This was our second trip to the Cartmel gem of L’Enclume - because once just wasn’t enough.
Simon Rogan is quite well known to us Mancunian folk, famously taking over The French at the Midland, breathing life into the restaurant and adding the more informal Mr Cooper’s House & Garden to the site. Before he took to the bright lights of Manchester though his baby has always been in rural Cartmel…
As you arrive to the restaurant it’s not quite as you’d expect a Michelin star, suited and booted “sniff and stuffy” eatery to be. The restaurant is almost like a cave of polished concrete, each cove filled with a wine cabinet or views to the garden.
The kitchen is open so you can watch the main man himself run his slick and tight operation. The waiters, servers and sommelier are all of a professional standard (as you’d expect) but manage to come with bags of welcome banter. This restaurant certainly about the food but it’s also about the whole experience from beginning to end.
Why would you go twice I hear you ask? Well the menu at L’Enclume is forever changing, using ingredients that are seasonally appropriate – reflecting Simon’s famous farm to table philosophy.
In this type of establishment, don’t be thinking you can pick what you want to eat, you’re having the Taster Menu no matter what, but don’t let that put you off. The menu is full of passion and creativity, using only organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers that are grown on their very own farm.
Rather than list out what we ate, (which I doubt I could conjure up enough adjectives to describe the range of tastes and sensations), I will just highlight some of my favourites and leave you a montage of pictures.
Seaweed Custard with cockles and sugar kelp. I feel like you need to trust me on this. The creamy consistency with a hint of sweetness really woke up my taste buds.
Roasted Lamb cooked to perfection with candisa cabbage and sweetbreads. I would have loved another round of those sweetbreads to be honest although perhaps not when you’re enjoying a multi-course tasting menu with pairing wine flight!
Kendal Mint disguised in a pebble-like casing which explodes in your mouth as a palette cleanser.
Ice cream made from sheep’s milk sandwiched in a crunchy caramel wafer made from the sap of the Birchwood tree in the garden.
I really recommend the wine flight; each course offers wines with a difference. Supporting local businesses like British sparkling wine as an appetitive and a crisp glass of wine from Rotherfield in East Sussex.
Once you’ve had your wonderful meal, I would also like to do a little shout out to the Unsworth Microbrewery – potentially the only place that Simon doesn’t own in Cartmel.
Tucked away inside are 4 pumps serving some phenomenal local ales, with the Sandpiper being so popular that they can’t keep up with the local demand. Opposite to that is the ‘wine snug’ a front room type bar with wine tasting facilities and a friendly atmosphere.
All in all, a perfect day out in Cartmel. We will be back for sure.
L’Enclume, Cavendish St, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6QA