The Couch House restaurant in Ravenstone Lodge is a must for lodgers and members of the public alike. It was awarded the AA Rosette in April 2014 which is only distributed to a select few restaurants up and down the country.
What you might not know is that it is run by one chef, James Cooper, who is renowned in the Lake District for his use of locally sourced food and his creative flair with all the food he cooks.
The food was of an exceptionally high quality but still maintained the quantities that would satisfy a walker’s belly after a long day on the fells. In essence it was perfectly proportioned but at the same time made you feel like you were celebrating while eating it.
We began with some homemade bread in little rounds to line our stomachs, which was still warm so the butter simply melted away into the doughy folds. Just how I like it!
To whet your appetite, we enjoyed starters of Barbary Duck and Lakeland Pork Terrine, with warm toast and homemade apple chutney and Cumbrian Crab and Coleslaw Bruschetta.
For our mains course we had Pan Seared Lakeland Venison Steak with dauphinoise potato, sauté leeks, peas and bacon, pear and pepper jus and the Braised Brisket of Beef with fondant potato, red cabbage and mushroom sauce.
The beef simply fell apart on the plate and as a huge fan of red cabbage- I can say it is up there with the best I have ever tasted! Venison can be tricky dish to get right but I was told by my father and husband that it was cooked to absolute perfection.
For dessert we indulged in Dark Chocolate Delice with orange sorbet and Girottine Cherry and Almond Tart with vanilla ice cream and raspberry coulis. No-one offered to share their dessert, which is testament in our family of just how good they all tasted.
The menu is however constantly changing- so this is only an idea of what you might expect. I would highly recommend that you pay them a visit to find out what is on offer at the time.
We were served by Sharon and Antonio, who were very attentive and helped us to choose dessert as there were so many lovely sounding dishes we could not decide! Mike also advised my Mum and Dad on their wine choice, converting them from their usual preference to try something completely new from the extensive wine list.
Despite the quality being so high I was surprised to find that the prices did not differ considerably from what you would pay in other establishments. So if you are in the area and are looking for good value for money and food of an excellent standard- get booked in as tables do go quickly!