My days (for the most part) have been very busy! Usually work from 9am to around 3pm then a short break (usually for a quick nap) then back to the restaurant for the dinner service (6pm until close which is usually around midnight).
I haven’t really had a chance to introduce you to l’enclume.
L’enclume is french for ‘The Anvil’ because about 800 years ago (same era as the priory in town) the building was the site of the black smith. When you’re inside the restaurant you can see the old nails, pegs and spikes in the old timbers of the ceiling. Of course the place has been updated and it’s now a very beautiful space for enjoying the meal service. There are 4 main areas that the guests see; the lounge when you first enter (with access to the washrooms), the main restaurant area, the conservatory and the salon.
The restaurant features breakfast and lunch 5 days per week and dinner 7 nights per week. Breakfasts range from a fresh fruit salad to a full english style breakfast. Lunch and dinner menus are very similar. They’re not your typical menu, you get menu 1, 2 or 3. You will get either an 8 or a 12 course meal (depending on the menu you choose) and they’re called a tasting menu because you’re essentially getting a taste of dishes. They’re not exceptionally big but honestly, when you’re sitting down to a 12 course meal, do you really want each one to be a quarter pound steak? There’s also wine, champagne and water to be had with the meal, bread as well as a supplementary cheese course offered (a cheese trolly is wheeled over to your table and you get to choose from a number of locally made cheese to try) and of course coffee or tea.
Although the dishes are quite small, this sit down affair can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours!
So far my job during all this has been as a ‘runner’ this means that I’m there to take the dishes from the chef to the chef du rang (server) and polish the dishes after the kitchen porter (dishwasher) has finished with them. I’ve also done a few drinks (as when the guests arrive they are offered an aperitif in the lounge while they choose their menu and wines for the meal) and delivered them with the canapés (a light tapioca based cheese biscuit and duck scratchings.... they’re exactly as they sound, duck skin fried and salted. Yep.) to the lounge . Then when the guest is finished with the menu and their aperitif I have taken a few to their tables. Nothing too strenuous but good practice.
I have also cleaned rooms a few times, good way to find out where all the rooms are. There are 6 in the same building as the restaurant. Rooms 1 & 2 are by the linen closet which is just above the restaurant (entrance through a door outside beside the restaurant's main door and up a very old flight of stone stairs), both rooms are smallish but also kind of an average size for hotels.
Room 3 is beside the restaurant on the other side of the main door with 4 & 5 being behind the same door but up stairs (above room 3 and the restaurant’s rest rooms and lounge). These are larger rooms some with nice sitting areas. Room 7 is also known as the garden suite and it’s further down the building from the entrance to rooms 3, 4 & 5. This is a quite large room with a sitting area separate from the bedroom as well as 2 different access points to the garden (which is visible from the restaurant’s conservatory).
Rooms 8 & 9 are above the new coffee shop in town, Cartmel Coffee. They are HUGE rooms with king size beds, large seating areas with couches and HUGE bathrooms. with a price tag of £199 per night... they’d have to be! The view from the windows shows the town square with easy and immediate access to any and all shops in town as well as a number of pubs and coffee or tea shops.
|Common area in L'enclume house|
Rooms 10, 11, 12 and “The Bradshaw” are just a bit further from the restaurant than 8 & 9, they’re in the same building as our sister restaurant, the owner’s namesake, Rogan’s. 10 is quite small, cosy but beautiful with original timber floors, 11 and 12 are of good sizes with some sitting space and views of the courtyard and the garden (respectively). The Bradshaw is on the main level of this building (also known as the L’enclume House). It has heated stone floors and a fire place (though I don’t think that’s had a fire in it for quite some time). In addition to these rooms there’s a common area in this building with a large dining table (though no kitchen) and a huge seating area with couches and chairs.
I think that about covers it! It’s just a lot of information that the website doesn’t quite cover. I hope to have photos to share of each room eventually, the photos on the site (though nice) don’t really do the rooms justice. They help me remember which room is which but they miss some great features of the rooms as well as the actual size and atmosphere of the rooms.