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It's time....its time for the Rattle Gill Ploughmans!

The Ploughmans lunch has to be one of my favourite plates of food ever!! Partly because it evokes happy childhood memories of my mum and I cycling down the Wyle valley in Wiltshire, sun on my back, stopping off at a village pub, where I would fill my face with bread, cheese and pickles that would power my legs for the return home! It is one of those dishes that you can add all your favourite bits and pieces and still have room for cake!

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The Rattle Gill Ploughmans includes 3 different cheeses, local damson chutney from Hawkshead relish , homemade coleslaw with homemade mayo , the biggest pickled onion you've ever seen and some soda bread. The recipe for the soda bread is actually one we found whilst on a trip to Edinburgh. We chanced upon a restaurant tucked away down Blackfriars street called ' Blackfriars' and what a treat that place was! I mentioned to the waitress that I LOVED the soda bread, and then she appeared with a postcard with the recipe on! Winner! Thank you Blackfriars!

Have a go at it, and try not to eat it all with lashings of butter on as soon as it comes out of the oven!!! We had to cook it for about 45 minutes in the end...it is defo worth checking at that point.

We have also brought back the ever popular hummingbird cake. A moist banana and pineapple sponge, with lime icing and a pecan brittle to top it all off!! The cake is said to originate from the Caribbean, where the hummingbirds would feed from it, due to its sweetness....the other story is that the banana in the cake resembles the feathers of the bird. Either way its delicious and a VERY popular one for hungry rattlers coming by for a cuppa and a wedge of cake.

The season for running races, biking events, triathlons, outdoor swimming is kicking off. There have been many hungry athletes in the cafe recently and many bikers turning up for a feed, along with all those that have scaled the heights of wansfell. Be sure to drop by next time your in town...If you're  lucky Alec might re-tell the story of how he came 17th in the Caw fell race the other week, maybe get some top tips from the man himself!! See you soon Rattlers!! Claire and Alec x


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Well Hello there Homity pie...we sure are pleased to meet you!!!

This is going to be the second week of having the hearty Homity pie on the specials board, as it has been soooo very popular.... thats the way we roll at the Rattle Gill.... After all Alec is from the mighty Wigan... Pie eating capital of the world!

Homity pie is a traditional British open topped pie. Full of potatoes, mature cheddar, spinach, sautéed onion, garlic and some splendid cream!!! According to my sources it is thought to have been made by the Land Girls during the second world war and could have originated in the West Country. There are lots of variations of what to put in, so have a play about with what works for you! 

We had a go at making some coconut macaroons at the weekend...ready for any hungry Fred Whiton Challenges cyclists or their support crews!! We figured they got a battering out there on the 112 mile route around the lakes. Fair play and well done to anyone that finished it. We're afraid to say though that the Macaroons are all gone!

Ambleside's surrounding woodlands are starting to produce that stunning purple and blue carpet of Bluebells. We headed out for a walk past the Brathay church the other day and found that 'Bluebell wood' (our creative name for the woods!!) is almost in full bloom!! Once the wild garlic is almost finished then the bluebells appear and spring carries on. Love it.

Hearty Homity Pie recipe

Pastry…..

250g/4oz Plain flour plus extra for rolling

150g/5oz butter

1 free-range egg, beaten

Filling….

850g/1lb 14oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

25g/1oz butter

1 tbsp sunflower oil

3 onions, halved and sliced

2 crushed garlic cloves

100g/3½oz spinach

175g/6oz grated cheddar

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

250ml/9fl oz double cream

pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper.

Assembly…..

  • Preheat the oven to 170’C
  • Put the flour and butter in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg and pulse until the mixture just comes together as dough. Bring the dough together and flatten into a round. Roll the pastry out and line a 20cm/8in spring form tin and carefully ease it over the base and up the sides of the tin. Wrap with cling film and chill in the fridge until the next stages are complete.
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and cut into 3cm/1¼in pieces.
  • Melt the butter and oil in a frying pan and fry the onions gently for 15 minutes, until pale golden-brown. Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring regularly.
  •  Add the onions and garlic to the slightly cooled potatoes and sprinkle with 100g/3½oz of the cheese and the parsley. Add the spinach leaves and season with nutmeg, salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix everything together.
  • Spoon the mixture into the pastry case. Pour over the cream and allow it to drizzle down between the layers. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and pale golden-brown.
  •  Leave the pie to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Remove from the tin, cut into wedges and serve with lots of salad – YUM!

Remember folks...get out there and enjoy this magical time of year...with so much life and colour coming back, it's a shame not to make the most of it. Talking of which, we're off to the Duddon valley for a picnic in the van...Oh and Alec's doing a running race!! Happy spring time...see you soon Claire & Alec.

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Will it just make up its mind already!

I know its one of the most British things to do, but seriously...will the weather just make up its mind! We have had glorious days of sunshine, which has equated to time spent lying in the park, soaking up some rays, reading the local papers, listening to the chirping of the birds. Yesterday was spent being hailed on HARD, seeing new lambs sheltering next to mumma for warmth, and the fells being covered in snow!

Got to love a bit of Lake District Sunshine!!

We have decided on this weeks special....one of our fav dishes of Falafel....YUMMO! we have paired it with a fresh yoghurt minty dip, warm wraps, a leafy green salad and some plump tomatoes and roasted veg....get in my belly!!

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Falafel are one of those comfort foods that hits the spot every time. The main ingredient is chickpeas, a good source of protein, iron and magnesium. Our recipe also includes the fresh herbs - Mint, Coriander and parsley. Making up your own combination with the warmed wrap, will see you well on your way to your 5 a day!!

 Jim from DMM taking a well earned rest stop on his way to Perth....!!

Jim from DMM taking a well earned rest stop on his way to Perth....!!

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That was Easter... phew!

So... Easter was busy... 

Not just for Rattle Gill but for the Lakes in general. On rare forays through Ambleside (usually nipping to the local shops to stock up during the day!), the place looked jam packed with visitors. This truly is a great sight, to see Ambleside properly full, not just from a local business point of view, but from a local resident point of view also... Let's hope it's a good marker for the summer.

We had a great special on over the Easter period. A Ful Medames dish, an Egyptian dish containing slow cooked Fava beans, served up with pittas, tomatoes and feta. It tasted AMAZING! It was great to see so many people choosing this dish, even though they had never heard of or tried it before, and the positive feedback was warming.

At the moment we have a new special on. Each year, when the wild garlic unfurls its characteristic broad green leaves, Claire heads out with a bag and a pair of scissors. Some of this years harvest went into the Pie that we currently have on special... A Spinach, Feta, Ricotta and Local Wild Garlic Pie, served with a healthy portion of side salad... yes!

Ben's out in Turkey racing at the moment by the way, as you do. a mere 50 mile run on 18th April. Wish him luck. With this weather at the moment, Claire and I will be out running tonight, but when you live round here, it's got to be done hasn't it?

Right then, off to finish off the days soup... Carrot Satay anyone?

 Early Inversion on an early morning run down Loughrigg Terrace...

Early Inversion on an early morning run down Loughrigg Terrace...


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New website going live...

Obviously, you know this... because your on it.

 The dhal returns next month... 

The dhal returns next month... 

Exciting times at Rattle Gill, this new webspace will be offering up the charms of what goes on here at RG. What new ideas are in the pipeline for the future specials, and what inspire them along with the recipes themselves.

When we introduced the specials onto the menu at RG, we were amazed at how popular they proved. So far we have had dhals, home baked smokey beans and Moroccan tagine (inspired from the time Claire spent over there). That's why this part of the website is so exciting!

There's always a queue of ideas floating around the kitchen here at RG. Not just specials but on the cake front also. 

Anyways, this part of our website shall be detailing up and coming ideas, along with the inspiration behind them, details on ingredient sources, and links to other folk that are busting out amazing food with the same amount of love and care that happens at RG.

So stay tuned folks, to see the next chapter of RG in webspace unfurl.

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