Sunday, 12 February 2017

Lucy's On A Plate Church Street Ambleside 10th February 2017

I emailed Lucy's on a Plate about vegan options, prior to a four night break at Ambleside Manor, as I wanted to find places to dine beforehand, as it gets so busy on an evening in the Lakes.

I had a brilliant response from Lucy herself, who made a couple of suggestions off the menu, but asked for my ideas, as she said she was always looking at expanding her repertoire, for dietary customers, sadly my actual experience on the night, contradicted this initial positivity.

When we arrived, none of the staff were aware of my vegan diet, which I found puzzling.   Our waitress went upstairs to see Lucy and brought back a copy of the menu, with scribblings on it, removing items from a dish to make it vegan.   Lucy came for a brief chat, she was very friendly and even at that stage, I thought dinner was going to be one to remember, though sadly for all the wrong reasons.

We ordered a bottle of Era organic Montepulciano d'Abruzzo red wine, the only wine labelled as vegan on the menu.

My starter was warm avocado, filled with houmous, served with salad, you cannot really go wrong with this dish, I love all the ingredients.

My main course was not the delicious tagine I was expecting, served with couscous and finished with vegetable crisps though.

The photos show a pretty dismal dish, with roast potatoes instead of couscous (perhaps they thought I was gluten free), untrimmed, under cooked green beans and unpeeled carrots with a greyish tinge, like they had been hanging around awhile.   The dish was tasteless, bland and under seasoned in a tomato sauce with just vegetables, that bore no resemblance to any tagine I have ever eaten, none of the warming spices you would expect.   The final nail in the coffin, was the vegetables crisps, not a few strategically placed for decoration, but what looked like a whole packet, dumped on the top!

I had walked eleven miles that day, I was starving and so I ate what I could, the potatoes being the best thing about the dish.   I decided not to complain, can you imagine what other delicacy they would conjure up, time was getting on, so best left alone and vote with my feet.

I did find it quite bizarre that in her email Lucy said:

It is always good to have some new ideas, for those that do follow a more restrictive diet and not just be palmed off with a pile of vegetables!! 

Well in my case, I was palmed off with a pile of vegetables, it is one of the worst dishes I have been offered in a long time, how can any chef think it acceptable to present it to a customer.

The only saving graces were the fantastic red wine we had, which cheered me up no end and our young waitress Katy, who was brilliant at front of house, chatty and helpful, she really made our evening.

Would I go back to Lucy's on a Plate, not a chance.

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