our dishes arrived together. The bill set us back around £60 including coffees and a couple of drinks during the lunch, which to be honest seems pretty good, though hardly the cheapest option in the village!

    Cartmel is the perfect place to spend a lazy sunny afternoon, whether taking a stroll round the race track, meandering through the boutique shops or sipping beers in the pubs or gardens.

    Sorry for wasting your time :biggrin:

  7. How close to Kirkby Lonsdale is Hipping Hall? and presumably they serve lunch?

    It looks really nice but I seem to remember reading someone here say it screams 'give us a star'. I think Jason Birkbeck is the son of my Mother's friend and I can remember her going on about his training. I'd love to try his food now.

  8. Were there many diners there Lee? I read a Lake District Magazine interview with Simon Rogan who complained the locals were snubbing his restaurant but that things were picking up. It's always my concern that somewhere so good as L'Enclume would end up reloacting because of poor business when I feel so lucky for having such a place on my doorstep but I always fear QUIET restaurants - makes somewhere like that way better value when the place is buzzing.

    Mmm 1 1/2 months till I can visit L'Enclume.

  9. How about we also ask what the cheapest most spectacular meal you ever had?

    Egg, sausage, chips and beans from Morrison's canteen; £1.99

    Wednesday morning, raining outside, back from my final week at university after not eating very much. No two chips the same, each mouthful an absolute pleasure.

    After that it would have to be The Golden Fortune in Windemere, Bowness. £9.20 for four courses of unbelievably excellent chinese food. I've mentioned before that I think it's nicer than the likes of Phoenix Palace in London. The restaurant itself is beautiful, ambient and charmingly authentic, the service spot on, friendly, competent and efficient and the food stays in my memory for a long time afterwards. It has become an annual event going there.

  10. I'm interested in how much others have paid for dinner. Being a good food lover myself, I'm perfectly happy to pay anything up to around £50. I sometimes think anything beyond that is just unreasonable.

    However! It is my wife's birthday coming up and I am strongly contemplating taking her to L'Enclume for the Underground menu, which at a guess will set me back £250 just for the food!

    How much have you paid?!

  11. I'll be going to St Alban when I visit London in July. I was aware the owners of this place used to have The Ivy and also The Wolseley, so it immediately appealed and after reading the menu I thought it all sounded perfectly delicious. It also seems a good choice because there'll be five of us, all with varying preferences and St Alban seems to cover all bases.

    Anyone care to give their thoughts on the place? How does the decor work in your opinion?

  12. I'll be at Rogan & Co in about an hour, so I'll be able to see what it is like for myself :smile:

    With regards to L'Enclume, is anyone in a position to say whether it is worth paying almost double for the Underground over the Tour? I think the former is around 25 courses and the latter 15. Can someone recommend which would be best?

  13. I've been dining around the Lake District for a couple of years now and have revisited some places plenty of times because they are so good. So, for anyone visiting this summer, here's a few of my recommendations;

    L'Enclume - finally beginning to recieve some local support and definately the most innovative menu, book ahead for the Underground for 20 something courses

    Gilpin Lodge - Recently lost its michelin star but seriously, this place is modestly priced and is an absolutely beautiful and relaxing place to dine, especially in summer. The food is delicious, the hosts down to earth and friendly.

    Holbeck Ghyll - Superb views and complex, reliably good cooking and a nice place to stay.

    Jericho's - An upmarket restaurant in Windemere, strikes a nice balance between high end cuisine and down to earth comfort.

    The Golden Fortune - Chinese cooking equal to Royal China or Phoenix Palace in London and of course situate in the beautiful town Bowness, which is fantastic in the evening, when the crowds have died down and transforms itself into a village packed with awesome restaurants.

    And I must mention The Brown Horse at Winster and The Hare and Hounds are two of the best places for 'pub food', who serve fascinatingly beautiful food far beyond what you'd expect from just any normal pub.

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