A dining experience shouldn’t be defined on subsistence alone.
There’s a catalogue of criteria to consider, a number of ingredients that transcend the palate. Service, setting and ambience are all key components.
Fortunately the Wild Boar Inn, Grill and Smokehouse in the rural outskirts of Windermere ticks all the boxes. Simply put, it’s one of the most outstanding offerings that I’ve had the pleasure of sampling.
The winner of the Cumbrian Pub of the Year award in 2014 and receiver of Visit England’s 2015 Pub of the Year silver award marries comfort and cuisine with sheer expertise.
Wrapped in a woodland blanket that spans 72 acres, the Wild Boar, part of the English Lakes anthology, is cocooned by a wonderfully picturesque and tranquil scene that provides a grand welcoming.
Inside, the structure possesses character in abundance with oak-beamed surroundings and candlelight coupled with traditional décor projecting a warming aura and a time-honoured ‘coaching inn’ atmosphere.
And the service isn’t just friendly; every individual, couple, family or group are made to feel as though they’re the only people dining there. Their attention to detail is unrivalled.
The restaurant itself embraces a passion for tradition and excellence with its hearty yet modern British menu while an open kitchen brings a little theatre to the dining experience.
Then, the aforementioned qualities are epitomised by the food and its delectable execution. The duo of 4oz fillet steaks - one plain and one embellished in the smokehouse - were cooked exactly as I’d requested, medium-rare, and it was one of the most tender, melt-in-the-mouth slabs of beef that I have devoured.
The chargrilled outer crust of the smokehouse fillet provided a beautifully distinctive, barbecued taste which was complimented perfectly smoked damson sauce that accompanied it.
The triple-cooked chips proved the perfect partner and the contrast in texture and taste between the light, fluffy interior encased in its crispy coat sealed the deal. The roasted winter vegetables also brought colour to the plate and completed the picture.
To finish it had to be the summer fruit crumble with a delicate drizzle of custard. A collection of berries, including strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, brought an undeniable sweetness to the desert but those sharp, tangy vibes that emitted a zesty aroma were controlled by a crunchy, biscuit-like ceiling and a warm serving of custard.
I left fully satisfied and with the hope that I’ll be back again, soon.
• For more information call 015394 45225 or check out the menu at http://englishlakes.co.uk/restaurants/restaurants-in-windermere/the-wild-boar/the-grill-and-smokehouse.