13 Book Now Cumbria

The Forest Side

Modern British

This Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel, owned by Lakes hotelier Andrew Wildsmith, is built on the foundations of the cooking of former L’Enclume forager, Kevin Tickle. New head chef, Paul Leonard took over the stove in late 2019. The menu is, undoubtedly, “inspired by the Cumbrian landscape”, but there’s plenty more going on here, with aspects of Scandi and Californian chic creeping into the tasting and lunch menus. Selections could take in a ‘Little Critter Fritter’ (quail, rabbit and grey squirrel morsel fried in a black and grey crumb with a sharp little dip) and Will and Emma’s Herdwick Hogget with Garden Shenanigans (lamb three ways, with a hay-infused custard and collage of leaves and petals). In fact, ‘garden shenanigans’ are a theme as lovage, anise hyssop, Woodruff, lemon verbena all typically feature along with wild garlic capers, elderflower and coastal greens. It’s what you’d hope to enjoy in the airy, flower-filled dining hall. Venison pastrami with juniper yoghurt, ramson capers and a shaving of a caramelly Irish sheep’s cheese, Cai na Tire is another typical combination, while puddings could include gooseberries, loganberries or a wafer-thin wrap of apple atop a light sponge with a buttermilk custard and piercingly herbal lovage ice cream. Wine flights – up to 8 small glasses – feel a little complex, but allow for a list overview.

  • Great wine
  • Good for vegetarians
  • Fine dining or fancy
  • Good for seafood
  • Rooms to stay over
Keswick Road, Grasmere, Ambleside
Tel: 01539 435250 www.theforestside.com Our review Read 19/20


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