Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Ambleside
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Ambleside restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 16 restaurants in Ambleside and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Ambleside restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Ambleside Restaurants
1. 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...
2. 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.”
3. The Forest Side British, Modern restaurant in Grasmere
“Every course leaves you wanting more… even though you knew you shouldn’t as there are so many more to come”, according to fans of ex-L’Enclume chef Kevin Tickle’s “sublime” cuisine at Andrew Wildsmith’s swish four-year-old hotel: a “delightful” venue, in beautiful Lakeland setting, just outside Grasmere. The “quirky and interesting set of menus” are “well-realised and quite fun as well”, featuring “seasonal food that’s either from the garden, local suppliers or foraged”. It’s not utterly beyond criticism, though. Even fans concede it’s “costly” and criticisms include its “manicured style of cooking (I pity the sous chefs with tweezers)” and service that “leaves you feeling a bit giddy with so much coming and going”.
4. Old Stamp House British, Modern restaurant in Ambleside Church St - LA22
“An outstanding meal showcasing the very best Cumbrian ingredients can offer” is to be found at Ryan Blackburn’s “quirky, small and friendly” operation, which occupies an old cellar with “modern décor” and thick, painted stone walls in the town centre. Choose from the à la carte, or there’s a seven-course tasting menu for £70.
5. Drunken Duck British, Modern restaurant in Ambleside Barngates - LA22
“Idyllic Lake District country pub” – “the food is great too, and surprisingly inventive” at this perennially popular inn on an old Lakeland sheep-driving route, run by owner Steph Barton for 42 years.
6. Fellini's Vegetarian restaurant in Ambleside Church St - LA22
This “buzzing vegetarian restaurant” attached to a cinema features an “interesting menu and high-quality cooking”. “Fairly old-school Italian in feel”, it has been “inventively adapted” to be meat-free and – given its location – is “the perfect pre-film venue”.
7. Zeffirelli’s Vegetarian restaurant in Ambleside Compston Rd - LA22
“Get a movie and dinner deal, which is great value for money” at this veteran veggie and pizza-stop attached to a cinema and jazz bar, “in the heart of the town”. “Meat eaters need not worry, you will be charmed and seduced by the interesting menu” – and the ambience, which is “not hippy or with ‘vibes’”, thankfully, but actually rather “sophisticated”.
10. Oak Bank Hotel British, Modern restaurant in Grasmere Broadgate - LA22
Formerly known as Oak Bank Hotel, this Victorian Lake District hotel boasts The Garden Room restaurant, open from breakfast, for coffee and cakes, Cumbrian tapas and evening meals. It's sibling to the Georgian House hotel in Pimlico.
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