The Borrowdale Hotel steps back in time with an exhibition of old photographs depicting life in the Borrowdale valley hundreds of years ago. The exhibition is set to run until the end of October.
The display, by kind permission of Patricia Roscamp, is made up from historical photographs that have been hung in the Borrowdale Hotel bar. It is quite fitting that the photographic exhibition is being held at the Borrowdale hotel in the Lake District – built over 140 years ago it was the first purpose built hotel in the valley.
General Manager Stephen Wilcock is also marking the occasion by introducing a luncheon and dinner menu that is representative of the 1800’s. Dinner guests can choose from today’s a-la-carte menu, or choose dishes from a menu available to guests in the 19th century. The menu is as close to tradition as possible, but certainly doesn’t go as far as Heston Blumenthal’s Tudor feasts shown on TV last autumn. Diners can choose from two, three or four courses which includes Victorian favourites like ‘Ham Hock Terrine with pureed peas, roast goose and an old fashioned desert of Lemon Posset with almond brandy.
Head Chef Peter Starauscheck has tried to replicate 19th century dishes wherever possible, but knows tastes have changed! “Local ingredients and seasonality have always been important, but Chef’s in 1800 would have goose on the menu any time of the year – today geese are generally available around Christmas, so we had to place a special order to ensure we could include Goose on the menu. Once the Pheasant season begins we will be introducing a three bird roast of goose stuffed with a chicken and pheasant.”
Lunch time visitors to this Lake District hotel can sample the ‘Bygone Days two or three course luncheon’ while they peruse the photos and history of the valley; potted salmon with pink peppercorns, egg, lemon, peppers and a tomato vinaigrette, or chunky vegetable and bacon soup, followed by slow braised shoulder of mutton served upon stewed pearl barley and vegetables. Proper puddings were certainly fashionable in the early 1800’s and a rhubarb and Bramley apple crumble mixed with oats and nuts would be warmly welcomed – then and now.
Stephen Wilcock said “we have completed most of the hotel refurbishment and thought the exhibition would be a good opportunity for local people to come and have a look. We have mounted the old pictures and hung them in the bar so visitors can see how the valley used to look while they enjoy lunch afternoon tea or dinner. Adding a 19th century dinner menu certainly tested Chef – but like today, they would have used as many local lake District ingredients as possible and diners will be delighted when they see what we can offer.”
For more details on the exhibition and details of the 19th century dinner menu at the Borrowdale Hotel please contact the General Manager – Stephen Wilcock on 017687 77224, http://www.lakedistricthotels.net or http://www.lakedistricthotels.net/borrowdalehotel/index.htm.