Following a culinary career spanning over a decade and working in some of the UK’s finest restaurants, cafés and tea rooms, in 2013 I was recruited by Nigel Haworth to create and subsequently run the successful Northcote Cookery School. During those years I often had the opportunity to work with some world-renowned chefs especially during “Obsession” an annual 18-day culinary festival held at the renowned Lancashire based restaurant. I left Northcote last year to join Sam Mason’s new team at the Lake District National Park’s stunning visitor centre, Brockhole on Windermere.
With listed Thomas Mawson gardens on the shores of the lake, the beautiful arts & crafts Brockhole House is the jewel in the crown of the Lake District National Park. The interior of the house, where there’s been a family orientated café since the 1960’s, had become somewhat tired over the years, however, under the management of Sam (GM) and myself (Catering Manager), we have started an ambitious refurbishment program. Brockhole House will soon feature “The Gaddum” an English restaurant with tea room, orangery, bar and sumptuous lounge.
I’m working hard to create a world-class food and beverage team and I’m pleased to announce that South African born Gerald van der Walt is now heading up our kitchens. Having just joined us from Rogan & Co / L’Enclume in Cartmel, Gerald has previously worked as Head Chef at The Greenhouse in Cape Town (Peter Templehoff) and The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek (Margot Janse). I’ve also appointed a new pastry chef, who’s joined us from the pastry section at The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House; she’s got incredible chocolate skills!
The Gaddum is about showcasing the finest and freshest seasonal Cumbrian ingredients through honest, uncomplicated cooking. We’re taking no shortcuts in the kitchen and our food is home produced using both classic and modern techniques. Where we do have to depend on external sources, we’re working together with exciting suppliers who deliver us daily fresh bread and bakes served in the café.
Within “The Gaddum” you’ll find William Gaddum’s original dining room, now the Garden Room, which has space for about 45 diners seated comfortably on Lloyd Loom chairs. The reinstated grand fireplace and gorgeous William Morris wallpaper help to create a sophisticated atmosphere without being stuffy. We’re also making use of the Orangery to create an exceptional space to enjoy lunch or Afternoon Tea which can also be taken in the dining room and lounge. In the combined space we can serve approximately 60 covers. The scones and pâtisserie for The Gaddum are all skillfully prepared in-house by our pastry chef. But it’s not just about the cake, we’ve created a beautiful tea menu to complement the Afternoon Tea service. It’s so hugely exciting to be able to work with the amazing Bernadine Tay at Quintessential who uses her scientific knowledge to create unique tea blends with exquisite flavours. Quintessential has won an incredible 7 Great Taste Awards out of 12 blends. Though if tea’s not your thing, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy discovering our cosy bar where craft Cumbrian beer and ales are served in partnership with Handsome Brewery.
And lastly, dining here supports here! All of our profits go straight back into the wonderful landscape of lakes, fells and mountains of England’s largest National Park which is now also a World Heritage Site.