Top Restaurants in the Lake District

Top Restaurants in the Lake District

The Lake District National Park is renowned for its awe-inspiring scenery laced with wind-scoured peaks, glacial lakes, and swathes of ancient forest. A place of raw beauty, it has captured the hearts of countless and has been eulogised through memoirs, maps, and menus for centuries. Today, it remains as timelessly romantic as ever, framed by magical landscapes and peppered with attractions. And, making it all the more appealing are the mountainside pubs, lakeview cafés and fine-dining restaurants nestled around the park.

If you are looking to accentuate your Lakeland sojourn with the finest fare, you can relish an incredible selection of places to eat. Home to one of the highest concentrations of Michelin star restaurants in the UK, the Lake District’s prestigious eateries serve up exotic twists, seasonal favourites and local delicacies, including Cumberland sausage, Herdwick Hogget and sticky toffee pudding. Reserve your table at one of the top restaurants in the Lake District and savour delicious repasts alongside a backdrop of the most magnificent views imaginable.

The Mortal Man, Troutbeck

One of the best dog-friendly pubs in the Lake District, The Mortal Man is a beloved restaurant in Troutbeck to the north east of Windermere. A Grade II listed building with a wood-panelled warren of rooms, it features three separate eating and drinking areas inside, each warmed by log fires. Outside, the mountain-view beer garden, voted as one of the Time’s top ten UK Beer Gardens, affords a gorgeous aspect over sweeping landscapes and proposes a delightful spot to savour fine flavours under beaming sunshine. Anticipate plates of local, seasonal goodness, sample the pub’s speciality Whitehouse ale brewed since 1689, and enjoy the atmosphere of this Lakeland gem.

Allium at Askham Hall, Askham

Owned by the same family since 1724, the wonderful Askham Hall is a place that exudes its own special air. At the heart of the venue is one of the best restaurants in Penrith, the esteemed Allium. Led by Head Chef Richard Swale and Maître de Maison Nico Chieze, it delivers Michelin star offerings in a refined setting. On the menu, home-grown and hand-reared produce feature across an array of deftly curated dishes, with many of the ingredients sourced from Askham’s gardens and estate. Reserve your table in advance and look forward to sampling the restaurant’s six-course tasting menu, with optional wine pairing for the full experience.

L’Enclume, Cartmel

One of the most famous restaurants in the Lake District and beyond, L’Enclume is one of the most highly awarded establishments in the UK. Coveting three Michelin stars and a Michelin green star, this world-class restaurant resides in peaceful tranquillity within a twelve-acre farm and beckons with extraordinary cuisine. Led by award-winning Head Chef Simon Rogan, a pioneer of farm-to-fork dining in the UK, the restaurant proffers a menu of the highest quality, traceable ingredients masterfully crafted into culinary works of art. Reserve a table in L’Enclume, or for a more exclusive take, enjoy a behind- the- scenes dining experience at Aulis Cartmel, next to L’Enclume, in the intimate dining space for up to six guests. To continue your culinary discovery at your dreamy abode, you can also order an award-winning three- course meal to be delivered to your door with Home by Simon Rogan.

Heft, Newton-in-Cartmel

The Lake District is one of the best destinations for romantic proposals and honeymoons, offering captivating scenery and gourmet discovery. One of Estrella Dam’s top fifty gastropubs and awarded with a Michelin star, Heft is particularly perfect for dreamy dates after walks in the fells. Located within a seventeenth-century village inn, the restaurant is owned by Kevin and Nicola Tickle, a born-and-bred Cumbrian couple with a love of the locality and a talent for flavours. Foraging ingredients, working with local producers, and harnessing the seasons, the team creates original dishes full of depth, served with carefully selected wines, beers and beverages for ultimate enjoyment.

The Dog and Gun, Skelton

The Dog and Gun is a dog-friendly Michelin star restaurant located just beyond the fringes of the Lake District. Set within the village of Skelton in Penrith, this multi-award-winning restaurant is a firm favourite amongst culinary connoisseurs from near and far. With owner and Head Chef Ben Queen-Fryer at the helm, it welcomes patrons into its fold with a warm, welcoming air and the promise of wholesome food cooked from the heart. Among the restaurant’s three-course and set tasting menus, expect classic favourites, such as Cartmel Valley venison, suet pudding, chateaubriand and triple-cooked chips. Mains are rounded off with delectable treats, including Lyth Valley damson soufflé and saffron poached pears.

Forest Side, Grasmere

Enjoy one of the prettiest, easiest walks in the Lake District around the glassy lake of Grasmere before heading over to Forest Side for a Michelin star repast. A stunning Gothic mansion surrounded by rich forest, it commands gorgeous views over rolling greenery and craggy fells. Offering a “dining experience all about the landscape of the Lake District'', the restaurant’s philosophy focuses on a love for all things local. Taking diners on a journey through the region’s hedgerows and fields, mountains and rivers, each dish is a seasonal celebration and work of culinary artistry. Book your table and relish expertly crafted meals prepared by Chef Paul Leonard and his team, and soak up the ambience of the light-filled restaurant.

The Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite

One of the top restaurants in the Lake District, the Michelin star Cottage in the Wood beckons for finely tuned repasts. Reached via the mountainous Whinlatter Pass, this stunning restaurant in the heart of Whinlatter Forest is only a short distance from Derwentwater and is the perfect place to refuel after hours in the wild. Sitting pretty and hugged by trees, the restaurant awaits with welcoming, light-filled interiors and a sheltered terrace that opens to reveal far-reaching views. Secure your booking in advance to avoid missing out, enjoying either the set lunch or dinner menus crafted in homage to the season by Chef Sam Miller and team. With Cumbrian highlights infused with Nordic influences, there is ample to pique your interest.

Gilpin Spice, Windermere

The Gilpin Lake House is well-known for its culinary acumen, home to the Michelin star restaurant Source and the Michelin recommended Knipe Grill. It is also home to the two AA Rosette Gilpin Spice which nods to Cumbria’s spice trade heritage. Infusing local produce with exotic spices brought into Whitehaven harbour, this once flourishing industry produced spiced favourites such as the Cumberland sausage, potted shrimps, Grasmere gingerbread and sticky toffee pudding. For a unique dining experience, take a seat within the restaurant, absorbing the activity of the open-plan kitchen, and peruse an ever-evolving collection of dishes inspired by pan-Asian food and countries along the spice trail, from India to Malaysia to Japan.  

Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite

One of the best pubs in the Lake District, The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite is full of appeal. Recommended by the Michelin Guide and voted the AA’s Inn of the Year 2023, it complements a warm welcome and friendly service with delicious food and drink for an unforgettable foodie experience. Step inside the sympathetically restored interiors of this former blacksmith’s shop, find a seat at the traditional bar, casual dining area, or formal restaurant and select from the à la carte menu and daily specials. For food with a view, you can also take a pew outside on fine weather days and bask in the glorious surroundings that enswathe the restaurant.

The Samling, Windermere

The Samling in Windermere is a wonderful restaurant bestowed with a Michelin star and four AA Rosettes. Priding itself on “impeccable service with unmatched views”, the restaurant is tucked in the heart of the Lake District National Park and enjoys a gorgeous aspect over Wray Castle, Windermere and the Old Man of Coniston mountain range beyond. Choose from a divine meal in the restaurant, afternoon tea on the terrace, or an immersive dining experience at the prestigious Chef’s Table and seek the perfect plate to satiate your appetite. Favouring a focus on purity and provenance, each dish is founded on core ingredients from the restaurant’s greenhouse, gardens and woodlands for the boldest, cleanest flavours.

Old Stamp House, Ambleside

Found in the picturesque town of Ambleside at the head of the mirror-topped Lake Windermere is the Michelin star Old Stamp House. Residing within the former office of William Wordsworth, the renowned Cumbrian poet, the restaurant treads in the footsteps of literary greatness and today crafts its own expert spin on creative mastery. Full of palate-pleasing tastes, it presents superb menus of both Lakeland favourites and dishes inspired by the region’s maritime trading history. With “historical footnotes” a focal point of Head Chef Ryan Blackburn’s cooking, you can expect a delicious narrative where tradition and innovation combine to create flavoursome sensations to ignite the senses. Booking ahead is advised.

Ready to sample heavenly fare? Take a look at our luxury retreats in the Lake District and Cumbria.


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