Thursday 7 June 2012

A Return to Lucy's of Ambleside - Up the Duff Pudding Club

We've been off work this week, so decided to make the most of it by cramming in some trips to our favourite places. A few weeks ago, we discovered Lucy's of Ambleside. We were so bowled over by their food and hospitality, we planned a return trip whilst we were still there! We booked on for Lucy's famous Up the Duff Pudding Club

We decided to drive up to Ambleside a little earlier than originally planned and get  some lunch. This was a fatal mistake! After three hours in traffic and another 30 minutes trying to find a parking space, we finally managed to get out of the car and stretch our legs. Starving, we headed for a pub that was still serving food at 3pm! This wasn't great, but we were Hank Marvin! 

However, we made the most of our afternoon by perusing what Ambleside had hidden from us on our first trip. We played a little Crazy Golf (I'm not even joking...), had home made lemonade and cakes at The Apple Pie and tea on the balcony at Zephirellis.
Crazy Golf in AmblesideChocolate Milkshake - The Apple Pie Ambleside
Vanilla Slice - The Apple Pie AmblesideRaspberry and Almond Slice - The Apple Pie Ambleside
You can imagine by now that we might be quite full? Yes. We were. Most people might have gone home. No. We had pudding club yet to come... I'll be honest. I thought I would walk it. I'm used to cake club! Let me tell you now, puddings are a whole different ball game! 

When you walk into Lucy's and announce you are 'here for pudding club', there's a real buzz of excitement. I get the impression that the staff never tire of explaining all the different desserts, and seeing how people get one with them. There's no 'egging on' or hidden laughter on failure to eat a Queen of Puddings (purely an example...) They seem to genuinely be very supportive of your plight!

Our waitress Amy talked us through how pudding club works. You are given a special menu with spaces from one to six written in a list. You pick from either the pudding club menu or the normal dessert menu (which is MASSIVE). That's around thirty choices. You are then given the list back, for you to add your feedback to the chef. All the puddings on the special menu were Jubilee themed, but they change every month.
So, here we go. We picked twelve different puddings. Most were from the Jubilee menu, but a few were from the normal menu too. Here's the rundown...

Number 1: Battenberg Iced Terrine
Raspberry and vanilla ice creams encased in marzipan and sponge. This was massive!
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Battenberg Iced Terrine
Number 2: Queen of Puddings
A traditional pudding made from bread, jam an meringue. And blue glitter. The meringues were just perfect. Firm on the outside, soft on the inside (just like an armadillo, if any of you remember the advert...)
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Queen of Puddings

Number 3: King Charles II Syllabub with Earl Grey Biscuits
Apparently, King Charles II was quite partial to a bit of syllabub! This one was really rich and smooth, so went perfectly with the Earl Grey tuilles. Pretty as hell fire! I must note here, this small amount would be more than enough to finish you off normally! We were only on the second course...

Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Syllabub
Number 4: Bakewell Pudding
And the arguement rages on. When is it a pudding? What makes it a tart? I thought 'puddings' were the ones that looked like a deflated Yorkshire pud. However, I think I like Lucy's description more: 'It's not a tart, it's a pudding... tarts reside on Council steps!' Either way, this was phenomenal! Bakewells are my favourite desserts!

Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Bakewell Pudding
Number 5: Jamie's Wicked Chocolate Tart
My husband had this on our last visit, and loved it so much he just had to have it again!
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Jamie's Wicked Chocolate Tart
Number 6: Red Velvet and English Rose Sponge
Oh this was lovely! Light and moist with a subtle rose flavour. My only criticism was that it was HUGE! I mean really colossal! Even our waitress and Lucy laughed when they saw it! I could have had a little cry... The people on the table next to us were a course or two behind. They looked fearful...
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Red Velvet and English Rose Sponge
Number 7: Lemon and Ginger Eton Mess
Again, you really don't get an accurate idea of the scale of these puddings from the photos. This was a beautifully messy pile of stem ginger, lemon, cream and meringue, drizzled with lemon syrup and electric blue glitter...
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Lemon and Ginger Eton Mess
At this point the 'Cake Ache' as I call it had well and truly set in. You know what I mean, the numb bum cheeks, the achy legs, the sugar headache... I treated it like cramp and tried to walk it off by doing a lap of reception. This did not work. It just made sitting down again that bit more painful! I soldiered on...

Number 8: Red, White and Blue Slate
I picked this because the words 'little', 'mini' and 'tiny' were used. Trade Descriptions anyone!? This included a blueberry and white chocolate blondie, a stout and chocolate muffin and a raspberry and chocolate macaroon. They look small, but packed a punch with flavour!
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Red, White and Blue Slate
Number 9: Buckingham Palace Tart
My husband said he wished he'd had this when he wasn't quite so mortally full! This was a slab of tart. It included grated apples combined with orange segments baked in orange pastry, served with warm marmalade. If only you could have seen his face...
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Buckingham Palace Tart
Number 10: Jubilee Meringue Stack
Oh this was pretty. Layers of chewy white meringue with fresh cream, raspberries and blueberries, doused in edible glitter (go team edible glitter...) If there's one thing Lucy's do really well, it's a chewy meringue!
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Jubilee Meringue Stack
Number 11: Hot Chocolate Fondant
These were made to order to achieve that gooey centre. This was my husband's last dessert. Possibly ever! He looked so full I thought we may never get home! He looked at the ice cream like it had just branded him with a four letter expletive beginning with 'C'.
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Hot Chocolate Fondant
Number 12: Lancashire Lemon Tart
This was my final dessert. The one that on my last visit had converted me to a fan of Lucy's forever. It's similar to a lemon bakewell, with the zestiest filling ever. I love it. Even when I am so full I might be sick or burst. Or both.
Lucy's of Ambleside Up the Duff Pudding Club - Lancashire Lemon Tart

We didn't eat every scrap of every pudding put in front of us, but we had a damned good go! Anything you leave is wrapped up for you to take home. You can also stop mid-way through if you want and take the remainder home. This will sort out the amateurs from the professionals... who was rifling through a goody bag this morning?! I was. Greedy pig... 

Not only do Lucy's do fantastic desserts for pudding club, but it's also a brilliant night out! You find camaraderie with the people sat around you, encouraging each other that the pudding was in fact massive, so it was not their fult that they couldn't eat it all... 

If you ever get the chance to go, you must. A few words of advice though:

  • DO NOT eat your lunch at 3.30pm then start pudding club at 7pm.
  • DO NOT have a cake about 5pm from the Apple Pie.
  • DO NOT think home made chocolate milkshake is a better option than tea, two hours before pudding club.
  • DO wear clothes that allow you to breathe in and out (we saw one chap in tracky pants... show off!)
  • DO have a coffee afterwards to save you from crashing on the motorway.
  • DO remember you can take whatever you don't eat home with you...

Another fantastic experience at Lucy's. I love the area, the food and the staff.

Up the Duff Pudding Club costs £25 per head and includes six puddings, a glass of dessert wine (or something of your choice) and a coffee. For more information, click here.

Disclaimer: Lucy's Of Ambleside did not pay me to do this review. I did it because I am a total piglet, and one visit just wasn't enough...

Lucys on a Plate on Urbanspoon


  1. oh my! Next time you are going let me know. We are only about an hour and half away from Ambleside. I'd love to try the puddings and so would my husband!

    1. Oh Janice you must go! It was amazing! Their dessert menu is massive every day!

  2. @sweetfannyadams7 June 2012 at 19:18

    Oh wow. Just wow. I have to go. And still laughing at your description of your husband and the ice cream with the chocolate fondant ..... :)

  3. Wow wow wow!!!! I went the other week - its a lovely little place.

    1. Lucy's desserts are the best! We'll always go if we're in Ambleside!

  4. This is beautiful food! Yummy!

  5. Which was your favourite?

    1. The Lancashire Lemon Tart! It's heavenly!

  6. WOW! I'm seriously impressed... how did you manage it?! I love pudding, but I'm not sure I could handle the sugar rush.

    Great post!


    1. It nearly killed me!!! If you ever get the chance, go!

  7. Amazing! I've just had a nice meal at Lucy's this evening and wondered what the Up the duff pudding night was...I know now!! Looks fab. Unfortunately after all three courses, I just managed one serving of desert: sticky toffee apple crumble tart. But saying that, it was incredible!


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