Published on October 24th, 2013 | by thehungrymanc1
Pin ItIt’s a while since I was up at Holbeck Ghyll but planning a trip back to the Lake District reminded me that I hadn’t posted about it.
The fun part about this is getting to relive and recapture what was a fantastic lunch.
Choosing not to take advantage of the helipad myself and B opted to arrive more traditionally by car and as you turn into the drive way the rambling old country house reveals itself. It really is a calm spot, surrounded by wonderful gardens and countryside with a view over Windermere.
Seated in the lounge we were treated to canapes of olives, breadsticks and the most delightfully smooth chicken liver parfait.
Through to the dining room and I couldn’t help but smile when I realised that we were sat at the same window table as Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon had been in their great BBC series The Trip. However saying Holbeck Ghyll over and over again when accompanied by someone who hadn’t seen the programme soon got tiresome.
Since we were stopping en route back to the urban sprawl we decided not to bother with starters, despite their being some wonderful looking scallops with black pudding beignets on the menu. Apologies to the person whose shoulder I stared/drooled over as they were presented.
However, the kindly folk at Holbeck Ghyll sent out a couple of cups of butternut squash soup to accompany the delicious breads and take the edge off the appetite.
The menu for the mains on the day we were there was as follows:
Braised Daube of Beef with Pomme Puree and Root Vegetables
Roasted Brill with Butternut Sqaush Risotto and Red Wine Sauce
Best End of Cumbrain Lamb with Puy Lentils, Swede Puree and Haggis Beignets
Roast Loin of Lakeland Vension with Celeriac and Juniper.
B opted for the beef while I was torn between the vension and the lamb. The haggis beignets swung it for me though.
Both arrived stunningly presented as you’d expect and the tastes that followed were equally such. The beef having been slowly cooked melted in the mouth and had taken on so much flavour from the braising liquor that I began to wish I’d ordered it. I was soon reminded that I hadn’t and that one mouthful was all I was getting.
Lamb is probably close to being my favourite meat and at this time of year when they’ve had a chance to gambol and frolic and feed on the grasses the meat is so tasty. So it wasn’t at all surprising that I loved this dish. The tender meat, soft lentils, sweet puree and crispy, spicy beignets all came together beautifully. Absolutely brilliant.
I don’t usually muck about when it comes to eating – coming from a large family there is something of the “eat quick or don’t eat in me”. But I just had to take my time with that lamb. I did not want it to end.
“All good things…” and all that, so while I sat, still tasting it in my mouth (I still can now) I contemplated dessert.
B not having the appetite of yours truly opted for the selection of cheeses, I went for the apple creme brulee served with apple sorbet, poached apple and cider sauce.
The little apple wings made it look like it was going to fly away – and it was that light it might have done. Fantastically appley and smooth but with a crunchy brulee sitting atop it was a perfect end to a perfect lunch.
The Lake District is in itself an amazing larder and Holbeck Ghyll showed it off excellently on this occasion, combining classic French flavours and cooking styles with local ingredients.
I think next time dinner may be on the cards.