I’ve joined the LDNPA on a temporary basis as an Area Ranger, covering Maternity leave. As part of my training for the job, I learnt of the Gaddum’s existence. It had me intrigued and I made a mental note – I should definitely visit sometime, not with a view to being a ‘secret shopper’, but as a local resident visiting in my own time, paying-my-way, and without special privilege.
Last week I got the chance to go. My husband and I booked lunch as a gift to each other to say thank you. An acknowledgement for the patience and understanding that we have shown each other. It was our first full restaurant dining experience since the pandemic first arose in Feb 2020.
We arrived at Brockhole, found the Gaddum, and were warmly welcomed with drinks, an apéritif, and time perusing the menu. All of the options sounded delicious, making selection more difficult. Amy (our waitress) kindly offered a suggestion for one of the starters, and with our selection made, we were shown into the main dining area. A beautiful Arts and Crafts room, with a spectacular view of the gardens and – the timing of our visit was clearly impeccable – the most beautiful magnolia in flower framed by the ornate windows. We were shown to the table directly in front of this window & the sun shone – just the most enchanting setting for our meal.
The crostini of salmon and cream cheese hors d’oeuvre (gratis) arrived and we both agreed we would have been happy to have more of the same… an unexpected surprise & spectacularly tasty. For starters my husband chose the Cartmel Smoked Salmon & particularly enjoyed the accoutrements, whilst I had the Red Onion Tatin. For mains I had the shin of beef, though both of us were thoroughly enchanted by the Gressingham Duck. For dessert my husband went for the deconstructed Apple Crumble, and though he was slightly sceptical about having anything deconstructed, was impressed by the new take on favourite flavours. I too was dazzled by the multitude of flavours in the Gaddum chocolate cigar. All of the courses were exquisitely presented.
Our lunch was relaxed, our hostess delightful, and the setting was beautiful. Thoroughly enchanted by this hidden Brockhole gem we discussed whom else we might bring here for a special occasion. As we left, afternoon tea and prosecco was being served to a group who had just arrived… there are a multitude of ways to enjoy The Gaddum. We wandered down through the gardens, viewed the Millennium Kitchen Garden and admired spring flower beds, another spectacular Magnolia and some huge coniferous trees planted by Thomas Mawson, before taking in the beautiful views on the lakeshore. A great way to experience Brockhole.