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“Still excellent and now with stunning views”

Restaurant at Samling
Ranked #17 of 84 Restaurants in Windermere
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$70 - US$135
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Description: An elegantly luxurious hotel, advantageously located above Windermere with extensive lake views south and west. Offering exceptional fine-dining and one of the world's best wine lists, delivered with discreetly attentive service.
Reviewed 7 July 2017

Second stay. Stayed for two nights so had the seven course menu followed the next night by the ten course signature menu. This was exceptional cooking and now it is set in a dining room which has full views (through plate glass panoramic windows) over Lake Windermere. The food is nouvelle cuisine with all the splurges and splodges of this and that which usually annoy me. But the taste and flavours are exceptional. In the seven course menu the salmon, followed by the veal sweetbreads were very memorable. In the signature menu an oyster starter was stunning, still fresh and briny with beetroot and horseradish adding to, rather than detracting from the taste (oysters are so good on their own that it's easy to ruin them by messing them around). A scallop dish with eucalyptus was really pushing the boundaries but kind of worked and ham hock with mustard, red mullet with crab and tomato and a superb chicken with morels and truffle sauce were all extremely good. Desserts were also amazing, without being over sweet, with a white chocolate and pistachio course being the highlight. The whole experience was superb with contrasting flavours and textures all in balance and well executed.

This food is of a very high standard, even for a one Michelin starred restaurant. Service down to earth, friendly and discreet.

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1  Thank Domirwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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47 - 51 of 330 reviews

Reviewed 6 July 2017 via mobile

This restaurant probably has the best views and outlook of any starred place in the uk. The restaurant and views are simply breathtaking!

The food was pretty good but not outstanding. Some of the dishes were so so, but a couple of them were sublime. Namely the sweetbreads and the smoked salmon dishes, great cooking there chef. Nothing bad food wise, just nothing that I will remember for a long time.

Arguably, it's on the expensive side for a 1 star. Not the best valued food and wine flight I've had at that level.

The staff and service were very pleasant and the kitchen brigade went out of their way to accommodate my dietary needs.

I get the impression that greatness is trying to break through with this restaurant. The chef can clearly cook and the space is stunning, it's just not quite there yet. It could be a real destination restaurant....

We will return again, hopefully it will have found it's true identity by then!

Keep up the good work guys!

Thank n10wlr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2017

The first thing you get is the stunning views towards the lake - what a setting. Truly up there with the best.
Restaurant only has about 15 tables so booking is a must - particularly if you are not a guest. We were there on a Thursday evening and only 1 table had not been filled when we left the dining room.
We were warmly greeted on arrival and shown to the lounge. Here we were provided with menus. We ordered a couple of non-alcoholic cocktails whilst we perused and decided. For dinner there is only 2 options, both tasting menus - one at £80 and the other at £100. We decided to go for the signature menu at £100.
Once we had decided we were brought our amuse bouche which were served on a plate modelled on the lake and surrounding hills - an introduction to the standard being set for dinner. Once we had finished these we were taken to our table in the dining room. Here you have uninterrupted views to the lake as the glass goes from floor to ceiling.
Food - there were about 10/11 courses in total. Each was presented on the plate perfectly. It is true that you first taste with your eyes! There were so many really lovely courses it is hard to pick out but I guess the red mullet with bisque; the chicken and truffle foam; chocolate perfection were highlights. I must mention the bread with home made butter - I know it seems minor but they were fabulous.
Wine - an extensive and fabulous wine list which covers every palate. There are a few wines in the £30's but most are a lot more. We had a wine from the Loire region and it was £64. Interestingly they don't show the wine list online which is a surprise.
Service - food was served at a nice pace and was nicely timed. Not rushed and no big gaps.
Staff - I've read the odd review about the staff being a bit cold. On the night we were there nothing could be further from the truth. They were friendly, chatty, helpful, informative and very knowledgeable about the food. A credit to the restaurant and went out their way to ensure you had an enjoyable and relaxing evening.
Location - The Samling is situated a short taxi ride from the centre of Ambleside (£6).
Price - not cheap but the food, service, location, etc. were of a very high standard. Cost for 2 including tip was about £305.
Overall, a great meal with lovely service and in a fabulous setting.
Highly recommend.

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Thank Wilton2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2017 via mobile

Both myself and my fiancé are HUGE 'foody's' and found our experience visiting the Samling for dinner very enjoyable. The service was polite, helpful, timely and knowledgeable. We choose the 9/10 course sample menu and made some amendments as I am pregnant so couldn't enjoy the shellfish options which were received well. The changes were delightfully delicious. There wasn't one course that disappointed in either flavour or presentation. The restaurant ambience fitted well with the food and the views are beautiful. We couldn't recommend this restaurant more highly. Thank you to all those involved in our service.

Thank lyndajoy84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017

We were lucky to eat here on a beautiful sunny day, starting off with drinks and amuse-bouches on the terrace. Long wait to get the drinks; cocktail list uninspiring so all chose non-alcoholic on terrace. The tasting menu was mainly delicious, and the kitchen accommodating for gluten and egg free. After a slow start, the dishes were very well paced. The sweetbread dish was absolutely the star of the show. Decent and tasty Michelin star food, but nothing that took our breath away that you talk about for days to come like the French in Manchester or the Man Behind the Curtain. But that's not necessarily the intention, so fine. Whole experience somewhat marred by the stiff, formality of the staff, some of whom couldn't even crack a smile. There was no joy and enthusiasm shown, no recognition that it's quite an exprience to be somewhere like this. Why do some high end places think we want this charmless, obsequious service? Makes me feel most uncomfortable and unlikely to return.

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Thank Mimomeemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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