I’ve managed to have some superb meals this year and the two that stood out were Lake Road Kitchen and the newly crowned Michelin stared Forestside. To be honest those two could have filled up the top 5 dishes between them but as always and to be fair only one dish in the top 5 per restaurant.

So in no particular order here are the top 5 dishes I’ve enjoyed this year.

Milk Fed Rack of Herdwick Lamb – Lake Road Kitchen, Ambleside
This makes the list for 3 reasons: one it was an absolutely fantastic dish, Secondly it was an “extra” dish not even on our menu and thirdly James Cross head chef and owner of Lake Road Kitchen came and served it himself explaining a little about the dish. This was my first experience with milk fed meat and apparently although tender it can taste a bit bland. Not the case with this, the lamb melted in the mouth and had a wonderful depth of flavour. To read more about my meal at Lake Road Kitchen click here.

Dry Aged Middle White, Mugwort, Artichoke and Daises – Forestside, Grasmere
What can I say apart from it was the best pork I’ve ever had. In fact I’ll be forever disappointed that all pork loin won’t be cooked as well as I had at the Forestside. There’s not much else to add apart from there’s no wonder they now have a Michenlin star. You can read more about my Forestside experience here.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Lime Jelly – The Punch Bowl, Crosthwaite
You always get a very high standard of food at the Punchbowl and this special board cheesecake was no exception. Light and silky in texture, wonderful flavour and a nice sharp cirtus kick from the jelly.

Special Tahli – RK Sweets, Preston
As you can probably tell from the image I wasn’t in a fancy restaurant for this next dish. It was more of a deli/canteen in Preston, but don’t be fooled as this dish is in on its own merit. I was recommended to visit this place by some friends and told to have the special thali which is an Indian platter of different dishes, in this case a selection of southern Indian vegetarian curries, flatbreads and sweets. I was really impressed, not only was it some of the best vegetarian food I’ve tasted but I was shocked how little they charge for this wonderful dish (it was £7.50). I would recommend a visit to anyone wants to try (and you should) proper traditional Indian cooking.

Chocolate Mousse and Parfait – The Pheasant Inn, Casterton, Kirkby Lonsdale
The Pheasant Inn just outside of Kirkby Lonsdale is a wonderful gastro pub serving some really great traditional pub food along with more interesting dishes that wouldn’t be out of place in a high end fine dining restaurant. The dessert I had there, makes the list as it was a fantastic example of chocolate mousse and probably one of the best I’ve had in a restaurant. Well presented and delicious.