What a couple of weeks it’s been! I’ve had such a busy run, with changing jobs, having a horrible cold. I start my new role tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! Anyway, this trip we had to The Lakes this weekend couldn’t have come at a better time.
Gary had booked us the trip for my Christmas present, and I bloody love a surprise so I was really excited to see what he had in store. We stayed at the Howbeck in Windermere, just a 20 minute walk from the lake itself and from Bowness-in-Windermere. This had acccess to a little spa up the road which we were unsure about at first as it looked well, a lot more like a gym in a sports centre circa 1982, but actually on the inside it turned out to be really pleasant.
Anyway on to the eating. We ate at the Lamplighter Dining rooms after Gary had spied it on both TripAdvisor and The Guardian. It’s been going for over 20 years, and is attached to a B&B (as are most things in Windermere).
It was a Friday night and most of the tables were busy. We had a very friendly, local waiter who welcomed us and read out the specials. Gary immediately went for the lamb ballotine – a slow roasted shoulder of lamb, shredded and served with the richest red wine gravy. I wanted the sea bass but they had run out, so I went for the plaice instead.
For starters Gary ordered the scotch quail eggs with black pudding and chorizo, I just had some olives because I wasn’t super hungry for a full dish.
The scotch quail eggs were wonderful with a lovely soft yolk inside, surrounded by the crumbly black pudding and chorizo sausage mix.
Next up came the mains. Gary’s lamb was the real winner here, it tasted incredible with rich flavours of blackberry, red wine and rosemary. The meat was shredded, and very tender. It came with a wonderfully rich gravy and mash potato.
My plaice was excellent too, really delicately fried with a little dusting of flour. The chills were spot on. Our one gripe was the roasted vegetables that came with both dishes, there was nothing green, just a trio of parsnip, swede and what appeared to be more potato. A little bit of cabbage or broccoli wouldn’t have gone amiss.
We finished up with the sticky toffee pudding to share, this was absolutely great. Really intense toffee flavour and served in a salty caramel sauce with ice cream. It was spot on, and felt reminiscent of something your gran would make (I’m just guessing here, neither of my grans ever produced a sticky toffee pudding).
Overall the Lamplighter was a great choice, serving no-fuss, simple and well made food in a really friendly and welcoming environment. The staff really made the meal, the service was impeccable from start to finish and we felt at home the minute we walked in. Definitely give it a try if you want something hearty and home cooked in The Lakes!