• 23 May 2018

    Gin on The Deck

    June is fast approaching and we simply cannot wait for those gorgeous summer evenings, sitting outside and having a glass of our prefered tipple. Lucky for us, The Deck is the perfect location to sit out and take in that sweet summer air. Gin has fast become one of the more popular spirits on offer today with a variety of flavours and botanicals added for all to enjoy.

    With that in mind, let's take a trip through the Lake District and look at some locally distilled Gins:

    Award-winning Lakes Gin
    The Lakes Distillery in Bassenthwaite are experts in creating liqueurs. On their premises, they make Whiskies, Vodkas and, most importantly, Gin. Their Lakes Gin is refreshing and easy drinking, offering the drinker floral notes and vibrant citrus. Our recommendation on how to best enjoy this is with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, watermelon and lime to really get that citrus note to pop.

    If you are looking for a flavoured gin, The Lakes Distillery offer their award-winning Elderflower Gin best enjoyed in a glass of prosecco.

    Langston’s No.1
    Distilled near Skiddaw, this gin uses an aquifer found at the bottom of Skiddaw Mountain. 11 botanicals are used to impart their flavour including ancient Lake District Oak Bark. Providing a deep flavour that is perfect on its own with ice or with a dash of tonic. Our recommendation would be to enjoy this gin with Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic, Strawberry and Basil to compliment those deep complex flavours with a little sweetness.

    Bedrock Gin
    This is a London dry gin distilled by Spirit of the Lakes. They were founded in 2008 when Vince Wilkins wanted to encapsulate the beauty of the Lake District in a gin. Since then they have won awards with their combination of smoothness and citrus notes. We recommend enjoying this gin with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic, Lime Blueberries and Rosemary.

    Fever Tree Tonics
    Although this isn't a gin! It is still an important part of making a great drink. Finding a tonic that best suits a gin is almost an eye-opening revelation that helps to complement the great botanicals used in the distilling process. We find that Fever Trees wide range of tonics create perfect harmony between the Gin and the Tonic.

  • Love to find out some delicious chef secrets? Look no further! Our wonderful Chef Neil has reveals how to make one of our fave dishes. 

    Serves 4

    1kg trimmed & grilled asparagus
    3 egg yolks
    200g melted butter
    Freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 tsp white wine vinegar


    Put a pan of water on to boil & place a heat-proof glass bowl that will fit snugly, into the pan so that it is not touching the water.

    Add the egg yolks and the white wine vinegar to the bowl & whisk until light in colour, slowly add the melted butter, stirring all the time, until it thickens.

    Once thick and creamy, stir in the lemon juice (or for a little twist, you can add Blood Orange juice for extra flavour and colour).

    Top the grilled asparagus with the hollandaise sauce & serve immediately – a perfect summer lunch!

  • Although Beatrix Potter wasn't born in The Lake District, she has been adopted as one of our own. As one of the greatest children's writers of all time, her work is still adapted today and inspires countless people. It is only fitting that someone who fought for the conservation of this stunning place, has her legacy and life preserved for all to enjoy.

    Here are four places to visit and celebrate the life of this wonderful and extremely talented woman.

    Hill top
    Located near Ambleside, this was Beatrix Potter's 17th Century farmhouse. After being bequeathed by her to the National Trust, they have kept it in pristine condition. The house is home to a range of objects from 400-year-old furniture to more modern pieces giving a glimpse into the mind of Mrs. Potter. There are over 100,000 visitors a year to the small farmhouse and is now open to the public again after the winter clean.

    Derwent water
    Beatrix Potter frequently holidayed in Derwent and used it as inspiration for many of her stories. ‘The Tales of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle’ and ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ were dreamt up as she walked along the lakeside. This is a great place to view the beautiful landscapes that moulded Beatrix as a writer.

    The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
    A more traditional place to see all thing Potter, The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
    Is located in Bowness-on-Windermere. When you arrive you will make your way through seven areas illustrating the world Peter Rabbit and friends inhabit. This place is perfect for children to enjoy with an activity book filled with puzzles and quizzes to do as you make your way around the attraction

    Beatrix Potter Gallery
    The Beatrix Potter gallery resides in the building her solicitor husband used as an office. It now provides a roof for the small pieces of artwork made by her. A new exhibit for 2018 is taking place called ‘The Right Sort of Woman’ to mark the 100th anniversary of the advent of women's suffrage which uncovers another side to her.

  • Our Head Chef Earl takes over our blog today, sharing with us a delicious recipe:


    “So many fruits are at their best just now, including Bramley apples & rhubarb. Rhubarb is at its seasonal height from January until June. They say that Yorkshire rhubarb is the best, but homegrown is even better!

    Why not have a go at cooking up my Poached Rhubarb with Crème Brulee? It’s guaranteed to impress and it tastes amazing!

    Ingredients

    To poach the rhubarb –
    600ml smooth orange juice
    100ml water
    100g sugar
    50ml grenadine
    1 stalk of lemongrass, bruised (you can use a lemon but it will be quite tart)
    450g rhubarb, peeled and cut into short lengths

    For the brulée -
    4 egg yolks
    60g caster sugar
    50ml milk
    400ml double cream
    50ml Bailey’s or other cream liqueur
    Demerara sugar for the top

    Method 

    For the poached rhubarb, put the orange juice, water, sugar, grenadine & lemongrass in a large saucepan & bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes to make a syrup.

    Add the rhubarb & gently poach for 3-5 minutes until it is just tender. Remove from the heat and allow the rhubarb to cool in the liquid.

    For the brulee, pre-head the oven to 90 degrees c or gas mark 2.

    Combine all of the brulée ingredients (except the demerara sugar) in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.

    Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until just set in the middle.
    Leave the brulées to cool and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

    Now comes the chef’s toy/gadget – sprinkle the top of the brulées lightly with demerara sugar, heat up the sugar with a blowtorch or under a hot grill. Electric is unfortunately not hot enough.

    Serve with the drained, poached rhubarb.

    The poaching stock from the rhubarb can be used for numerous things, why not make a cocktails – just add it to prosecco, or even just sparkling water.”

  • 01 February 2018

    New to the world of walking?

    The Lake District is full to bursting with great places to walk. Whether it’s your first trip on the fells or maybe you are venturing to an area you haven’t been before it’s always good to know the basics to make sure you have a great day out and are prepared for any little hiccups.

    Get kitted out

    You don’t need loads of expensive gear to enjoy a day in the hills but a few of the basics will get you started.

    Boots - a comfy pair of walking boots or shoes is essential, discovering a blister when you have another 10 miles to go is never going to be a great end to your day!

    Clothing - layer up so it’s easy to add something if you are on the top eating your packed lunch or take something off if you have a long climb ahead of you. A decent waterproof (jacket and pants) will keep out the rain and also the wind and cold if the temperature drops. Proper walking pants, or shorts, are a must; jeans and cotton trousers aren’t going to be up to the job if it’s raining, cold or even too hot.

    Rucksack - you are going to need a rucksack to carry all those spare layers and more importantly your packed lunch. It’s always a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit with you too, including a foil blanket, that can just be left in your rucksack so you never forget it.

     

    Plan your route and research

    The weather can be changeable in the hills and what might seem like a warm day when you step out of your car can be blustery and quite a few degrees cooler on the tops. Always check the weather forecast before you head out - Lakes Weatherline is a good one and during winter includes the Fell Top Assessors summary of conditions.

    There is an endless supply of guidebooks and information giving route ideas or you can get the map out and make up your own. If you prefer the peace and quiet of walking by yourself then try and let someone know where you are heading, approximate timings and let them know once you are back.

     

    Get the compass out

    Knowing how to use a map and compass is one of the best skills you can learn and lets you explore new places or cut the route short if you’ve been out longer than expected. Using a GPS or smartphone can be an option but you always need a back up if the batteries run out! There are loads of navigation courses right here in the Lake District, the Lake District National Park offer a good selection, or take a look at some of the basics from the BMC (British Mountaineering Council).

    Whatever your reason for visiting the Lake District you are guaranteed a warm welcome at The Regent Hotel, muddy boots and all, so why not come and visit us and start exploring.

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