We have driven past this restaurant many many times, and every time we do we state that we "must go there sometime", but one thing was putting us off - full-sized posters of Roy Chubby Brown & other comedy events always made the place look a bit odd and cheap.
But one evening while deciding where to eat we took the bull by the horns and decided to visit. Not a comedy poster in sight.
Situated on Carleton Road, Carlisle (Following on from London Road towards the M6) it is a stand alone building - you can't miss it.
Plenty of car parking around the back and I believe it is on a bus route too, although a little too far to walk from the City centre.
We had booked a table earlier in the day and although the 'conservatory room' was quite busy, there was plenty of space in the front room.
We walked in to a lovely ambience, soft colourful lighting, beautiful furnishings and glass topped tables, nicely set. The only downside was the music was a little too fast and too loud. A more gentle music (in the background, rather than being in your face) would have been much nicer.
We were sat down in the lounge area, comfy armchairs and coffee tables, and were given the menus. We ordered drinks and a few minutes later our order was taken for food.
I fancied the Flat Cap Mushroom, topped with spinach and blue cheese, served on a toasted brioche. Problem being I hate blue cheese so I asked if it could be substituted. The server went off to the kitchen to find out and came back with a list of 4 of 5 cheeses I could choose from. Very nice, I thought. I chose smoked cheese.
It was nice - nothing wrong with it, quite tasty, but lacking 'something' (probably the blue cheese!!) I would have it again if it wasn't for the cost, I thought it was a little pricey at nearly £7.00 for a mushroom on toast!
Hubby went for Garlic Bread (on the side order section)
It came beautifully served, draped over a bed of dressed salad, and was delicious (I know, I stole a bit)
For a main course I was delighted to have the choice of 4 gorgeous sounding Veggie options - my issue was having to choose which one ! In the end I went for pan fried Gnocci with spinach, cherry tomatoes, olives and feta cheese.
It wasn't a massive portion, but perfectly adequate and goodness me, it was divine, I loved it, beautiful.
Hubby had his usual Gammon & Eggs. It was 'centre-cut' Gammon, so it arrived without a scrap of fat on it. Served with two fried eggs and a ring of fresh pineapple (you could tell it was fresh as it still had the skin on) It should have also come with tomatoes and mushrooms but he asked for them to be left off.
He was offered chips OR vegetables with it. He went for the home-made chips.
On the next table we overheard the couple placing their order, the lady wanted chips AND vegetables but was told she would have to pay extra for that as they just served one or the other. She questioned it quite strongly and a compromise was offered that she could have some peas, which she seemed quite happy with. So if you order vegetables I am not sure if you get a potatoes with that or you would have to pay extra. Worth checking when you order.
As the portions were not massive there was room for a pudding. Chocolate Brownie. It came served with both cream and ice-cream, and the little slice of brownie was quite well hidden underneath it all. Having said that, it was very gorgeous indeed, although the ice-cream was left on the side due to eyes being bigger than bellies !!!
Staff were great, very attentive. The only (small) complaint is that we were asked 4 times within a few minutes by different members off staff if everything was ok. Once would have been enough.
The bill, without a tip, came to just very slightly under £50.00, this was for 1 starter, 1 side, 2 mains, 2 large wines, 1 soft drink and 1 pudding.
Will definately be back.
Here is their website, but please do add another £1.00 - £2.00 onto the menu prices ( at time of posting this blog) as it seems to need updated.
And their contact details:
Phone: 01228 524433
Feel free to comment if you have been.