You may have caught my recent outfit post, smart/casual evening dining. A couple of weeks ago we stayed at Beech Hill hotel & Spa, set upon the banks of Lake Windermere in the Lake District. A review post of our stay will be on the blog soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my review of our evening meal at Beech Hill’s restaurant, Burlington’s, which has been an AA rosette holder of 20 years and led by head Chef Lukasz Zebryk.
We made a reservation for the restaurant for 8pm, having spent a relaxing few hours in the on site Spa facilities. We were greeted by the very friendly staff who showed us to our table, which overlooked Lake Windermere, (not that you could see much of it, being dark)! The restaurant has a nice traditional, classical feel to it, which is quite fitting for the French/English theme. I always admire restaurants that offer local, fresh ingredients and produce.
Our drinks orders were taken whilst we looked over the menu. They offer 2, 3 and 5 course options, £26.95, £34.95 & £39.95 respectively. We had chosen the 3 course option. We were brought some canapes to start; goat’s cheese risotto, sausage roll and spicy tortillas. I thought this was a nice way to start the evening. The flavours and textures of the goat’s cheese risotto were interesting. The tortillas had a nice, light spicy kick, but for me, were a little greasy.
Following the canapes, we were also offered some freshly baked bread, which came with olive oil and balsamic dressing dip. The granary bread being my favourite, a nice crispy crust and lovely and soft in the middle. The butter was chilled to just the right temperature to make spreading easy.
There was a varied selection of starter dishes on the menu, the one that stood out for me was the wood pigeon breast, with sauteed savoy cabbage, puy lentils fumet and pancetta crisps. Sam opted for the chilled hot smoked salmon torte, served with cucumber, blush tomatoes and pepper gazpacho.
The dish came presented well with a good balance of ingredients. For me, the pigeon breast was a bit overcooked and crisp, this is a meat that should lightly cooked and pink in the middle. I thought the salty pancetta didn’t really add anything to the dish and took away the flavour of the pigeon. The puy lentils brought balance to the dish and absorbed the flavours well.
I really liked the presentation of the salmon dish and the portion size seemed ideal for a starter. Samantha thought the ratio of red pepper to salmon was disproportionate and would of preferred more salmon as it was the main item on the menu.
Aside from the proprtion of salmon, Sam enjoyed the flavours and textures of the dish, but did wonder whether the pea mousse added anything to the plate other than a splash of colour.
I thought the waiting time between courses was about right, just enough time to allow you to relax between courses. For my main course, I chose the lamb shank, with mash braised red cabbage and caramelised shallots. Sam chose pheasant breast in parma ham, candy beetroot textures and glazed roots.
The lamb was wonderfully tender, it literally just fell off the bone. The red cabbage was lightly spiced which added balance and flavour to the dish. I would of liked to have seen something other than mash potato, as this doesn’t really suggest fine dining, it just seems a little bit too easy to make. Although, I realise this is quite a traditional way of serving it. To me it’s a good hearty, warming dish.
As with the salmon, the presentation of the pheasant dish was equally impressive. I thought the candy beetroot textures gave it a really nice splash of colour.
Sam enjoyed the dish, but did comment the meat was perhaps a little dry. I think this is expected as, Pheasant is a very lean meat and difficult to get the meat rich and juicy like other less lean meats like chicken. She did enjoy it and said the flavours combined well, maybe some additional seasonal vegetables would have given the dish more balance.
To round off the evening, I really fancied something sweet and a little bit different. The hot chocolate souufle, with tobago chocolate sorbet seemed to be the perfect choice.
The souffle had a good rise (well it did when it first arrived) and was light and airy in texture. I was half expecting there to be a molten chocolate centre, however i then realised i was thinking of a chocolate fondant. This was the ideal dessert if, like me, you often feel quite full after two courses, as it wasn’t too rich or heavy but still satisfied a sweet tooth.
Sam was feeling a bit full so decided on an Irish coffee for dessert, but still managed a few spoons of my souffle. This came served with a chocolate truffle and mini shortbread.
Overall, I really enjoyed our experience at Burlington’s. The service was excellent, the staff were attentive, whilst not being too over the top. The food on the whole was good, it had glimpses of fine dining, but some of the dishes, I thought lacked a bit of flare and creativity. The 3 course menu for £34.95, I thought was reasonable value for money. Check out their site here.
Have you visited Burlington’s restaurant? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.
*Food was complimentary for review purposes. Drinks were paid for. All views are my own.