Nestled in the heart of the southern Lake District is an enchanting medieval village called Cartmel.
When exploring its charming lanes and stone passageways you may discover a babbling brook...
ancient country pubs with eclectic garden furniture...
whitewashed gates leading to diminutive cottages...
and, if you're really, really lucky, L'Enclume.
You may be familiar with owner and chef Simon Rogan from his recent stint on the Great British Menu. He has, however, been cooking up a storm in this beautiful part of the country for a good few years.
Simon uses seasonal, local, often foraged ingredients and turns them into some of the most innovative and exciting dishes I have ever had the pleasure of eating.
Seated in the conservatory, with a view onto the lush garden, we were asked if we would like the 5 course or the 16 course lunch - no menu, just those two choices.
Needless to say, we plumped for the 16-courser and what followed was a 4 hour feast that I will remember until my dying day. In fact, I'd have happily carked it after coffee, safe in the knowledge that I'd just experienced a veritable food memory.
Now, I'm no food blogger and I'm certainly not a restaurant critic, so this won't be a dissection of each course. Instead, here is my best attempt at capturing each delectable dish for your viewing pleasure.
Dock pudding with nettle emulsion
Cream cheese wafers
Asparagus with bay shrimp
Cod 'yolk', sage cream, salt and vinegar
Kohlrabi dumplings in Westcombe, hyssop and purple sprouting
Valley venison, charcoal oil, mustard and fennel
Sea scallop with spiced strawberry, grilled cauliflower and coastal leaves
Cucumbers, pineapple weed, lobster and rat tails
Eel smoked with wood sorrel, marrow and onions
Lightly smoked Bay bass, cockles, courgettes and cotton lavender
Reg's guinea hen and offal, turnip and elderflower
Iced chamomile, spruce, celery and black pepper
Cumbrian slate, gooseberry, apple and lemon verbena
Cherries with meadowsweet, hazelnut and apple
Gingerbread and iced watermint*
* which comes with a confession: I was so enraptured by the whole experience by this point, that I forgot to take a photo until I'd almost finished!
With friendly and informative service and an excellent wine list, I would recommend making a detour to visit L'Enclume if you're ever in the North West... actually, it's worth a trip even if you're in NW London.