Turning 30 this year was great for me as it meant lots of celebrations with friends and family along with lots of great food. With my birthday being at the end of August and still celebrating in October I can’t complain! Dean took me for a weekend away in the Lake District, staying not far from Lake Windermere. Having been to the Lakes once before a while back and having a great time I knew it was going to be a superb weekend.
We arrived at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House after a long drive up north. We had both looked at the menu online beforehand, it sounded amazing. I did say to Dean it was most likely a sample menu so not to get our hopes up.
We arrived at the restaurant to be greeted with some canapés – always a sign of a good meal! Shortly after we got seated to our table to find out the menu was the same as we had seen online. We were both pleasantly surprised by this and could hardly wait for the meal to begin…
CHILLI GLAZED POACHED LOBSTER
Claw fritters, avocado mousse, confit lime and grapefruit, Tobiko caviar, yoghurt dressing, “Panch Phoran” mango chutney
This starter looked so fresh and that it certainly was. The flavours worked really well together but we both felt we would have liked a bit more lobster as we are both big fans. It was a lovely very delicate dish to start with.
GRESSINGHAM DUCK ‘3 WAYS’
Tea smoked duck breast, confit leg ballotine, port marinated duck liver, brioche bread
Duck being Dean’s most favourite meat he was very excited by this dish. All three types of duck were excellent but for me the best was the port marinated duck liver, it was so smooth and packed full of flavour. It was definitely a highlight.
ROAST FILLET OF TURBOT
Hand rolled macaroni, brown shrimp, wilted lettuce, violet baby artichokes, truffle emulsion
This was a ‘me’ dish all the way as I’m a big lover of fish. I’ve never had truffle with fish before and I loved it! It made it taste so much more rich in flavour but the dish itself was still very light. The macaroni worked great, adding a different texture to the dish. This is definitely something I would like to recreate at home.
BUCCLEUCH ESTATE BEEF
Fillet of beef, truffle pomme puree, seasonal wild mushrooms, sprouting broccoli, braised oxtail bon bon, red wine sauce
The main course was a showstopper dish. The beef was perfectly cooked and meltingly tender. The oxtail bon bon was incredibly succulent and the breadcrumbs added a nice crunch. All of the vegetables were well cooked with the truffle pomme puree being the star of the show. A forkful of beef with a dollop of the mash was to die for. Tying the whole thing together was a rich, deep red wine sauce. Everything about the dish worked and the combination was fantastic.
MEDJOOL DATE AND MILK CHOCOLATE BAR
Apple cannelloni, milk sorbet
This dessert was like heaven, it was rich and sticky but not sickly. The apple gave the dish punch and the coldness of the milk sorbet worked really nicely on the pallet. I really enjoyed this dessert it was very cleverly thought out.
This was a lovely accompaniment to finish with and came with a great range of cheeses alongside some lovely fennel seeded flat breads. Dean enjoyed his with a glass of port.
We had a fantastic evening at The Gilpin. We couldn’t fault the meal and we felt it was well up to Michelin-starred standards. In fact we wouldn’t be surprised at all if they achieve one in next year’s guide. Each dish was well thought out and there were some inspired flavours along the way. Highly recommended!