The Michelin-starred SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel in the Lake District is thriving
under executive chef Ollie Bridgwater. Here’s what to expect…

Ollie Bridgwater is a chef who is unashamedly single-minded in his pursuit of precision. In little over four months,
he has elevated the menu at SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel near Bowness on Windermere, to a standard that would
leave many chefs satisfied. Yet for the ex-The Fat Duck chef, when it comes to food, perfection is a concept that
should always be strived for.
Almost obsessive about the minutiae of his cooking, Ollie believes that any kitchen is on a continuous journey of
education, experimentation and improvement. His dishes, though they appear simple, are highly technical and
flawlessly executed under his exacting eye for detail.
“With every dish, there is always a lot of technique,” he explains. “It’s simple to look at on the plate but there is
nothing simple about the process that it took to get it there. The value is the work that goes behind it.
“My training has been at three Michelin star level – and I still aim to work to that level as much as I can here at
SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel. The dishes are simpler, but they are still really refined, and for me, they need to be as
close to perfection as possible. There are a lot of processes to create some of our dishes, and if we have to do each
one four times in a day to get it right, we do it four times in a day.”
These impeccable standards have already helped to retain the restaurant’s coveted Michelin star under Ollie’s
guidance, with an inspection soon after his arrival. He and his team received high praise from inspectors for the
‘precise, sophisticated’ nature of dishes that ‘resist the temptation for over-complication.
Ollie’s Head Chef Jack Bond has an equally impressive C.V. – including working with Marcus Wareing for 9 years,
Eleven Madison Park in New York (3 Michelin Stars), Davies & Brook at Claridge’s (1 Michelin Star) and Restaurant
Gordon Ramsay (3 Michelin Stars), and has also now been joined by Thomas Mercier as Restaurant Manager,
who brings a wealth of friendly charm as well as incredible experience from L’Enclume (3 Michelin Stars), Michael
Wignall at The Latymer (2 Michelin Stars), Coworth Park (1 Michelin Star), The Vineyard at Stockcross (2 Michelin
Stars), and Cliveden House Hotel.
Guests and early reviewers who have experienced the new menu, are singing its praises. As our Gilpin’s owners
Barney and Zoë Cunliffe, who are very happy with their latest signing.
“It’s no surprise that a highly technical style of cooking is emerging under Ollie’s reign, explains Barney. “Earning his
stripes at The Fat Duck with Heston Blumenthal for almost a decade, it was a given that strictly followed processes
and scientific precision would be a priority.
“What Ollie brings to the equation is an uncomplicated elegance, both in the precise balance of flavour and in the
an exacting aesthetic that combines on the plate – taking on an almost ethereal quality.”

The new menu at SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel
Ollie has set out his stall for SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel with a menu that incorporates the very best produce,
leveraged through long-term supplier relations and treated with the utmost respect.
His food is quietly exquisite. Elegantly uncomplicated. Underpinned with an all-encompassing desire to make
everything the best it can possibly be and realised with a technical ability honed among some of the world’s
greatest chefs.
Each dish has been carefully and thoughtfully curated. Every element is deconstructed and re-examined in
painstaking detail. If there’s a way something can be done better, more brilliantly, allowing the freshest of
ingredients to shine more brightly, he is a chef that will find it.
Menu Highlights
The 11-course modern British tasting menu, described by one food critic as a homage to molecular gastronomy,
kicks off on the right foot with a gin and tonic served as gel on a spoon. The instruction for guests is to eat it ‘down
in one’ for the best possible experience. It is cooling and refreshing, setting you up brilliantly for what is to come,
while also providing a nod to Ollie’s previous experience.
Ollie says: “This Gin and Tonic is my idea of a welcome drink, but not as you would expect. It’s our way of starting
with something fun and technical. I would love to get to a stage where there is a range of cocktails, and you can
choose which one you want.”
The first of three fish courses is a multisensory masterpiece. Nature herself would be hard pushed to curate
something as pleasing to the eye and palette. It’s a dish which sings to the tastebuds and adorns the plate with
vivid, fresh, spring colourways under Ollie’s deft, delicate touch.
At SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel, even the bread course is flawless – soft, puffy, bejewelled with salt flakes and lavender
– it is irresistible. The hotel says that most diners ask for more and are happily obliged.
The menu is a journey peppered with nostalgia and infused with Ollie’s own culinary experiences, good and bad.
And it’s not lacking in humour. The lobster satay dish is a decadent homage to the wilted lettuce leaves often
served at Chinese takeaways. Its familiarity is comforting, yet at the same time unlike any Chinese takeaway ever
Ollie says: “I had the idea from going to a Chinese where they give you a skewer and they put it on the lettuce, it’s
hot and it wilts the lettuce. We wanted to make the lettuce a part of the dish, so we braised the lettuce in butter and

brown chicken stock, rather than a satay sauce we’ve done a lobster bisque on the side with a curry paste on the
other then a peanut butter. Then we bring it together.”
This is a dish that perfectly demonstrates Ollie’s insatiable desire for continuous improvement, stripping back a
classic to the bare bones before rebuilding it into something extraordinary. He explains. “Everyone likes steak and
ale but it’s about pulling the idea apart and then bringing it back together. The first element is the purée – we’ve got five
different recipes just for that and it absolutely has to be perfect. We have elements of steak and ale pie, it’s all
about the quality of the beef, then it just needs a couple of things to tie it together. Onions. Wild garlic. Mushroom
XO and a sauce. It’s a simple dish but beautifully done.”
Of all the dishes the sushi rice pudding is fast becoming the ‘diner’s favourite’ incorporating sushi rice, miso, furikake
and sesame oil for a pre-dessert with a dramatic difference. “I’m a big fan of the rice pudding, Ollie says. “I didn’t
plan to keep it on the menu for long but it’s fast becoming a signature dish of ours.”
Find the full menu visit:
Just a taste of what’s to come.
Working closely with Gilpin’s owners Barney and Zoë Cunliffe, Ollie is building a vision for the future of SOURCE at
Gilpin Hotel – one with sustainability, local sourcing and elegant refinement at its heart.
The team fully admits that the SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel is in its early transitional phase, with the aim to create a
restaurant that complements the outstanding beauty of the hotel’s surroundings as well as the ethos of the family-owned and run property. Gilpin is a place of love, laughter, luxury and relaxation, one with zero pretentiousness
and the warmest of welcomes.
“I don’t think you ever get to perfection,” Ollie summarises, “it’s a moving target. I know my standards and I know
what I’m comfortable with. That might be perfection in someone’s eyes but to me there’s always a way to improve
things, to do something slightly better.
“We’re giving our guests food that’s polished and really well thought out, food that’s original and visually pleasing
and that tastes amazing, but we’re working on the entire experience. There’s a lot more to come.”
SOURCE at Gilpin Hotel is open every day for dinner for residents and non-residents. For more information and to
book visit: The tasting menu starts at £120 per person, and £200 per
person with paired wines.

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