The Daily Telegraph’s food writer Jasper Gerrard has asked whether our local eatery, L’Enclume is the best restaurant in England. Its only rival he says is Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, but he prefers Simon Rogan’s L’enclume. I don’t think I’ve ever read an article about L’Enclume that hasn’t included the observation from Simon Rogan that the locals don’t go there. I wonder if Simon doesn’t realise that locals might read what he says.
In the early days L’Enclume did seem rather cold and unwelcoming and expensive. I remember when we had a family meal there my mother saying in a loud voice that it was pretentious rubbish. When L’Enclume was awarded a Michelin Star all the locals were proud of the fact, but they had been there once and didn’t see why they should bother again. I like Simon – we even discussed, briefly, going into business together when I was trying to buy Miller Howe.
Last year Simon opened a bistro just round the corner from L’Enclume called Rogans. It’s excellent, definitely one of my top three places to go for a meal and yes, the locals do go there.
The other two, in case you’re wondering are Gilpin Lodge and The Punch Bowl, Crosthwaite.