As a primary school teacher, I have taught children who have gone on to achieve many amazing things, including have number one singles in the music charts and win gold at the Olympics. When I hear of a former pupil doing well, I feel proud.
When, in 2022, Simon Rogan and his team at L’Enclume were awarded their coveted third Michelin star, I felt some of the same sense of pride.
Not because I taught them (meals at L’Enclume have always educated me), but because, for many years, I have watched them strive, grow and, ultimately, reach their goal.
My first meal at L’Enclume was, I think, around 2008. At the time they were already a much celebrated ‘experimental, French restaurant’ (taking inspiration from Gagnaire and Veyrat), and holders of one Michelin star. I didn’t write my blog at the time.
The next ten/eleven years have been whirlwind of openings (and closings) in Manchester, London, Hong Kong, Malta and other Cumbrian outposts – one thing is for certain… Simon has never stood still.
Although I’ve kept up with the subscription fee on my blog (as an expensive way of ‘cloud storing’ my pictures and memories of meals around the world), I haven’t felt the urge to write anything since December 2019. I didn’t intend to on this visit – which explains the camera phone pictures.
For some reason, however, my meal at L’Enclume has given me that urge to pen these few words – perhaps it will kickstart a resurgence in my blogging, or maybe it’s simply a full stop? Only time will tell.
Was it good? Was it exceptional? Was it worth a special journey? For me, Simon Rogan’s meals alwaysare. Here’s what I ate.
Aquadulce bean wafer, horseradish vinegar,
Rowland’s summer succulents, juice of the shells,
Yoghurt, salted cobnut and marigold
Cornish crab, Pink Fir Apple potatoes cooked in chicken fat,
Nasturtium, chicken skin and Aynsome Spring shoots
Zaino courgette, fennel pollen,
Pumpkin seeds, our miso, Florence fennel vinegar
Marjoram brined gem lettuce, grilled Hen of the Woods
Fermented vegetable juices and elderflower