The wedding business at Belmount Hall is an extension of the evening party business which we have developed over the last twenty one years (is it really that long??) at Jumping Jenny Coffee House and Restaurant at Brantwood, Coniston (jumpingjenny.net). The team at Jumping Jenny is responsible for the catering at Belmount Hall.
We were therefore immensely proud to read the review of Jumping Jenny, set out below. It is no mean feat to have maintained after so many years the standards praised by Tony Turnbull. All credit to Gillie, therefore, for her cake-baking and cooking genius, her relentless work at both Jumping Jenny and Belmount, and to Gemma and her team who run Jumping Jenny on a daily basis.
In the absence of Giles Coren, the ‘Eating Out’ column in last Saturday’s The Times magazine was written by Tony Turnbull. Tony had spent a week in the Lake District with his family, and visited a number of restaurants.
In his review of two well known pubs and Jumping Jenny, JJ’s was the last of the three to be featured:-
“The biggest success came last. We’d made a half hearted attempt to climb the Old Man of Coniston and tried to push our luck by taking in a visit to Brantwood, former home of John Ruskin, the great Victorian poet, critic and all-round good egg. And there in the old stable block, was Jumping Jenny Coffee House and Restaurant, named after Ruskin’s rowing boat.
A couple of serious walkers were sitting on the terrace outside, admiring views of Coniston Water and even bigger views of the most enormous fluffy meringues slathered in cream. Inside we took our place in one of the old stalls and ordered tomato soup, tomato pasta, a couple of moussakas and two bottles of Bluebird beer from the short chalked up menu.
Perhaps it was all that fresh air, but what came back was quite the best food we had all week, and unlike the ‘trilogies of salmon’ that so many hotels still go in for around these parts, it was exactly the kind of thing you want after roaming through the morning mist: simple, homely and exceedingly well made. The soup was as sweet and sloppy as a Sloane’s first kiss, but with a welcome slap of acidity for the insult, the moussaka was as smoky as Telly Savalas’s laugh, rich with aubergine and bechamel, and, oh, the cakes – chocolate cake, carrot cake, coffee cake, tiffin cake…. I don’t know how I managed to choose between them.”