Kysty, Ambleside

Regular readers will know we’re fans of Mo’l and Jay R from the Grauniad but we haven’t quite clicked with the humour of Grace Dent, and consequently haven’t slavishly recorded her recommendations. But, on a three day jaunt to walk in the Lakes (dry/wet/dryish) we finished off with lunch at Kysty in Ambleside, the more low key and casual offering from the team at the Michelin-starred Old Stamp House.

‘Kysty’ itself is a word from Cumbrian dialect meaning ‘fussy’

And, whilst fussy is a bit harsh, we would say there were very carefully thought out dishes, with simply stunning cooking. Two courses £22.50, three for £27.50. Outstanding value (too cheap we said).  Mind you, with a couple of glasses of Pinot Noir, water, coffee and petit fours, the bill rapidly hit £100 with a tip. Still cheap, especially compared with the much talked about Lake Road Kitchen just down the road – £145 each – for 12 courses. Now, we’re getting on a bit and we have to plan how we spend our remaining time – no buying green bananas any more – so the joy/torture* of wading impatiently through all those 12 courses doesn’t quite suit – we’ll leave it to those young folk with more time ahead of them. There are only so many ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ you can give. It’s like graduation ceremonies where your hands get sore from two hours of continuous clapping. No, not for us – especially when the ‘three courses for £27.50’ up at Kysty turns into a right old feast. See below…

  • Black pudding Bob Bon with plum gel
  • Beetroot meringues with horseradish cream
  • Smoked mackerel in a crisp pastry ring
  • Beer bread and local salted butter (and that’s just the hors d’oevres…)

…then the starter, main and pud

  • Thornby Moore Goats Cheese, fermented beetroot, walnut, caraway figs
  • Guinea Hen Breast, leek, ham, giroles, sherry vinegar, sage
  • Chocolate Delice, poached plum, plum sorbet, white chocolate & coffee ganache

…and with coffee

  • Green tea meringue 
  • Choc and passion fruit slab [there’s no other word for it!]

Delightful; outstanding; memorable

Restaurant Kysty Ambleside – the little offshoot of The Old Stamp House

…oh, and the Lake Road Kitchen? We’re sure it’s really great and the review by Marina five years ago was stunning. Maybe the world [or just us?] has moved on. We’ve eaten tasting menus around the Globe [well, Yorkshire anyway…Ed] and maybe, just for us, their time has passed. Even Roots [small plates – “just pick what you like”] has gone for a rigid tasting menu. Yes, easy for the chef…but we like a bit of choice, don’t you know…

The dining room at 12:30 on a wet Wednesday…full by 1pm

Morecambe Bay shrimps…heaven

The chocolate pud…more heaven

Lake Road Kitchen…more discreet than Gordon’s Royal Hospital Road

…and the Lake Road menu. Brace yourselves for a lock-in

…oh and a shout-out for the best outdoor shoe shop in the world. Shop local – even if you’re far away


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s