Restaurant Review: Rogan & Co

Xander, the hero of #Forfeit, is a chef. In the name of essential book research, I feel obliged to eat in odd top-notch restaurant and recently, my husband’s birthday and friends’ wedding anniversary gave the perfect excuse to head further afield than the local pub.

Caz@L'EnclumeHandily, Simon Rogan has three eateries not far away: the Pig & Whistle (a gastro pub), Rogan & Co (the restaurant we opted for) and l’Enclume (a Michelin-starred restaurant I dined at in 2012).

All three are in the idyllic Lakeland village of Cartmel and since the sun shone down from a clear blue sky, it seemed churlish not to enjoy a glass of prosecco in the square. Glamour levels were high, but not sure it was a Louboutin opportunity – the cobblestones would be a total disaster.

Dinner was awesome. Our group of six were the first in Rogan & Co and the last to leave. We said goodbye to English sparkling wine apertifs and four bottles of the most divine Malbec. Seriously, it had to be the best wine I’ve ever tasted – and served at the perfect temperature. Full marks there.

RoganThe food was definitely more l’Enclume than gastro pub. In fact, several items on the menu I recognised from the Michelin-taster menu. Individual cockles arrived as pre-appetisers, handmade bread to fill us up and each course was flawlessly delivered by staff who were attentive and willing to crack a joke.

Wine, Food, Staff – all clearly and carefully considered. If only the same attention to detail was paid to the venue. Check out the photo… What’s not to love about the slate ‘plates’ and faux-rocks much of the food was served on? But the crackle glass tea-light holders – what were they, £1.25 in Ikea? The simple tables and seascape photos with wonky horizons could work, but not when you put them next to your granny’s green ceramic casserole. Don’t get me wrong, I adore eclectic, but Rogan & Co’s decor isn’t eclectic, it’s lazy. And don’t get me started on the ladies’ toilets…

3/5 Louboutins – venue letting the food down.

ps.  I first went to Rogan & Co in 2012. Back then, of of the petit fours was a fruit “cloud”. God only knows how it was made, but the texture in your hand was nothing short of revolting – utterly, skin-crawlingly revolting. When you put that baby in your mouth however… oh dear Lord, it was a flavour explosion. In #Forfeit when the players go to a fancy-schmancy restaurant, I solved this hand-to-mouth nightmare by creating a Passion Fruit Cloud Lollipop. Simon, you can have that one for free. 😉

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