The Samling Restaurant Review

The first glimpse of any sunshine for 2017, seen us pack up the car, and head for a weekend in the Lake District. This area has its fair share of established restaurants we have wanted to try, with 'The Samling' high on our wish list. The trip gave us the perfect opportunity to try out this newly renovated restaurant.

Head chef is the talented Nick Edgar, who spent fifteen years at Two Starred "Le Manoir" in Oxfordshire. Despite only being at The Samling for under a year, he was awarded with a Michelin Star in this years guide. This fact in itself was enough to entice us for a visit. 

After a pleasant walk around Ambleside, we arrived at The Samling full of anticipation. Where we were instantly impressed by the new extension, housing the restaurant on the top floor with the modern kitchen beneath. The new layout was completed in December last year, and the results are stunning. The minimalist modern restaurant lets the surroundings speak for themselves, with glass facade capturing the amazing views over the lake. It is hard not to be impressed by this layout. There has clearly been a lot of thought and money spent here, but it has been worth it in our opinion.

After having a large breakfast, we opted for the shorter lunch tasting menu costing £45.

Here is what we were served:
Beautiful Presentation
Before the meal begun we were served some beautiful canapés upon Lake Windermere. The canapés were; A small bite resembling a Shepard's Pie, Treacle cured salmon with seaweed and finally a beautiful cauliflower and blue cheese serving. We both agreed that the concept along with the flavours created some of the best canapés we have ever been served. 
Treacle Cured Salmon
"Shepard's Pie"
Cauliflower And Blue Cheese

Selection Of Bread
The soft milk bread loaf was served with a fantastic HP and bacon butter. We were also served a pecan and raisin bread with maple syrup butter. These were amongst the best bread and butter combinations we have had in any restaurant.
Squid, Olive Oil
Close Up
After the first mouthful of this amuse bouche, we knew straight away that this was going to be a special lunch. The squid had been prepared expertly, giving it a highly pleasing texture. We loved the olive oil sorbet which was packed full of flavour. This light and fresh plate was a superb start to our lunch.
Crab. Leek, Champagne
Close Up
This was a classy dish packed full of flavour.  The pasta was well cooked, and the crab within was beautifully seasoned. The champagne flavour was subtle, but we felt it really did enhance the dish. The presentation and attention to detail has to be noted, a beautiful plate of food. 
Duck, Pineapple, Swede 
We were instantly impressed with this precise presentation of the duck main course. The duck had been cooked expertly, giving it a wonderful delicate texture. We thoroughly enjoyed the Asian flavours running through this dish. The addition of the sweet pineapple was a masterstroke, this worked great with the duck and ginger. This has to be one of the best main courses we have had in a very long time.
Chocolate, Blood Orange, Honey
Close Up
Chocolate and orange is a tried and tested combination, and the unique take we were served was stunning.  The chocolate was beautifully sweet, where the honey mousse inside had a great texture, and contrasted against the rich chocolate well. The addition of the honeycomb pieces added crunch and texture, where we felt it helped elevate the dessert to greater heights.
Selection of Petit Fours

This year we have had many good meals throughout the UK. From start to finish, our meal at The Samling was easily the best we have had this year. The level of skill, and the precision of cooking, created the finest meal we have had in a very long time. Head chef Nick Edgar has clearly learned a lot from his time at Le Manoir, but it's pleasing to see him stamp his own identity on the dishes at The Samling. Having ate at many two Star restaurants,  we feel the team here is fast heading towards that level.

Service throughout our meal was superb. Each member of the team we encountered were highly skilled and knowledgable about the restaurant. The highly regarded Ladis Basta has recently joined the team as head sommelier. His time at The Kitchin brought him many highly regarded awards, so this can only bode well for the restaurant going forward.

The lunchtime tasting menu cost a very reasonable £45. We felt this was good value for the quality of the dishes we were served. Having now eaten at over forty starred restaurant's, The Samling would make our top ten we have eaten in so far.

After our meal we were kindly shown around the Hotel's Garden where they grow produce for the kitchen. This was very informative and greatly enjoyed by us both