Hubs and I recently took a rare day to ourselves, with O at school and Q at nursery for the day. We took off to Carlisle for the morning to do some Christmas shopping before heading to the Bistro at the Lakes Distillery, near Keswick, for lunch. Time together as a couple without the children, is rarely achieved so we tried to make the best of our day together.
After a lovely drive through the countryside, we arrived at the Bistro at the Lakes Distillery and were shown to our table in the window of the lower section of the restaurant. The floor to ceiling windows make for beautiful views out onto the courtyard and the tables were set with lovely cutlery, glass and tableware. We found the restaurant to be particularly cold, as we were seated away from the fireplace and the kitchen next to the huge windows. With my engineer head on, I imagine it’s really warm on a summer’s day – purely down to the layout, which is a bit of a shame. I wished we’d taken some thick and cosy jumpers with us, but we made do by ordering a pot of tea for two to warm us up.
The waiter took our orders and our starters came out fairly quickly. Because we were quite cold, we both opted for the White Onion Soup with Onion Bhaji and Curry Oil to start. It was perfectly delicious – thick and warming flavourful soup, with two chunks of delicious onion bhaji floating on the top. A drizzle of curry oil finished the dish off beautifully, and the added bonus of sliced bread with butter to dunk was scrumptious. Both of us thought the soup was amazing and would have quite happily eaten another bowl of it.
Our main courses followed, and this time we each opted for different meals. Hubs chose the Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Apple, Creamed Potatoes and Sage. It looked really delicious. He describes the pork as being tender and ‘melt in the mouth’, complemented well by the baked apples and buttery creamed potatoes. I was so close to choosing this one myself… maybe next time!
I chose the Fillet of Coley, Warm Tartare Sauce, Minted Peas and New Potatoes. The fillet of fish was cooked perfectly and was really filling – I was surprised by the size of the fillet, to be honest, as it was quite big. The new potatoes came out in a side bowl and the crushed peas were placed on top of the crisp skin of the fish fillet. I really enjoyed this dish – each component complemented each other so well.
Once we’d finished our main courses, we did contemplate choosing a dessert too – but knowing that we had an afternoon of shopping planned, we reluctantly decided against it. I just didn’t want to be uncomfortably full whilst walking around town. A selection of available home baked cakes were on display along the bar, and they all looked amazing. I did recently visit the Lakes Distillery for a sitting of Afternoon Tea and can vouch for the quality of their cakes – they really are scrumptious!
All in all, we feel that the weekly restaurant menu is great value at £12 for two courses and £15 for three courses per head. The location is wonderful, set within the autumnal colours of the surrounding woodlands. The service was very good and the attention to detail was great overall. It was a shame that we found it to be so cold at the table we were sitting, but that’s not really something that the staff can fix. The food really was amazing, and we will most certainly return to the Bistro at the Lakes Distillery soon.
*We were gifted a two-course meal for the purpose of the review, however all words and opinions are our own.