[Cumbria, England] L'Enclume - a must or bust ?

Evening folks.
Never been to L’Enclume. Considering it for other half’s birthday.
Any thoughts ?
Worth the dosh ?
Wine pairing a must or a waste ?
Lunch or dinner ?
Is it posh dress code wise ? Or indeed attitude wise ?
They do a two night deal on week nights including dinner at their other gaff Rogan & co. Anyone eaten there ?
Also ,has anyone stayed there -any thoughts or tips or indeed alternatives ?
Are there better up & coming places I should go to instead ? Lake Road kitchen perhaps, Harters ?
You get the picture I am a bit clueless, my girlfriend fancies a birthday break in Cumbria and i would welcome your thoughts.
Thanks in advance

We popped in briefly for the set lunch a couple of years back. If we’d had more time I’d have loved to do the full menu, but the set lunch was definitely worth the price.

Because we were cycling we didn’t explore the wine menu too thoroughly, but this gives rise to a story about how great their service is. I locked my bike outside, but my friend’s was pretty expensive, so he brazenly wheeled it inside and stood in the restaurant asking if there was somewhere safe to store it.

Without missing a beat – and as though vehicles regularly appeared inside the building during service – one of the waiters immediately told us it was no problem at all and cheerfully offered to take the bike into their shed across the road. We watched him wheel it out the front door, and it returned just as we were ready to leave. Impeccable and unflappable service.

While the staff are very approachable and friendly in their manner (at least, for a 2* michelin restaurant), I think for a lot of the diners there was a sense of event about eating there. So people did make an effort to dress well and the atmosphere was hence a bit reverential (though not stuffy.) think I turned up in a short-sleeved shirt and chinos (all I could be bothered to shove in my bike bag) and from memory was the most casual there.

Cartmel is famous for its sticky toffee pudding, the surrounding countryside is charming, and the staggeringly beautiful lake district is nearby. I’d go up for a weekend in a heartbeat.

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Hi Dean
Great story, and thanks for the feedback/ encouragement. Never been to a one star place before never mind two, so this should be an experience and a half !
Cheers

We stayed once at a lovely B&B in the Lake District. If you need a name, just let me know.

Hawkhead is a fun, small village to visit. There’s a shop there selling fantastic jams, marmalades etc. and it’s near the Beatrix Potter farm.

No doubt to late for Emlyn but I’d take the view that L’Enclume is a “must” and reckon the Good Food Guide’s scoring it best restaurant in the UK is probably spot on. It’s inventive food and the journey through the various tasting menu courses generally works and is well paced.

By the by, the Guide has Simon Rogan’s Fera (in London) at #15 and The French (in Manchester) at #18. Which beats me why the former gets a Michelin star after its first year of trading, whilst the latter remains starless three years on.

Update from me! Went to L’Enclume on Sunday evening. First ever visit to. Michelin starred gaff, so thanks to everyone here for encouraging me to go. Food was largely wonderful. Standout courses for me were the veal and in particular the gin ‘balls’ that came with it ( sorry, my posh food descriptions need a bit of work), a fried pork and smoked eel concoction, and the two pudding courses which were simple yet ‘lick the plate’ good ( I didn’t, don’t worry! ). Lobster course was the only one that I was unimpressed with. Not enough lobster for my uncultured palate to taste.
Service was, perhaps surprisingly, mixed. Perhaps because it was Sunday? Perhaps because they sussed we hadn’t been before? ( perhaps I am paranoid :slight_smile: ) but one of the girls was talking to us at the end of the meal said venison and veal were from the same animal. Errrrr…
Also we both found the food descriptions a bit cursory from some of the staff when we perhaps expected the opposite. And we ha to go and ask the sommelier for our menus back at the end ( after he took them to write the wines on - aka check our bill) which was a bit awkward.
On the wine side my other half had the 70 quid wine flight of matched wines. I had a couple of glasses. Hers was better value than mine but I grabbed a sip or two of hers each time which worked out fine. Was a bit bemused to see there was also a ‘signature’ wine flight for 110 quid. I mean, isn’t 70 quid enough per person on wine? Kind of made me feel like we had gone ‘cheap’ on a 400 quid meal…again perhaps ‘just me’ though
So,overall I would say 8 out of ten. Food largely amazing, but not exclusively so. Room lovely, service decent but mixed. SR not present, either…perhaps he was down in Manchester and we missed him on the motorway!

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold