Waterhead – Raising the Bar on Burgers

English Lakes has a passion for food – whether it’s a traditional Afternoon Tea or a sumptuous three course feast, regional classics with a modern twist and championing the finest local ingredients … Here, Mark Needham, General Manager of Waterhead, shares his quest for a better burger. 

The Ubiquitous Burger

Mark Needham, General Manager of Waterhead - on the quest for the best burger!
Mark Needham, General Manager of Waterhead – on the quest for the best burger!

The rise of the burger has been dramatic over the past few years with more and more restaurants featuring a quality burger as part of their offering. We have also seen many new eating establishments which specialise in just burgers and it’s these places that have really raised the bar on what we have come to expect in a quality burger. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good old cheeseburger from the golden arches and for me it’s still great value for money.

However, having worked in the industry for many years and having spent some time in the USA (the homeland of the burger, or so they claim) I have had the pleasure of eating many burgers from many different places. My most memorable burger experience was during a holiday in California; I was 14 years old and we were driving from California to Las Vegas. We stopped in the middle of the desert where there was a huge shopping mall and a fast food burger place called IN-N-OUT BURGER, the menu was so simple – Hamburgers with or without cheese, fries and milkshakes. That was it and it remains today one of the best burgers I have ever tasted. This was all down to the quality of the ingredients used, keeping it simple and the obvious care taken in producing it.

Waterhead Burger of the Week - the Breakfast Burger!
Waterhead Burger of the Week – the Breakfast Burger!

It’s all about the beef!

You can’t get away from the fact that a high quality burger is all about the beef. At Waterhead we take our burgers seriously and have trialled various different types of beef to find our perfect patty. Eventually we decided on a 28-day aged Cumbrian steak mince with a 20% fat content which is important. To this we add our special secret seasoning and nothing else. Our burgers are all handmade on-site to ensure quality and consistency every time.

Burger of the Week

As part of our new dinner menu we have decided to feature a ‘Burger of the week’ option which gives our chefs the chance to get their creative juices flowing in coming up with new ideas each week. When it comes to burger toppings it really is never ending and the possibilities are endless. Sometimes keeping it simple is the key such as our most recent Mediterranean burger which features a 6oz patty topped with Prosciutto, chorizo, manchego cheese and sunblush tomatoes. My personal favourite is the slightly crazy sounding Goober burger which is a 6oz patty topped with smoked streaky bacon, lashings of smooth creamy peanut butter and a fried egg. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, that’s all I will say! Just don’t forget the extra napkins.

Bar & Grill Garden at Waterhead overlooking the lake
Bar & Grill Garden at Waterhead overlooking the lake

Come and see what our next burger of the week will be at the Bar & Grill, I am still trying to persuade the chef with the goober! All topping suggestions welcome …

  • Written by: Mark Needham, Waterhead General Manager

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