There could be no more splendid view to enjoy the beautifully presented dishes, created with local ingredients than sat in the traditional dining room that is the Burlingtons Restaurant at The Beech Hill Hotel and Spa, Newby Bridge, Windermere writes Karen Morley-Chesworth.
Named after the local slate quarried in the fells near this lakeside hotel, the restaurant offers fine dining with excellent service and warm welcome.
Overlooking the lake, the crisp white linen table cloths and wooden panelled walls provide the perfect English setting for a stunning menu, which adapts to make the most of the seasonal produce of Cumbria and Lancashire.
On the Friday evening we dined at the Burlingtons, Head Chef Lukasz Zebryk had create a menu that celebrated the fine food produced in the North West of England.
While enjoying our hor d’oeuvres of smoked salmon tartlets, I selected the mussels and my husband the Ham Hock and Chicken terrine – to be followed by lamb for me and pork fillet for him.
As the dishes were being prepared we watched the last steamer heading back to Bowness-on-Windermere and the light faded into evening. The dining room was almost full, yet the tables are laid in a way to give space and privacy for diners. And you could enjoy the atmosphere, with the gentle hum of voices from across the world, without any distraction of piped music. It was such a pleasant and relaxing place to enjoy and savour the dishes that came forth.
My Shelled Mussels Mariniére was serves in a crusty roll shell, with fresh herb and Chardonnay broth. The large, sweet mussels are the finest I’ve eaten anywhere, and the broth a rich and satisfying balance for sea and salt flavours.
My husband’s terrine came with crostini, caper berries and piccalilli. A connoisseur of this tradition pickle, he rated Zebryk’s recipe as perfection. The ham hock and chicken were well blended, providing a perfect balance of tastes, and presented beautifully.
Local lamb is an amazing ingredient to work with, and Zebryk created a simple and delicious dish of succulent lamb rump on a bed of sautéed Cavolo Nero kale, with fondant potato, glazed carrot and the most fragrant and delicious minted sauce. The presentation was classic and taste rich, delicious and satisfying. A perfect plate of textures and flavours.
My husband’s Pork Fillet with baked sweet potato mash, Quince jelly and merlot fumet was equally well presented on the plate and the meat was tender and flavoursome. Again, a well-balanced dish that was a feast to the eyes as well as the taste buds.
We had opted for the three courses, rather than the two or five, so we were treated to the dessert menu next – which currently maintains a real flavour of the long hot summer we have enjoyed, with summer berries at the heart of the choices.
Unable to decide on just one dessert, I opted for the Sweet Shots – three mini desserts to savour; crème brulee with the perfect toffee crisp topping, rich deep dark chocolate mousse and a lemon and raspberry posset with just the right amount of citrus bite topped with a locally produced raspberry.
My more decisive husband selected the Passion Fruit Cheesecake, with was served with a rich chocolate sorbet. The lightness of the cheesecake and the decadence of the rich sorbet was a perfect marriage on a plate.
And the perfect end to our meal were the handmade truffles with our strong, rich expresso.
This was a stunning menu to enjoy in a perfect English restaurant, with excellent staff. The Romanian head waiter made his guests feel welcome and special – and his team front of house were attentive and reserved. They, like the dishes they serve had the balance just right to make their diners happy and contented.
With two courses at £26.95, three courses £34.95 and five courses £39.95 this is a luxury dining experience that many can enjoy.