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Cavendish St, CARTMEL, LA11 6PZ

5 rosettes

From the outside L'Enclume looks a lot like the forge it once was - 700 years old, solid, traditional. Don't go thinking it's all that different on the inside either, for this is the domain of Simon Rogan, a person who appreciates the value of what man and nature can do when they work in harmony. Everything here has vitality and purpose and there is no chintz or fakery, it is certainly not rough-and-ready. The restaurant is done-out in neutral tones from natural materials, tables are left unclothed as the wood is beautiful as it is, with any decoration or adornment on the whitewashed walls reflecting the environment, the textures and wildness of the landscape hereabouts. It is possible these days to find out what Rogan is all about without heading to Cumbria - The Midland Hotel in Manchester is home to a brace of dining rooms run by this most dynamic of chefs. But with stylish bedrooms available at a few places in the village, none more than a short stroll from the restaurant, staying over only extends the pleasure of a visit. Central to everything here is ingredients. A lot of what you eat will have been picked a short while ago at his organic farm nearby, or foraged from the local countryside, and the livestock may well have been reared on the farm, too, with what Rogan doesn't produce himself sourced from trusted local suppliers. The service team are on hand to help with the menu, dealing with questions and giving advice with charm and professionalism. There may well be some unfamiliar things on the menu, and in fact such is the drive to deliver absolute perfection that dishes may vary even within a service (the person on the next table may have a slightly different dish to you, but, rest assured, they'll both be brilliant). Everything from the bread onwards is beautifully crafted and stylishly presented, with modern cooking techniques on show, but, more than anything, respect for the produce. Dishes such as oyster pebbles look intriguing and hit the sweet spot for visual appeal and flavour. There might be native lobster with black pudding and parsnip, served with sour cream with roe and chives, and salt-baked beetroot with glazed ox tongue, yogurt and apple marigold. The colours on the plate make a startling impact - quite beautiful at times - and the flavour combinations are clever, and never a step too far. Suckling Lop comes with mushroom cream, heritage potatoes and pennywort, while a sweet course might deliver sweet clover, pear, walnuts and wild chervil. This is dynamic, contemporary cooking from a chef who has helped the UK gain culinary confidence, delivering British food at its best. To cap it all off, the wine list follows a similar path, championing lesser-seen grape varieties, biodynamic wines, supporting English producers, and giving the customer something different from some old, same old.

Further information

Tel: 015395 36362
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open all year.
Days closed for lunch: Mon-Tue

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Simon Rogan, Mark Birchall, Tom Barnes
Number of seats: 50
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 1
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 10 yrs D.
Parking available.

L'Enclume, Cartmel


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Follow signs for A590 W, turn left for Cartmel before Newby Bridge
Nearest station: Grange-Over-Sands

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