If you’re craving a luxury break with a dash of fine dining, there are few better places in the country to visit than the Lake District National Park. Heralded as the new gastronomic capital of England, the Lakes is home to a wealth of upmarket eateries offering astounding food in a diversity of impressive settings. Discover some of the best places to eat and enjoy a pint.
Dining out is a welcome self-indulgent aspect to any luxury break – read on for our pick of the region’s best restaurants.
Simon Rogan’s prestigious fine-dining restaurant has two Michelin stars and a staff complement that has been at the cutting-edge of culinary innovation for several years. The emphasis remains on high-quality seasonal and local ingredients and on their ‘farm to table’ philosophy - much of their produce is grown on their own 12-acre farm.
The Aulis Experience
The new ‘Aulis’ experience gives diners a unique and interactive dining experience at one of the UK’s most high-tech kitchens and a seat at the chef’s table gives a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes.
The unique setting of L’Enclume next to the River Eea in the quaint village of Cartmel makes it the perfect setting for a sensory dining experience. Also consider Rogan & Company and The Pig & Whistle.
The stunning new restaurant of this Michelin-star awarded establishment boasts one of the very finest views in the Lake District. From the elevated position of the glass-panelled seating area unfolds a panoramic view of Lake Windermere and the mountains beyond. The terrace takes you one step closer to this impressive landscape vista. Equally as awe-inspiring are the menus on offer. Select from a tasting, seasonal or signature menu.
Seed Exchange Scheme
Being set within 67 acres means that there’s plenty of room for a kitchen garden. The Samling uses progressive produce growing techniques and runs a seed exchange with some of the best restaurants in the world. This ensures the best possible ingredients for use in their dishes. They even have their own chickens, quails and Mangalitsa pigs!
The address of this restaurant provides abundant appeal to warrant a visit; Cottage in the Woods, Magic Hill, Whinlatter Forest… who could possibly resist? The allure of this renovated 17th Century traveller’s inn comes not only from its mountainside position amongst woodland and nature, but from the distinctive menu which changes daily.
The menus feature locally-sourced delights like Herdwick Hogget and fresh fish from Whitehaven Harbour, with a carefully chosen wine menu to match.
Set in a stunning Victorian-era mansion this restaurant has it all, including the coveted Michelin star acolade. Extensive rebuilding and renovation of this old building have resulted in some stunning spaces, not least the light-filled dining room which leads to a terrace overlooking the lawns, offering glimpses of the lake beyond.
The emphasis is on quality, locally-sourced produce; around 90 % of their ingredients are sourced from within 10 miles of the restaurant. It is hoped that in the not too distant future a large amount will come from their very own kitchen garden which features over a hundred raised beds.
Also consider the following fine eating establishments too:
- Holbeck Ghyll - Overlooking Windermere it has a long-standing reputation for quality dishes with a Gallic spin.
- Drunken Duck Inn – Near Hawkshead, this is the original gastropub for the region and offers twists on traditional English concoctions.
- Hooked – This fish and seafood bistro is found on the banks of Lake Windermere. Look out for shrimps from Morecambe Bay on the menu.
- The Pheasant Inn – Take your dog for a pint and a plate of fine food at the bistro. Formal dining is also offered.
Fine ale and fine grub pubs
The Woolpack near Hardknott Pass is a hound-friendly hideaway for trekkers, anglers and other nature lovers to come eat, drink and be happy. Home-cooked local fare features the likes of pie with beef dripping chips and traditional tatie pot with mutton and black pudding. A generous selection of pub standards and north-western ales are available for the supping!
A smart pub with a growing reputation for food located on the grounds of the Askham Hall Estate with the market town of just Penrith three miles away. This is becoming one of the Lake District’s best dining pubs. Country dishes and hearty flavours form a solidly impressive menu.
Perched high in the hills above Windermere, The Mortal Man boasts a seriously impressive beer garden. There has been an ale-house on this spot since 1689, and it was rumoured to be a favourite watering hole of the Lakeland poets, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. Hearty ales and food await the bellies of walkers and cyclists.
This Punchbowl’s wonderful menu has earned it a well-deserved high profile. The interior is cosy rather than stylish: stone and oak alongside leather sofas and wood-burners. With views across the Lyth Valley, feast on the award-winning menu that offers treats like pork belly, fell-bred lamb, and maple-glazed duck breast.
With its distinctive gated entrance and handsome bay windows, the inn has been a way station for travellers since the 1700s, and it’s still a local landmark. Handsome dishes are the standard at the Cuckoo Brow Inn - the hunter’s hot-pot with thyme gravy comes highly recommended. When you’re ready to walk off the excesses of your luxury gastro-adventure, we can recommend some beautiful Lake District walks.
Fancy eating in?
Our self-catering holiday cottages are fully equipped if fancy whipping up a culinary wonder or two. Feast your eyes on our fabulous assortment.