Another restaurant familiar to many as being featured in The Trip, the Michael Winterbottom mockumentary charting the course of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon around the north of England reviewing fine dining establishments, L’Enclume showed viewers that experimental cuisine can be far more than surprising things put on a plate in front of people.
Simon Rogan established a name for himself here before moving on to open Roganic in London – and, despite the idyll of the place and the country-house feel of the restaurant itself, the cuisine is quite dazzlingly modern and experimental.
Located in one of the most scenic parts of Britain, in a secluded stone-walled building which also features a number of rooms for staying guests, L’Enclume blends molecular gastronomy with timeless elegance – using forward-thinking techniques to get the very best flavours out of feted local produce. Food arrives in the form of tasting menus, of small to medium dishes – these can include the intriguing “carrot sacks” with brawn, juniper, fried cake and cress, and other carefully thought-up ingredients like goat milk mousse, cockle butter and burnt pear. But there’s also a focus on what we are familiar with, amid the invention. Potted trout is served with radish, dill and rye toast; and while the vintage potatoes might come rolled in onion ash, it’s the flavour that we’ll recognise. Meat takes the form of, for example, a duck “sweetbread” or the pairing of hake and chicken skin. Foraged herbs and vegetation dress the plates beautifully.
In order to help you with your leap of faith, there’s a great wine list chosen to help its “interaction with the food”. Two pricing options are available and vegetarians are well looked after.
The Telegraph called L'Enclume, 'Britain's most exciting restaurant', while the Good Food Guide awarded it an extremely rare score of 10/10 in 2012.
Praised for his technical brilliance and renowned for his use of unusual ingredients, combinations, styles and blending of tastes and textures, Simon Rogan has been called “one of the most innovative chefs in the country” by the Guardian, and his restaurants – L’Enclume and Roganic – are known for producing some of the most startlingly original menus around.
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Awards & accolades
The Michelin Guide
One Michelin star
The Good Food Guide