Thursday, 12 March 2009

IPD Weekend in the Lakes

This is a long time coming...but 12 IPD'ers got together last weekend for an IPD experience in the lakes.

Mr Piggy

Now, I hadn't been up there since I was 2 years old, which by any ones guess was a long time ago...Mr Tulip on the other hand went on a regular basis in his teen years and entertained (!) me with his tales of wet and windy holidays, weekends & school trips, it all started to sound pretty familiar as our weekend also turned out to be as wet and windy.

As you will see by the photos, we all had a brilliant time!

This is where we stayed. The Old Rectory Guesthouse in Torver, Coniston. Click on the link and it will take you straight to their website. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in the Lakes I can not recommend this highly enough. Paul & Elizabeth were the perfect hosts, their staff were exceptional. They have a total of nine rooms, all of which are en-suite. Each has its own name taken from an historical figure linked to Coniston and the surrounding area. Names like Turner and Collingwood Ruskin, Potter (Beatrix not Harry!) Our room was light airy and oh so comfortable. It had a huge super-king sized bed and great views! It was called the De Hedon room, named after an obscure Lakeland poet!

I've never been a fan of guesthouses before visiting Torver...I have this image in my mind of nylon sheets, worn stair carpet and nosey landladies! How wrong can you get??? Paul & Elizabeth have restored my faith in holiday guesthouses this one is a must!

Litte Mr Piggy was sat sitting on top of the dresser waiting for me when I arrived!

Clean, modern with crisp white sheets, an amazing assortment of pillows and cushions on the bed, complimentary sherry (thank you - it went down very well when we got back from our afternoon hike!) A full mini bar and a lovely en suite with heated towel rails and plenty of storage space. The attention to detail didn't go unnoticed either, tissues, cotton buds, complimentary toiletries, my wheat free / low carb special diet was catered for beautifully.

Here we enjoyed a relaxing pot coffee on arrival. and an aperitif before our dinner on the Friday night

The four course menu on Friday was absolute I'm a fussy diner, things that other diners wouldn't even notice rattles my goat and puts me off the whole experience!!! But everything was absolutely amazing!! (No photos I'm afraid..too busy socialising, scoffing and enjoying it all to remember!!!)
We started our culinary experience in the lounge with little appetisers of goat cheese and a chilled glass of vodka & Slimline tonic. We then took our places in the dining room and were served the first of our two starters, Jerk chicken wings with a rocket salad...wonderfully moist with a great flavour. Next came the spinach and watercress soup, served piping hot. Mr T said I had competition...I'm no longer the soup queen..Elizabeth's was A1 !!!

(I have the me and I will forward it on to you!)

The main course was a very tender braised lamb served with celeriac souffle (the absolute best!) and a trio of green vegetables which consisted of the greenest spring cabbage with just the right amount of crunch, buttered leeks that melted in the mouth and baked baby courgettes with thyme. We scoffed the lot deee-lish-us!! Portions were perfect!
I didn't really want a dessert, as I was so full up. I opted for a small taste of the rhubarb & Mascarpone dessert, it was very very tasty with the poached fruit topped with a mascarpone cream and sprinkled with crystallized ginger. It was a refreshing dessert but unfortunately it didn't go with my red wine, which by the way, was just the house red but a brilliant bottle of wine! so I opted to finish the wine instead of the dessert. The cheese LOOKED amazing...3 pieces of very good quality cheese with celery sticks. It was the talk of the meal as over half of the diners had chosen hindsight that's what I should have had to compliment my wine...that's what I'll be having next time!!!

A choice of coffees and squares of dark dark chocolate were served in the lounge...I couldn't fault anything...the staff were helpful, polite, lovely...dinning room was comfortable, everything was just right!

Wot u lookin at?

It was so windy, one of the sheep blew over...I so wish I'd witnessed it!!

Camera's at the ready...looking out over Coniston lake!

Elizabeth & Paul Mitchell are very special hosts, if you are looking for somewhere to stay in the lakes, I'd defiantly recommend staying with them, nothing was too much trouble. We had a brilliant weekend, good food, a bit of exercise and no kids....ah bliss!!!!


Anonymous said...

I am speechless Tulip- you lovely lass you- thank you so much for your glowing praise (scurries off blushing and smiling at the same time)
All credit to you on the packed lunch issue- your ideas were absolutely perfect and will be the mainstays of any future IPD Packed Lunches.
Shame you can't make a totally IPD friendly fruit cake- at least it was gluten free and after hours of geocaching , well deserved.

Tulip said...

Hi Elizabeth
I didn't have the pack lunch but feedback was good. I have just found LC chocolate muffins on the forum...they'd go great in a lunch box. Will post photo and review as soon as I've made them!
Check out the IPD folder here, theres lots of lunch box ideas!

Marie said...

Julie, it looks like you all had a wonderful time. I, for one, would love the chocolate muffin recipe!! Is that like a flourless chocolate cake?

Sue said...

Tulip what a beautiful place you stayed at. I loved looking at all the pictures.
If you post a recipe for Choc muffins I'll be back as DH adores muffins.