With the Olympics in full swing – albeit of the Winter variety – one’s mind could start to wonder as to who would represent the UK if the Games were of a culinary, rather than a sporting, nature. It would have to be a restaurant that was absolutely at the top of its game ; somewhere that could rightfully take its place among the best in the world, and one that truly represented its country’s gastronomic zeitgeist. Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume is such a restaurant.
Great cooking starts with great produce – and when a restaurant has its own farm then you can be sure the ingredients are going to be exemplary. Fruits, vegetables and herbs, as well as chickens, ducks, pigs and cattle all come from Simon’s 12-acre farm – and it is this reliable source of top quality, seasonal ingredients that drives its menu.
Simon Rogan has never been a chef to stand still. What has elevated his flagship restaurant to achieving the ultimate award is his constant striving for improvement and his desire to enhance his guests’ experience with a little refinement here and a tweak there. The result is that L’Enclume has matured into a proud and highly accomplished restaurant.
There is now quite an extraordinary level of finesse in every dish. Flavours linger long in the memory. The kitchen is practiced and focussed. Techniques are clever and, combinations, inventive and original. But however clever the construction, nothing gets in the way of allowing the ingredients to shine.
The young, professional service team work with obvious pride and have a clear understanding of what makes a great restaurant. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming and inclusive; there isn’t a hint of arrogance or complacency; and every guest leaves feeling that they have been treated to something truly special.
All the best restaurants represent the locality in which they find themselves; they are of a time and a place – and this certainly applies to L’Enclume. It is immersed in the Lake District and follows a very strong sustainability ethos. It is truly a model for others to follow.
In its 20th year, L’Enclume is certainly a worthy recipient of Three MICHELIN Stars.