Dynamic British cooking in a revamped Windermere retreat
At a glance
Open all year
Wines by the glass
The Rosette award for this establishment has been suspended due to a change of chef. Reassessment will take place in due course under the new chef. It’s hard not to go on a bit about the spectacular setting of The Samling, particularly when you’ve been transfixed by the timeless view over Lake Windermere from the new restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows. Culinary matters have moved apace here in recent years, to a brand new kitchen, a development kitchen, and chef's table in the stunning modern stone and glass extension. The charming old country house has had a top-to-toe makeover, too, while its 67 acres include a kitchen garden to ensure a steady supply of first-rate seasonal materials, bolstered by a close-knit community of suppliers proudly namechecked on the menu. The tight-lipped descriptions of the 4-course lunch menu, and 7- and 10-course tasting versions don’t give much idea of how spectacular the dishes are, but the proof comes from the off in a first course of buttery veal sweetbreads matched with truffle, wild mushroom risotto, and a creamy mushroom sauce to bind it all together. Next up, pin-sharp technical skills are evident in an immaculately handled piece of cod, boosted with leeks, truffle and bacon, or go for venison with chocolate, sprouts, quince and parsley root. A complex dessert involving textures of beetroot with liquorice and olive-oil wild rice seals the deal.