Mizu at Lodore Falls Hotel
The Lake View Restaurant at the Lodore Falls Hotel, with its unbeatable views over Derwentwater, is well established. But the hotel is now also home to Mizu, a Pan-Asian restaurant with views to the rear of the hotel, over the eponymous Falls themselves. At the time of our visit, the view also takes in the building site which surrounds the new spa building across the stream, but this will soon be polished up: Lodore Falls’ new spa and 14 bedroom suites are due to open this autumn, the culmination of a £10 million development which has already seen the refurbishment of the hotel’s entire ground floor, and the opening of Mizu and four spacious new suites.
Having arrived in time to change and have a drink in the bar before dinner, we head through to Mizu and are seated at a table from which (as well as the spa development) we can see out to the green woodlands and up the stream to the falls. The restaurant is decorated in shades of the Lake District – think grey slate and lakeland stone with soft hues of green and wood. It’s modern, but still in-keeping with the hotel and the landscape in which it sits.
The menu here is split into sections including nibbles, starters, tempura, sushi and sashimi, sticks and salads, plus mains including ramen, curry and stir fry dishes, with sides and platters also available. It’s a lot to consider, so we order some deliciously-salty grilled edamame beans (£4) to pick at while we consider our choices. In the end, we decide to keep things simple (in terms of choices, if not in terms of dishes) and go for the six-course tasting menu (£38 per person), and a bottle of white wine.
First up: the Chef’s sushi and sashimi selection. We’re both a little apprehensive about this – my partner and I love seafood, but we haven’t got much experience with sushi, and none at all with sashimi. We each receive a well-presented platter with three mouth-watering pieces of sushi (one vegetarian, one tuna and one salmon) and delicate slices of tuna and salmon sashimi, alongside pickled ginger and wasabi. By the time we’ve polished off everything (apart from the wasabi) our apprehension is forgotten.
Next up is classic miso soup with tofu, spring onion, coriander and wakame seaweed. It comes as a bowl of dry ingredients, over which a smooth stock is poured at the table. Beef tataki, the next dish to appear, is probably my favourite of the evening – thin slices of beef, lightly seared with blue cheese and sesame seeds. Despite being very, very, very rare, the meat is deliciously tender.
After this we enjoy crispy shrimp, served on skewers with ginger, lemon, coriander and wasabi mayonnaise, followed by tender lamb cutlets, perfectly pink, with crispy leeks, fresh red chillis, various types of fish roe, and dots of spicy mayo, black garlic sauce, thai spicy sauce and lemon mayonnaise adorning the plate. Quite unnecessarily, we have sticky rice and noodles to accompany.
We’re then thoughtfully asked if we’d like a little break before our final course, which we gratefully accept. Throughout the evening the service in the restaurant is brilliant, easily matching the quality of the food to create an outstanding overall experience.
We’ve finished the wine by this time, so we order tea to go alongside our dessert – a refreshingly tangy green tea and passionfruit mousse with matcha sponge and puffed rice. After this we say our thanks and head back through to the bar, where we find a table overlooking the water. It’s late, but we’re in time to watch the sun go down before we call it a night, and head upstairs.
We’re staying in one of the hotel’s new deluxe spa suites, which actually sits above Mizu, and we therefore enjoy the same stellar view up to the falls from our floor-to-ceiling windows as we did from the restaurant. It’s actually even better from here – we’re higher up, and we have a private balcony on which to sit out and take in the sounds of rushing water. There’ll be more of these suites in the main spa building when it opens too.
The room is spacious and beautifully-styled, with everything we need close at hand – there are not one but two huge TVs, a fabulous bathroom with both a luxurious bath and a huge rain shower, and a comfortable lounge area.
In the morning, there’s just time for breakfast in the Lake View restaurant (tea, toast, and a perfectly-cooked eggs Benedict each) before we have to be on the road. We’ll be back, and next time we’ll be staying a lot longer.
Lodore Falls Hotel, Borrowdale Valley, Keswick CA12 5UX