Lancashire Life Luncheon - Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel, Bowness
PUBLISHED: 00:16 03 March 2011 | UPDATED: 22:21 21 October 2015
It was ladies only at a special lunch at Bowness' Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel. Emma Mayoh reports PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
Alison Magee-Barker may be pregnant for the first time but the new arrival won’t be her first ‘baby’. For more than a decade the 39-year-old has watched, guided and nurtured the growth and development of the
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel in Bowness.
‘It’s like being a parent,’ said Alison, whose career has has taken her to some top Michelin-starred hotels. ‘It’s been so nice seeing how the hotel has grown over those years.
‘Things have just got better and better for us. I love every minute of it. It’s fantastic, particularly to see everyone’s hard work being recognised.’
And it has been an eventful decade. The hotel, once the home of celebrated children’s author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, was a much smaller operation before Lancashire friends Norman Stoller CBE and Stephen Broughton took the reins in 1998. The hotel has grown in size as well as winning a raft of awards. The Dining Room has 2 AA Rosettes and in 2009 was awarded a prestigious Restaurant of the Year in the Lancashire and Lake District Food and Wine Awards.
The two businessmen have left the running of the hotel in Alison’s capable hands and she and the team have built up an excellent reputation. It is this group who demonstrated their prowess at the latest Lancashire and Lake District Life Ladies Luncheon.
The kitchen was led by sous chef Rob Taylor, a relative newcomer to the award-winning establishment, who displayed talent and skill. It had already been a busy fortnight after head chef, Marc Guibert, was struck down with flu. But it was a challenge that Rob, and the team at the Lindeth Howe took in their stride. The well-thought out menu came in threes, taking inspiration from the restaurant’s a la carte trilogy menu.
The delicate starter, sourced from Cartmel Valley Game Supplies and Smokehouse in Cark-in-Cartmel, was salmon done three ways. A roulade, a hot chunk of the fish and a light, creamy mousse satisfied the appetites of the ladies at the event. This accomplished first course was perfectly partnered with a South African Lutzeville Chardonnay, introduced
by Janette McCloughlin of EWGA Wines Limited.
The main course, again a trilogy, celebrated all that is great about â Cumbrian lamb. Its providers, Lakes Speciality Foods in Staveley, would
be pleased with the treatment delivered by the kitchen team.
A surprisingly delicate dish of loin of lamb and slow-cooked lamb shank was accompanied with a small sweetbread fritter which prompted pleased murmurs from the diners. A well-partnered glass of wine this time came in the form of a Cotes du Ventouz-Perrin from Rhone in France where the grapes come from a vineyard 1,000 feet above sea level.
A sweet Australian dessert wine - Foundstone Raisined Semillon - was
an ideal taster that was paired with another trio. This time it was chocolate in large doses - a caramel milk chocolate tart teamed with a dark chocolate marquise.
That latter was a soft but bitter contrast against a generous helping of a fresh white chocolate sorbet. This followed by petits fours and coffee, a raffle that raised £310 for baby charity, Bluebell Foundation, and a talk by Ann Corless from the Association of Animal Artists rounded off a successful event.
For Alison it was one of the last she will oversee until she has to wave a temporary goodbye to the Lindeth Howe. It is a wrench she has not yet wanted to consider. But she can be assured, she is leaving it in more than capable hands.
Celebrating a centenary
It is a big year for the Lindeth Howe.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Beatrix Potter book, The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes. There will be several events taking place at the Bowness hotel, where the book was illustrated, including tea parties and competitions. It is also hoped that the launch of the 100th edition of the book, which tells the story of a squirrel accused of being a nut-thief, is expected to place at Lindeth Howe this month. Keep updated on what is happening during this special year at www.lindeth-howe.co.uk