The annual and official UK Afternoon Tea Week will be taking place in 2016 from August 8th to Sunday 14th. No one needs an excuse to enjoy this quintessentially English custom of tea, cakes and sandwiches of course but during Afternoon Tea Week it would be an absolute crime not to partake once, twice if not three times during the week!
Afternoon tea has made a renaissance of epic proportions in the last five years beyond what even the hardened catering (or cake devouring) professional could have anticipated. Its renaissance has opened it up to everyone and is definitely not just the afternoon event of choice for the older generation.
From full on afternoon tea made up of delicious and indulgent sandwiches (no crusts allowed), homemade cakes, hot beverages or perhaps a little sparkle in the form of Prosecco or Champagne to simply a lovely slice of cake and coffee, enjoy a very civilised but most importantly tasty treat.
The Langdale Hotel & Spa have a fabulous new restaurant Stove that should be at least one of the afternoon tea destinations to celebrate at. Stove has a statement double height area to sit in, perfect in the day time, overlooking the beck and waterwheel. If it’s dry then the variety of outdoor seating is fantastic for an alfresco afternoon tea.
Daily there are a choice of cakes and pastries as well as a large selection of Farrer’s Tea, special blend coffees, homemade lemonades and a new range of artisan herbal teas. Stove can perfectly add a glass of fizz to proceedings too. For more information on the full menu and setting of Stove @ Langdale, visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/stove.html
Journalists up and down the country are now clambering to stay and dine in the many hotels with restaurants in the UK. Just a few years ago this would have been likened to drawing the short straw. But as The Guardian wrote “Hotel restaurants are back in vogue, thanks to innovative menus from a new generation of talented chefs.” And this is so true.
For too long, even some 4 star hotels who you would expect to serve a high standard of food, have been falling well short. Everyone knows the scenario, deal too good to pass up for dinner, bed and breakfast, first night meal awful and well below par, the prospect of eating there again, fearsome and what about breakfast!
Despite the rise in the quality of British food and the restaurants that serve it up and down the country, food served in hotel restaurants was lagging well behind both in terms of quality and food trends.
The Lake District and Cumbria has some of the best food producers, best suppliers and best hotels in the North West if not the whole of England and hotel restaurant cuisine has always been of a good standard but this standard is continuing to rise. Hotel restaurants in the region are attracting big name chefs and who would blame them with the amount of people that come to visit 365 days a year and the truly stunning produce available on their doorstep.
Hotels in the Lake District are noticing guests are more interested in food and their restaurants are doing better than they ever have done. Damson Dene Hotel near Bowness on Windermere have most definitely noticed a boost in the number of guests staying on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis recently. With a daily changing menu using locally sourced food including seasonal fruit, vegetables and herbs from the owners Victorian kitchen garden at Yewbarrow House not far away in Grange over Sands, the quality of the produce is a step above many other restaurants in the area.
Book a delicious dinner, bed and breakfast stay at Damson Dene by visiting http://www.damsondene.co.uk/
It’s on right now, Great British Beef Week, a celebration of the fabulously high quality product UK British farmers produce day in day out. Now in its 6th year and organised and championed by Ladies In Beef.
Beef is popular across the globe, is one of the most of the most versatile meats but when reared properly provides taste beyond belief. Great British Beef Week to raise awareness for the quality found and available from farmers right on our doorsteps and to continue the support of this area of farming an food production, so important to so many.
In Cumbria and the Lake District, with fertile grazing and the emphasis on quality, it’s no surprise the beef either pasture or fell bred is some of the best in the country. Lamb may be the quintessentially Lake District meat but beef, available at its prime all year round in the region, is something that adorns every pub, restaurant and eating establishment. With such varying cuts, beef is often found 3, 4 or more times on a menu.
Beef is something with even more meaning than most to the owners of the Tebay Services Hotel on the M6 between Kendal and Penrith. Famers first and foremost, they branched out into the motorway services industry in the 70’s with the award winning Tebay Services. The Farm Shops there are what travellers make a bee line for both for the food available to eat in or take away and especially the butchers counter, the first of its kind on a UK motorway. All the beef is reared on the Dunning farm in nearby Orton and can be found the hotel too. On the vibrant new spring menu at the Tebay Services Hotel are 3 beef dishes, a starter of Dry cured beef and Cumbrian blue cheese salad with celery leaf and roasted walnut and mains, Ribeye steak from our family farm, lightly smoked in house with herb butter, hand cut chips and spring slaw and their own beef burger in a toasted brioche bun with hand cut chips and homemade relish.
Guests of the hotel receive a 10% off voucher for use in the Farm Shops so the beef addiction can continue at home. Rooms start at £87 per night including breakfast based on 2 sharing when booking 7 days or more in advance. Visit http://www.westmorlandhotel.com/ for more details.
A gluten free diet is an extremely common and is increasing by the day. Many people choose to omit gluten from their diets for reasons such a lethargic feeling after consuming it or slight bloating where as a huge number of the population are forced to for much more server symptoms and reasons. An allergy to gluten (or gluten sensitivity) effects many people differently and can create symptoms such as skin rashes and hives, headaches, a stuffy head and runny nose like hay fever and most commonly, problems with the gut such as indigestion and stomach cramps. Then onto Coeliac disease, a lifelong disease of an intolerance to gluten that can luckily be kept at bay omitting gluten from the diet.
In the case of being a Coeliac, it is extremely important not to consume any food item that has even touched a gluten product. Finding places to eat naturally becomes a problem as the UK is a nation of bread, pastry and pasta lovers. Restaurant menus are often laden with heavy, gluten rich dishes but replacing that with fresher, lighter foods without loosing out on the satisfaction or taste, is a good thing even for those who can eat gluten products.
That is why it is refreshing to see hotels such as the Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere offering a high number of gluten free dishes on their dinner menu. These dishes do not scream out gluten free and are delicious for each and every guest, they have just been well thought out and devised. To get your gluten free taste buds going there’s pan fried scallops with butternut squash puree, micro herbs, pancetta crisps and citrus oil, lots of mains including pork fillet with a chorizo & sundried tomato puree and a ruby port reduction and the ultimate for any pudding lover, sticky toffee pudding. Chef’s own gluten free recipe is served with butterscotch sauce & vanilla ice cream. Gluten free bread, crackers and lager are also available to accompany dishes such as soup and the Cumbrian cheese slate.
With 1 in 100 people having Coeliac disease and many more people with gluten sensitivity, it’s about time there were more restaurant menus such as this one and if you aren’t gluten intolerant and don’t spot the “G” next to the menu item, I bet you’d ever know.
To view the full menu visit, http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk/villa-restaurant/dinner-menu