Dinner is a delight: a short but excellent menu that changes daily, served in the dining room which overlooks the garden through floor-to-ceiling windows. Once we took our seats at the table, the food exceeded expectations. Rated among the best in the UK, the restaurant has featured in the Good Food Guide and been recommended by ViaMichelin.com for more than 40 consecutive years. It’s no wonder the place attracts many repeat customers.
One of our fellow diners – a 90-year-old man from Munich – was re-visiting with his granddaughter after several years. Another has been so impressed with the food, he gave the family a portrait of Barry which hangs in the dining room today.
Every guest and diner can expect traditional English dishes with a light touch of creativity. Venison, fish and guinea fowl in season can all be found on the menu and vegetarians too are well catered for. With 24 hours’ notice, the chef will offer a choice of three starters and three mains. And unlike some restaurants that seem to on vegetables, there was no shortage of them on our plates. The courgette discs with cheese in the middle were particularly good and set the scene perfectly for the English cheese board course. As for desserts ….well, they were every bit as good as those homemade cakes.
The surrounding area lends itself to outdoor expeditions and the staff are only too happy to help plan an itinerary for you. There’s endless walking to enjoy as well as castles and museums to visit.
With the help of Helen and Lynne, we were able to cover lots including Talkin Tarn, parts of Hadrian’s Wall, Lanercost Priory and much more. But it was Vindolanda, one of Europe’s most important Roman archaeological sites, that I found the most fascinating. Painstaking excavation has produced many ancient tablets, enabling historians to piece together a unique insight into what it must have been like to be a Roman in a foreign land. Standing there made me realise just how ‘ahead of the times’ the Romans actually were.
Farlam Hall – Where and How?
Farlam Hall Country House Hotel is located in Brampton, Cumbria. Double rooms start from £155 pppn based on two sharing half-board (reduced overnight rate offered to guests who stay more than one night, except August/September when reduced rates apply to stays of 5 nights and more). Reservations can be made by phone: 01697 746234, email: [email protected] or online at www.farlamhall.co.uk.
Fly to Newcastle (50 miles), Glasgow or Edinburgh (100 miles). The train is around 3.5 hours from London Euston to Carlisle (9 miles).