Lake District Restaurants
Restaurants in the Lake District
There are literally hundreds of restaurants in the Lake District. To say that you are 'spoilt for choice' would be no exaggeration. Many people come to the Lake District to have a relaxing break and pamper themselves. Is there a better way to treat yourself than with a good meal in comfortable surrounding, perhaps, in the summer, with one of the many Lake District stunning views?
Country House Hotels
Many country house hotels offer fine dining opportunities with classic British or international cuisine. Most serve lunch and the renowned Lake District afternoon teas as well as evening dining. They have invariably been built overlooking one or more of the many lakes.
It was in Sharrow Bay, by Ullswater, that the concept of the English country house hotel was invented more than 50 years ago. www.sharrowbay.co.uk. This sumptuous hotel has 12 acres of grounds, superb views and impeccable service. With a wine list of over 700 wines, its restaurant is the holder of countless dining awards and has retained its Michelin star for the 11th successive year. Mouth-watering deserts have always been a highlight. The hotel claims the invention of the renowned Sticky Toffee Pudding.
A magnificent country house hotel in wooded grounds, this time near Windermere. The restaurant will serve lunches and teas out on the terrace. The dinner menu has a speciality selection as well as the table d'hôte. Special celebrations can be catered for with an individually drawn up menu and private dining facilities.
Ivy House Hotel
The Ivy House Hotel is in a fine listed Georgian building in the picturesque centre of Hawkshead. The restaurant prides itself on its range of traditional meals, using fresh local produce in all dishes. There is outside seating and a good list of wines. Open for lunch, afternoon cream teas and evening meals, the restaurant also caters for celebrations and parties.
Other award-winning hotel restaurants include Holbeck Ghyll, a former hunting lodge midway between Ambleside and Windermere, where 'modern British cooking has a French twist'. Another is Gilpin Lodge, a Lakeland country house high above Bowness. Emphasis here is placed on fresh seasonal produce sourced locally or brought direct from France.
Modern French Dining
Since its opening in late 2002, L'enclume in the sleepy village of Cartmel has developed into one of the most celebrated and avant-garde restaurants in the country. www.lenclume.co.uk. Chef Simon Rogan's reputation for modern French dining has grown, with a Michelin star, 4 AA rosettes, and a Catey (Catering industry Oscar awarded by Peers and Rivals) awarded in one year alone. During the summer months, he employs herbs and flowers that can be found in the wild, thereby rediscovering unusual or forgotten textures and flavours.
A restaurant with rooms
Highly rated Jerichos, at the Waverley, is a restaurant with rooms. The Waverley, a magnificent Victorian property that retains many of its original features, is situated on a quiet road in the centre of Windermere. Proprieter Chris Blaydes, Master Chef of Great Britain, maintains a consistently high standard of cooking, being rated by the AA and in the Good Food Guide, Harden's and Michelin. Advance booking is essential, especially for a specific date.
Dale Lodge Hotel, Lodge Restaurant
With sumptuous surroundings, flickering candlelight and personal service, the Lodge Restaurant can be found in the Dale Lodge Hotel in Grasmere. Ever changing specials range from char-grilled swordfish with creamed leeks, to calves liver served with mustard mashed potato, red devil jus and pancetta crisps.
Public house dining
Many public houses have separate dining facilities and can offer an amazing range of locally sourced foods. The Drunken Duck Inn and Restaurant, at a remote crossroads above Lake Windermere, has both ETC and AA 4 star ratings. The Barngates Brewery is on site.
The Brown Horse is a pub, restaurant, hotel and farm shop in the Winster valley, not far from Bowness and Windermere. The Brown Horse breeds its own animals including pigs, cows, ducks, guinea fowl, chickens and geese as well as growing its own vegetables. All of this is on sale in the farm shop and used in the kitchen. Starters like black pudding with quail's egg can be followed by home-cured gammon and Aylesbury duck.
Lucy's, in Ambleside and Bowness
Lucy's, in Ambleside, is a developing combination of cafe (by day) and restaurant (at night) at Lucy's on a Plate, Lucy4 wine bars and bistros, delicatessen, mail order, outside catering and a cookery school.
At Lucy's on a Plate at least half a dozen dishes are always suitable for vegetarians and gluten free meals are also available. Every month on the first Wednesday, Lucy holds "Up the Duff Pudding Night" when £20 buys all the pudding you can eat and a glass of dessert wine.
An offshoot from the original Lucy4 in Ambleside, the Lucy4 Wine Bar & Bistro franchise is now open in Bowness. Known as 'Lucy4 at the Porthole', it is as unusual and vibrant as the original Lucy4.
For unpretentious Italian food with entertainment on the same site, Zeffirelli's Cinema, Pizzeria and Jazz Bar in Ambleside give an eclectic mix. The pizzeria specialises in vegetarian food - the pizzas being both filling and delicious. Coming soon from the same stable is a new vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant, Fellinis, with digital cinema art house productions and live satellite links to major venues for opera, ballet and playhouse.
Most towns in the Lake District have at least one Chinese restaurant; some, like Windermere, Kendal, Keswick, Ambleside and Whitehaven, have more.
Salsa Mexican Bistro can be found in Keswick and Amigos Mexican & Steakhouse in Ulverston.
Keswick's authentic Thai restaurant, the Star of Siam is also open for lunch with an English menu of soup, sandwiches, wraps and light lunches. The green curry is their signature dish.
There are Indian restaurants in Kendal and Ambleside with two in Carlisle.