On our first holiday evening up North this September, Ben and I enjoyed a date night at The Moon Highgate in Kendal. As soon as we settled on spending part of our holiday in the Lake District, I got to work researching “Jessica-friendly” restaurants! After all, what’s holiday without lots of good food? We booked an Airbnb near Kendal, so I focused my efforts there. The Moon Highgate’s menu stood out to me against a few other menus from the area, thanks to its seasonal offerings and its listing of dietary requirements. I took a chance, made a reservation, let them know I’m dairy free, and hoped for the best.

They did not disappoint! They greeted us with a menu that had notes on what I could eat, and everyone looked after us so well the entire evening. And the meal only went from strength to strength from there!

12.09.20 – Freshly baked sourdough and olive oil

To Start

Our date night dinner at The Moon Highgate began with freshly baked sourdough bread. Usually served with butter, they brought me a dish of olive oil instead. Ben of course got to have the butter, which they’d topped with flakes of salt! The bread itself was so delicious we definitely let out a few happy moans while devouring it.

For our starter, we split the cornish mackerel. Light, flaky, and just a bit fishy – it was a perfect starter. Some shaved cucumber and salsa added a great punch of freshness.

12.09.20 – Cornish mackerel shared to start

The Mains Event

You know how the hallmark of a good meal is when the table falls silent for a moment while everyone enjoys their food? Well, I don’t think Ben or I said a single thing for several minutes after we got our mains!

I ordered the pan roasted cumbrian chicken, with duck breast instead of chicken as the dairy free alternative. Duck is one of my favorite meats, so I was a happy camper! It was cooked perfectly, and it paired wonderfully with a barley and corn salad and some sherry sauce. Unfortunately, I avoid mushrooms as they tend to set off my acne, but Ben said they were cooked wonderfully! And I was pleasantly surprised when we received the bill and there was no upcharge for the duck either.

12.09.10 – Pan roasted duck breast with corn, barley, and mushrooms
12.09.20 – Roast loin of roe deer with braised faggot, roast potatoes, creamy mash, kale & jus

Ben ordered roast loin of roe deer. We both love game, so when we saw roe deer on the menu, we knew one of us had to order it! With no dairy free alternative for that meal, Ben was the lucky one. He absolutely loved it. At one point I snuck a little bite and loved it too! They served the deer rare and it just melted in the mouth. Some lovely looking roast potatoes, creamy mash, braised faggot, and steamed kale accompanied the deer. All in all a great meal to have on a chilly evening.

The Moon Highgate is proud of their seasonal menus, and these dishes highlighted that seasonality perfectly. The duck and the deer, with their respective sides, were lovely renditions of early autumn on a plate.

12.09.20 – Espresso and homemade fudge to finish off the meal

The Takeaway

I absolutely adored my entire meal at The Moon Highgate. From start to finish the flavors were incredible. We ended the date night with an espresso each, something I have only recently started enjoying. Ben even got a piece of homemade fudge with his coffee! They make their fudge with cream so I didn’t try it, but Ben liked it and we both enjoyed our coffees.

The food was delicious, the restaurant warm, and the staff so welcoming. There were plenty of vegan and gluten free options for every course, and if you have a more specific requirement they are happy to cater to that as well. If you’re ever near Kendal, I would highly recommend visiting The Moon Highgate for a lovely date night dinner out.

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