Lunch at the Lakes

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I know what you did last summer. Ok, that’s a lie, I’ve no idea what you did last summer, I can’t even remember what I did last summer, but Ido know what I’m going to be doing next summer- hanging out at Tallington Lakes, baby! With water sports, dry slope skiing, wall climbing and the chilled-out Lakeside Bar and Restaurant, complete with lakeside terrace on offer, I’m wondering why I didn’t discover this place sooner. The Scene Magazine’s Clare and I visited for a spot of lunch last week, meeting the lovely Liam and his partner Helen to talk about their plans for the leisure park’s social hub.

Having trained as a chef at Peterborough’s Regional College, local boy Liam’s career has seen him travel across the globe, working in kitchens in Canada, Italy and France, and under the helm of gastronomic superstars, Marco Pierre-White and Raymond Blanc, so he’s well-placed to put the slightly-obscure Lakeside Bar and Restaurant on the local foodie map.

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Liam and Helen took on ownership of the bar back in April this year and have been working their magic on it since, putting on live music and open mic nights, as well hosting bingo and karaoke nights, with the occasional steel drum performance thrown in for good measure! Food-wise, the emphasis is on British pub classics with everything being made from scratch on the premises- steak and kidney pie, braised lamb shank, pork and apple burger and curry are among the firm favourites making an appearance. The menus are rotated every few months to make the most of seasonal produce, something that’s particularly important to Liam, as is catering for special dietary requirements- there’s an entire gluten free menu which includes burgers, pies, pasta dishes and pizzas, all of which are made on site. Clare, who is Coeliac, found the use of separate utensils, pans and pizza paddles for gluten free dishes particularly reassuring. Lactose free cheese is also available for those who are lactose intolerant- it feels like every effort has been made by Liam, Helen and team to make all diners welcome and this can only be applauded.

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On our visit, Clare enjoyed the gluten-free lasagne, served with a vibrant side salad (£7.95)- it looked great and having tried a sneaky bite, I can confirm that it tasted great too! I had chosen the chicken curry, served with rice, naan bread and mango chutney (£7.50). It was was well-spiced and warming without being blow-your-socks-off hot; I also tried a bite of Liam’s sizzling Louisiana steak, which had a beautiful sweet, smokey sauce, which Liam said Head Chef, Mark Greene, had been working on for quite some time to perfect. We also indulged in a couple of puds- Clare opting for the gluten-free apple crumble, served with plenty of custard, while I chose the honeycomb and chocolate cheesecake, which was decadent!

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Every Thursday night at The Lakeside Bar and Restaurant is Pie Night, Friday’s are for Fish and Chips, Saturday is Quiz Night and Sundays are for carvery (only £8.50!), which is served in the bar’s function room, which can also be hired for wedding receptions, birthday parties etc. Liam spoke about plans for other themed events, including gourmet nights, which have since been promoted on the bar’s Facebook page and ‘A day at the races’ event, starting with brunch at Lakeside, moving on to Peterborough Greyhound Stadium, then returning to Lakeside for drinks- there are plenty of ideas in the pipeline, and we can’t wait to see them come to fruition over the next year or so.

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With it’s chilled out apres-ski vibe, warming comfort foods and welcoming atmosphere, the Lakeside Bar and Restaurant offers an experience that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else in the area. Tallington Lakes may not immediately strike you as the place to go for a good meal but having been there, both Clare and I are already planning return visits; so go hire yourself a snowboard, practice your cannonballs, then hang out at the Lakeside Bar for a few hours afterwards with a beer and a tasty pie!

www.tallington.com/park-facilities/lakeside-bar-restaurant

01778 34 7000
Tallington Lakes Leisure Park, Barholm Road, Tallington, PE9 4RJ

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