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AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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State-of-the-art contemporary cooking at the forge

AA Inspector

At a glance

Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

If Cartmel was once about little else than a trip to the famous Priory and a slab of mint cake from one of the souvenir shops, there's a bit more to it these days. Upmarket cafés and places to buy artisanal cheese have multiplied around the dual focal points of Simon Rogan's two restaurants, Rogan & Company and the flagship L'Enclume. Hewn out of what was once a blacksmith's forge in days that seem as distant as a George Eliot novel now, the Anvil (for so it translates) retains a spare but elegant look within, the cream-washed roughcast stone walls and slender beams still bearing witness to the age of the building. Staff are fully conversant with the kitchen's output, explaining and guiding you through the complex, multi-layered production that constitutes a visit here. To call it a destination restaurant is like saying that Cumbria has lakes. What you get is state-of-the-art contemporary cooking, with the emphasis on natural, often raw ingredients that are allowed to speak for themselves within the dazzling artistry on show in every dish. The familiar opener of Maran egg with hazelnut cream and leek fondue is an astonishment that never fails, and might appear alongside a tartlet of scallop roe and gooseberry with bracing scallop tartare. Umami is the predominant note in a dish of fathoms-deep beef broth with bone marrow custard and grilled kale, and then fish arrives in the shape of turbot braised in ham fat, underlined with a thin layer of pork back fat and pieces of crackling in a shell-based bisque. The meat main might well be the fabled Goosnargh duck with cherries and smoked beetroot, a study in reds and pinks that produces deep bass-notes of resonant flavour. More sparkling fireworks are produced in the concluding dessert parade, which may encompass sheep's curd, rosehip and buckwheat with a drift of hyssop snow, figleaf ice cream with fig syrup, crumbled hazelnuts and meadowsweet, and the signature Anvil confection, a gold-sprayed caramel custard with two apple varieties and a juglet of pine juice. The lunch offering is a shorter digest of the above, and yet still manages to work in all the culinary magic of the evening sessions, perhaps centring on venison loin with accompanying croquette and beeswax-cooked pear. Comprehensive packages that include overnight stays are the kind of whole hog that it's worth going for that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What's on offer?

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Closed: 25–26 December
  • Days closed: Monday
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 1.30
  • Dinner served from: 6.30
  • Dinner served until: 8.30


  • Chef(s): Simon Rogan, Paul Burgalieres

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines over £30: 500
  • Wines by the glass: 28

Price guide

  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 1
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 45
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 6
  • On-site parking available
  • Off-site parking available: On street

Getting here

Follow signs for A590 west, turn left for Cartmel before Newby Bridge.

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Nearest train station

Grange-Over-Sands station
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