Monday, August 29, 2005

Lake District

Ah the Lake District - truly a jewel in this island's crown. The contrast with the environs I find myself in usually is magnificent. We stayed near Ullswater and the sheer tranquility of the place de-stresses the parts that other landscapes cannot reach.
Breakfasting on the deck overlooking the expanse of water, framed by high peaks that were traversed by Romans centuries previously, puts the world into a different context.
The days were spent on not too strenuous walking, picnicing at clear spaces with views of the lake and the mountains.
In the evenings we dined at local pubs, and this is where there could be considerable improvement. Spoilt by previous holidays in Tuscany and Brittany, where good quality food can be found in reasonably priced eateries, Cumbria, or the places we chose, seem to be the exception to the vacation-destination norm. In most places we tried, the chefs plainly had not. Ingredients were neither fresh nor local and dishes were not loving presentations of regional ingenuity. We spotted the restaurant in Ambleside visited by 'Ramsay's Kitchen Nighmares': if he has time on his hands he could profitably up-skill the rest of the places in the vicinity.
Nevertheless I for one am hooked on the idea of climbing some of the larger peaks, so I cannot wait to return.
This is living!

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