“Seasonal dishes in an idyllic Lakeland location” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
As the name suggests, Forest Side occupies a verdant setting and the spacious dining room celebrates views of both the garden and surrounding forest. Elegant but rustic, linen napkins and local pottery wares are a talking point, as are tables fashioned out of old floor boards. Paul Leonard’s exciting modern approach includes 8- or 4-course tasting menus that evolve with the seasons. Expect solid technical skills and big flavours conjured from high quality local ingredients. Raw aged Cumbrian deer turns up with smoked fresh cheese, wood sorrel and swede before moving on to native lobster barbecued over forest pine with tomatoes, elder and fennel. Top drawer Lakeland Dexter beef appears with alliums from the garden and forest, with preserved raspberry, meadowsweet and custard a stand-out dessert. The carefully chosen wine list is full of interesting bottles and the knowledgeable sommelier is on hand should choices become too tricky.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 40
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Accessible toilets
- Assist dogs welcome
- Open all year
- Days Closed: Monday and Tuesday
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 2
- Dinner served from: 7
- Dinner served until: 9.30
- Wines under £30: 6
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 32
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the area
About the area
Cumbria's rugged yet beautiful landscape is best known for the Lake District National Park that sits within its boundaries. It’s famous for Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, and Derwent Water, ‘Queen of the English Lakes'. This beautiful countryside once inspired William Wordsworth and his home, Dove Cottage, in Grasmere is a popular museum. Another place of literary pilgrimage is Hill Top, home of Beatrix Potter, located near Windermere. Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here.
Much of Cumbria is often overlooked in favour of the Lake Distirct. In the south, the Lune Valley remains as lovely as it was when Turner painted it. The coast is also a secret gem. With its wide cobbled streets, spacious green and views of the Solway Firth, Silloth is a fine Victorian seaside resort. Other towns along this coastline include Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport. Carlisle is well worth a look – once a Roman camp, its red-brick cathedral dates back to the early 12th century and its 11th-century castle was built by William Rufus.
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