Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Cumbria
Hardens guides have spent 29 years compiling reviews of the best Cumbria restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 129 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
1. The Punch Bowl Inn British, Modern restaurant in Crosthwaite
“This is how you do great pub food” – “full of flavour”, using seasonal ingredients from the owner’s farm and with “generous helpings as befits as a gastropub”. “They don’t try to be too clever but they are still a step above everyone else nearby”, hence their “excellent” local reputation.
2. George & Dragon British, Traditional restaurant in Clifton
This “cosy and relaxed gastropub” near Penrith serves “reliably good” food “using produce from their own farm and garden”. With its “simple rooms and reasonable breakfast”, it makes “a great overnight stopping-point just off the M6” – and dogs are welcome, too.
3. Rothay Manor British, Modern restaurant in Ambleside Rothay Bridge - LA22
Innovate Fine Dining cuisine in a relaxed country house setting. Recently awarded 3 AA rosettes for culinary excellence. There are plenty of menu choices from a la carte to 5 and 9 course Tasting menus. Specific Vegetarian menus, and other dietary requirement...
4. L’Enclume British, Modern restaurant in Cartmel Cavendish St - LA11
“Phenomenal… superb… food, wine, service: everything was magical. Please go!”. Simon Rogan’s “Fat Duck of the North” inspired stunningly consistent reports this year, practically all of them unadulterated hymns of praise, and collectively confirming its position as one of the country’s very top gastronomic destinations. A converted smithy in an out-of-the-way village, it has such a “cute” and “beautiful” location and a “very romantic” interior to match. Superlatives abound in descriptions of its “engaging and surprising” tasting menus: “sixteen courses providing incredible mouthfuls of pure culinary bliss with every element utterly excellent”. “Highly recommended if you’re in the Lakes… or not!”
5. Askham Hall British, Modern restaurant in Penrith Askham - CA10
Talk about ticking the boxes! Set in beautiful Cumbrian countryside, check… “historical” mansion that looks a bit like a castle, check… wonderful grounds with kitchen garden, check – this Lakeland hotel makes a marvellous and “romantic” destination, and boasts a “fantastic restaurant in the old hall” serving Richard Swale’s highly accomplished cooking, with the option of a tasting menu format. And as of October 2019, Michelin star, check…
6. Sharrow Bay British, Modern restaurant in Ullswater
“For a special celebration and the drive”, head to England’s original country-house hotel, now a septuagenarian setting, perhaps with a slightly “dated” approach, but still with a twinkle in its eye. For a romantic meal, enjoying the updated traditional fare, with “a table for two overlooking Ullswater – what could be more perfect?”.
7. HRiSHi, Gilpin Lodge British, Modern restaurant in Windermere Crook Rd - LA23
“The best local ingredients are married with spices and great originality” at Hrishikesh Desai’s swish dining room – the posher of the two eating options at this plush hotel, set “in a gorgeous Lake District setting” (see also Gilpin Spice). It offers a variety of modern British menus which provide “a hint of Indian influence in some of the dishes, but the resulting food is in no way overpowering: rather it is delicate and full of wonderful flavours”. “From the moment of arrival up to the moment of departure you are cosseted in a traditional but not suffocating way – a real pleasure”.
8. The Samling British, Modern restaurant in Windermere Ambleside Road - LA23
“Magnificent views over Lake Windermere” are part of the appeal of this celebrated county hotel, which gained a fancy new glass-walled restaurant, wine cellar and chef’s table a few years back. It attracted the odd middling rating this year, but most feedback has remained very upbeat as chef Robby Jenks (from Newbury’s Vineyard at Stockcross) succeeded Peter Howarth in spring 2019, and we’ve maintained its ratings as an “amazing” all-rounder.
9. Hipping Hall British, Modern restaurant in Kirkby Lonsdale Cowan Bridge - LA6
“A splendid addition to the growing Lake District circle of fine restaurants” – the first of the Wildsmith Hotels has a “gorgeous” country setting, but “being south of the main tourist areas makes it more accessible from the major population centres”. With its “beautifully decorated and luxurious bedrooms”, it’s “perfect for a foodies’ romantic break”, and the highlight is the cooking: “clever and heartfelt food, served with care and warmth by Oli Martin and his crew” (from an eleven-course tasting menu, with a vegetarian but not a vegan alternative).
10. Lake Road Kitchen Scandinavian restaurant in Ambleside 3 Sussex House, Lake Road - LA22
“The aesthetic is paired back and the entire focus is on the food” at this small venue headed up by ex-Noma chef James Cross, which – in keeping with a modern Scandi vibe – has “an intensely local and seasonal focus, with a strong emphasis on foraged ingredients”: “exceptional dishes… and you get to chat to the chef while he works on it”. “There is a real passion about the produce (we listened to James explain the provenance of the beef for about ten minutes to our neighbouring table)”, so “the meal is both interesting as well as absolutely delicious.”
View full listings of 129 Cumbria Restaurants
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Top Cumbria Restaurants
These are the top restaurants in Cumbria based on reviews by Hardens users.
HRiSHi, Gilpin Lodge
Lake Road Kitchen
The Punch Bowl Inn
Popular Cuisines in Cumbria
Hot Newcomers & Coming Soon
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