Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cumbria
Hardens guides have spent 15 years compiling reviews of the best Cumbria restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 114 restaurants in Cumbria and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Cumbria restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Cumbria Restaurants
. The Forest Side
British, Modern restaurant in Grasmere
“They sure know how to look after you” at this “lovely forest-themed dining room” whose “gorgeous” Scandi-esque looks contrast with the rest of this “beautifully renovated” Victorian building, which enjoys a “brilliant Lakeland setting” near Grasmere village (part of a year-old hotel within Andrew Wildsmith’s small collection of boutique properties). Chef Kevin Tickle moved here from L’Enclume to open the restaurant, and “there is a similarity to the cuisine at Cartmel” in his ambitious multi-course menu here, which comes with “unusual drink pairings – not just wine” and with many ‘biodynamique’ vintages. Results are “absolutely delectable and impeccably prepared, showing the right balance between interesting contrasts and subtlety of flavours”, while “staff are seamless and judge their interactions perfectly”. “It’s a wonderful experience from beginning to end” and “although it’s definitely not cheap, I don’t think anyone could argue that it’s not good value”.
British, Modern restaurant in Cartmel
Cavendish St - LA11
“A mind-blowing experience!” – Simon Rogan’s converted smithy in a gorgeous Lakeland village remains the north’s pre-eminent foodie Mecca. A degree of “art and theatre” add to its appeal, but despite the potential to seem “show-off-y”, the dominant theme running through most reports is the “exceptional” combination of “hard-to-beat innovation” – producing “light, clean dishes, packing huge flavours” – juxtaposed with a style that’s “natural, and not at all pretentious for a restaurant of such high calibre”. Enthusiasm too for a “delightfully simple and clean-lined setting that puts you instantly at ease, along with staff who were knowledgeable but approachable”.
. Sharrow Bay
British, Modern restaurant in Ullswater
“We took our daughter as a treat and were given our own superb private alcove looking out onto the lake… the view was exceptional, food could not be better and the service wonderful!” – This landmark property overlooking Ullswater can lay claim to inventing the country house hotel genre, and though known for its very traditional style, “some features have been modernised” nowadays, and fans still see it as a natural choice “for a special occasion”. It’s “number one for afternoon tea” too.
. Rampsbeck Hotel
British, Modern restaurant in Watermillock
2016 Review: A “marvellous” country house “gem”, with a “lovely setting on the shore of Ullswater”, that “epitomises everything good about the Lake District”; the food “has ambition and delivers interest and flavour”, while nice rooms make it “a great place for a weekend away with a loved one”.
. Lake Road Kitchen
Scandinavian restaurant in Ambleside
3 Sussex House, Lake Road - LA22
“Startlingly good food, brilliantly explained” is a recipe for ongoing rapturous reviews concerning ex-Noma chef James Cross and his partner’s “fantastic and cosy” Scandi-style venture, decorated with much use of wood, and with the kitchen partially on view: “a special destination run with tremendous enthusiasm by two of the most passionate people in the game”, producing “some of the best ever food, and a splendid experience that could be enjoyed over and over again”.
. Drunken Duck
British, Modern restaurant in Ambleside
Barngates - LA22
“A remote, cosy inn (and microbrewery) in the Lakeland Fells” that owes its high popularity to its cooking with “amazing attention to detail” and “exemplary service”.
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