Wonderful weekend away in Coniston, Lake District

This week I am doing something a little different with my blog post, instead of a standard Manchester food review, I will be reviewing Sara’s Indian in Coniston, as well as a little bit about my weekend away with friends.

This week has gone by in a blur. Back to the shire (Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire) to see the family and then up and up to the Lake District for a weekend away with some friends. I love the Lake District; I have very fond memories camping with my dad, cottages with my two beautiful dogs and my mum from a very young age and even just last month in Staveley.

Rory decided he wished to camp in the lakes for a weekend away, after speaking to some friends we all decided that with the temperamental weather we should get a cottage instead. After a long search through the web, we came down to a final three with a chance for everyone to vote. By a long way the Old Police House in Coniston won, so the deposit was paid and the countdown began.

A rocky drive down, with delayed trains, traffic and windy roads, we made it to Rydal to meet up with some friends as we couldn’t get into the house till 4pm. From here due to the late arrival we went straight for a walk around Grasmere; beautiful views and great scenery on a nice simple walk. Once we got back to the pub we travelled to the cottage to meet Claire and Mike.
Coniston is beautiful, I was really unsure of what we would find here, and what the house would be like. It exceeded all expectations, 4 pubs, an Indian, 2 shops and a spar open till 11pm. In addition to lovely walks straight from the house, a lake in walking distance, which you can kayak, and canoe at as well as swim if you are brave (swimming in a lake in a bikini in September, who would have thought it?!).

On Friday evening we decided to venture out into Coniston and head to the Indian, which has such great reviews online. In hindsight we should have probably booked, we went in with 10 people and spoke to a lovely man at the bar. Although they were quite busy he explained how they don’t serve alcohol but we can bring our own, it’s cash only and showed us the nearest cash machine, and that if we give him about ten minutes they will sort out a table for us. Great we thought, this will save us a bit of money as we all have booze at the house or can buy some from the garage and get cash. We all set off and met back at the restaurant later on.
We came back to find a long table on the bottom floor laid out for ten, the waiter was very accommodating of us and made us all feel very welcome. The restaurant was quite dark, romantically lit and felt very warm and welcoming. After ordering more than enough food to feed everyone in the restaurant we sat back and enjoyed drinking our drinks and chatting away. Poppadoms to nibble on served with pickle trays came over. These were delicious! I forgot how much I love mango chutney with poppadoms, as well as the spicy pickle, delicious and a great start.
Pickle tray
Starters arrived shortly after, I chose a vegetable samosa, which was beautiful, if anything I would have liked something to dip the samosa in but I used some mango chutney from the pickle tray and it was scrumptious! Claire has the chicken chaat, the bread was light and fluffy, often the bread can be quite stodgy so this was a nice change. Rory had a lamb tikka, which he raved over. Everyone else gave great reviews on their starters.
Vegetable Samosa
Vegetable Samosa
On to the mains, my main was incredible. I ordered the butter chicken, a classic Amy order, but I am so glad I did. It was delicious, creamy and the chicken was succulent and so delicious. The large naan bread and pilau rice all complimented each other perfectly and if my stomach could allow it, I would have eaten it again and again. Rory however ordered a tomato based curry and found it very disappointing. He described the sauce as the sauce you find on a pizza and sadly the meat was quite dry. He ate his naan dipped into my butter chicken and my leftovers; this filled him up nicely.
Creamy butter chicken and pilau rice
Plain naan bread
Claire ordered tandoori fish sizzle and saag aloo. The saag aloo looked delicious, this is creamy spinach and potato known for being a healthy, nutritious Indian side dish. Others at the table enjoyed their meal but didn’t see it as anything spectacular. The main meals were nice, and were enjoyed but they were not something incredible just very standard Indian food.
Tandoori fish sizzle and saag aloo
One of the tell tale signs of a good Indian is what they give you at the end, a bog standard offers mint imperials, a good Indian gives you after eights, and a great Indian such as this one gives you personalised “thank you” after eights, these were delicious and was a nice end to the meal. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at this restaurant, although others found the food average, I really enjoyed all courses and would definitely come back again.

All in all Coniston has been a great trip, wonderful location with easy access to a lake, pubs as well as other areas such as Windermere, Ambleside and Kendal. Great holiday, would highly recommend!

If you have an experience of Coniston or of Sara’s Indian comment below and let me know what you thought. I have added some other pictures from my weekend away, some beautiful views check them out below.

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