Eating my way around The Lake District: The Lamplighter Dining Rooms

As I stood looking over Bowness-in-Windermere bay I couldn’t believe it has taken me over thirty years to visit such a beautiful corner of my own country. People seek far-flung corners of the world without always stopping to explore the smaller corners of their own country and the British countryside is some of the most stunning in the world.

This was my first time in the Lake District and the glorious sunshine made our 4 day stay all the more pleasurable. As well as exploring the countryside, I was also here to eat. I had been given recommendation after recommendation of must-try restaurants in Cumbria. I came away feeling as if I’d barely made a dent in all the foodie delights the region had to offer although I certainly made a good start.

The Lamplighter – Windermere

On the first night we decided to eat in the hotel as it had come highly recommended. It was called the Lamplighter and is situated a minutes walk from Windermere train station.

The Lamplighter Dining Rooms

The Lamplighter is divided into two eating spaces, one in the bar area that includes outdoor dinning and a separate dining space if you’re looking for something a little fancier. We decided to treat ourselves and ate in the dining room. The restaurant consists of a single, open-spaced room simply decorated.

The Lamplighter Terrace area
We both opted for a fish starter; with the boyfriend choosing the fish cakes and myself, the haddock goujons with homemade tartare sauce. My haddock goujons were beautifully flaky coated in a crispy batter which I dipped in copious amounts of some of the best tartare sauce I’ve ever eaten. 
Duo of crab

The boyfriend loved his duo of crab which consisted of a crab cake, crab beignet and mustard mayonnaise, hens eggs, parmesan and samphire. He said there was just the right amount for a starter portion and he particularly enjoyed trying samphire for the first time.

The Lamplighter’s famous “Fleetwood” haddock goujons

For main I chose a dish I’d never tasted before; suet pudding. This is a dish I associate with Victorian cuisine but appears to be making something of a comeback. It’s the ultimate comfort food I’d be told so I thought I’d tick it off the list as having tried. Now that I have, I can honestly say it won’t be one I’ll be eating again in a hurry. This isn’t meant to be disparaging towards the restaurant. I’m sure they cooked it perfectly, the problem for me was that it didn’t look appetising never mind taste it. The steamed texture of the pudding was slimy in my mouth (which is never a good thing) and I couldn’t get over the thought it of it being essentially a soggy pudding.

‘Lancashire’ beef suet pudding
The boyfriend had better luck with his choice; shepherds pie with haggis. This came with picked beetroot and red cabbage, both together seeming a little like overkill. I think the dish might have worked better if there had been a different veg option rather than two that were quite so sharp.  But the haggis was a pleasant surprise and again a first for us both. It reminded me of slightly stronger black pudding.
Lakeland shepherd’s pie
My overall thoughts on the Lamplighter dining rooms was that it did lack in atmosphere a little and perhaps would have benefited from having some music playing in the background as there were times when the whole room when quiet and you could hear a pin drop. As for the quality of the food, the fault was my own in choosing a main I ended up not liking but the starter was delicious and I would recommend it for that alone. The boyfriend really enjoyed both his courses and whilst you might pay a little extra here, it’s worth it for the excellent service alone. 
You can find out more information on The Lamplighter Dining Rooms at: Lamplighter Dining Rooms
The Restaurant is open:
 Monday – Saturday: 17:00-21:30
Sunday Evening: 18:00 – 21:30
Sunday Afternoon: 12 noon – 18:00
Lamplighter Dining Rooms
High Street
LA23 1AF

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