A few weeks, Mr W and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary. We can’t believe that it has been a year since we said ‘I do’. It’s crazy. Although it has only been a year, I am starting to feel like ‘an old married woman’. Only because I was the first of my group of friends to get married and now I have one friend who has passed the 100 day countdown for her wedding (the hen party is in five weeks!!!!) and I have another friend who has recently gotten engaged (congratulations!!). It seems like ages ago when I was doing this and now I’m offering the advice (the bride is always right).
Mr W and I spent our ‘actual’ anniversary in the Lake District. Mr W proposed to me in Keswick and we decided to spend a couple of days back there enjoying the ‘country life’ (enough to feel like we were having a relaxing break away from the city without feeling stuck in the middle of nowhere). We’ve always loved going to Keswick and this time we made a point of eating at and drinking in places we’ve never been to. The highlight for us was a first night meal at The Square Orange. A very small bar that serves tapas and pizza. We didn’t realise until the next morning (after talking to our B&B owner) that we had stumbled across a local hidden gem. Well worth a visit if you are ever in Keswick. They don’t take bookings so you have to hang around and grab a table as soon as it is vacated.
But the highlight of our anniversary celebrations was a meal at Manchester House. This is somewhere I’ve been wanting to go for ages and couldn’t think of a better excuse to go. We went for lunch on a Saturday and was given the option of two menus, a 14 course taster menu or a 10 course taster menu (which can then be broken down into a two course menu). We both decided to go for the 10 course taster menu. Although it is still a lot of courses, we figured that if this was our only visit, we wanted to experience as much as possible (without being sick). You also get the option of having a wine flight with it but I felt I wouldn’t be able to finish the meal so stuck to the one glass of wine. Below is the menu we had.
The first three courses were served to us on one board which made the fact it was 10 courses a little less daunting. The Razor clam was served with a mushroom consommé which was presented in a champagne flute. Of these three, the nori rice cracker was our favourite. The poached scallop was one of the ‘starters’ and was lovely. The crispy texture of the chicken wing skin complimented the soft, velvety scallops. The rose veal tartare was the last of the ‘starters and was probably our least favourite of the two. Mr W and I have never had tartare before and we found the texture too chewy but we loved the fermented turnips. The next two courses were the ‘mains’ and were both delicious. As we were eating the poached turbot, we both agreed that it was our favourite course so far. Then we got the lamb, which was cooked three ways and was a close contender. The next course was the first of the desserts and was a winner for me. It was a small piece of sweet potato cake and sweet potato crumb with different flavours of orange, in the form of a parfait, a jelly and a gel with some sugar decorations. The next dessert was flavours of vanilla, chocolate, lychee and caramel with milk crisps. The final course of macaroons and madeleines nearly finished us off but we were determined to eat everything (which, I’m not afraid to admit, we did).
If you are a bit of a foodie, I would definitely recommend a visit to Manchester House. I was worried that we were going to one of the few tables in there but by 2pm, the restaurant was nearly full. The kitchens are open plan and Aiden Byrne was helping plate up the starters. Although the service was very good, I liked that it wasn’t in your face. You could see that the different members of staff were there to help different areas when needed.