The Lake District is earning quite the reputation within the British dining scene, and one of the restaurant's gaining most of the attention is "The Forest Side" in Grasmere.
A recent 4.5 million renovation to the hotel has elevated "The Forest Side" to one of the finest establishments in the area. Head chef of the restaurant is the very talented Kevin Tickle. Previously head chef at Simon Rogan's "Rogan & Co", Tickle places a strong importance on using local produce and creating clean, modern and precise dishes. After nine months at the restaurant, Tickle and his team won a Star in this years Michelin Guide.
After a pleasant walk around the charming Grasmere we arrived at the beautiful "Forest Side". As the weather was nice, we were shown to the terrace to enjoy a gin and tonic in the sun.
We were then shown inside to the beautiful dining room, in the heart of the hotel. We particularly enjoyed the wooden centre piece and interior theme, along with the charming wooden tables. The dining room has clearly been well designed and finished to a very high standard.
We were shown the menu's for our Saturday lunch and we opted for the four course "Bait Menu" costing £35.
Here is what we were served:
|Middle White Croquette|
This was a pleasant start to the meal. The Croquette was light and beautifully crisp. The pork within was well cooked and expertly seasoned.
|Salt Cod, Lovage, Kohlrabi|
The slow cooked cod had a pleasing texture. We appreciated the addition of lovage, always a firm favourite of ours. This was the standout dish of the day.
|Suckling Pig, Artichoke, Leeks|
This dish consisted of not just a wonderfully cooked piece of pork, but the vegetables were also cooked to the highest of standards. A dish packed full of exciting flavours and divergent textures.
|Rhubarb, Brown Butter, Marigold|
The sweet, and sharp rhubarb was fresh and naturally full of flavour. This was balanced well by the brown butter ice-cream. This was a combination we felt worked very well together. However, we did find the portion size slightly on the small side.
Overall we felt the £35 lunch menu was good value for money. The award of the Michelin Star here is certainly deserved. Each dish showed an impressive level of imagination, and on the whole all dishes were executed to a very high standard. Service throughout our meal was also first class. The small team looking after the busy lunch time service done a stellar job.
After our lunch we enjoyed sitting on the terrace of the hotel and sipping on our crisp white wine. We feel "The Forest Side" is not just a great location for lunch, but well worth considering for an overnight if you're lucky enough to find yourself in the beautiful Lake District.
This was another great lunch for us, from start to finish, we were both impressed by the whole experience.