Things to do: Food & Drink

The Lake District, Cumbria has developed a reputation as one of the UK's finest food destinations. Here you can enjoy food for all occasions, from the most exquisite fine dining experiences in first-class hotels to heavenly home-made traditional English cakes in atmospheric tearooms. 

Cumbrian Food Traditions

holkerfoods.jpgThe history of food in Cumbria has influenced the taste sensations currently available in the county. Whitehaven, on the west coast, was a major trading port in the 18th century, importing exotic spices, rum, fruits and molasses which formed the basis of some Lakeland favourites such as Grasmere Gingerbread, Cumberland Rum Nicky and Cumberland sausage. Cumbria is now rightly famous for excellent local produce, offering the visitor a delicious array of food and drink to enjoy, ranging from locally brewed ales and damson gin to fell-bred Herdwick lamb, locally made cheeses such as Kendal Creamy and award-winning jams and chutneys from Hawkshead Relish. If you have a sweet tooth, you can enjoy mouth-watering treats including Kendal Mint Cake, Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, Penrith Fudge and ice cream from farms throughout the Lake District.

Local produce is celebrated at a number of food festivals throughout the year and at all our agricultural shows. Come along to Damson Day in April, held in the Lyth Valley near Windermere - visit the orchards where the damsons are grown, enjoy music and Lakeland craft stalls and discover how the damson is used in a wide variety of food and drink from jam and chutney to beer, wine and gin.

Animals raised in our stunning landscapes and fruit and vegetables grown in our valleys give us the wealth of fascinating foodstuffs that is the authentic taste of Cumbria and you won't find better food anywhere else in England. Welcome to the Taste District!

Afternoon Tea

teatable.jpgThe Lake District is the place for delicious home-made cakes and puddings of all kinds, from chocolate cake to apple pie and crumble and, of course, Sticky Toffee Pudding. The Hazelmere Tearoom in the Edwardian seaside resort of Grange-over-Sands has been awarded Best Afternoon Tea by the Tea Guild and offers a traditional selection of cakes and scones along with the best teas from around the world.  You can eat and shop at Chesters By The River in Ambleside, famous for its cakes and its designer gift shop, or visit Cartmel Village Shop to taste the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding and buy speciality foods. Lakeland in Windermere offers a creative and contemporary approach to food along with an opportunity to shop for world-famous kitchenware. Low Sizergh Barn, near Kendal, is an organic dairy farm selling foodstuffs and crafts in a 17th century barn - you can watch the cows being milked whilst enjoying a delicious afternoon tea.

For afternoon tea with stunning views, you have come to the right place!  The terrace at Blackwell, the Arts & Crafts House, overlooking Lake Windermere, must be one of the loveliest places in England to enjoy morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea and there is a glorious view of Coniston Water from Jumping Jenny, the tearoom at Ruskin's House, Brantwood. Experience traditional English luxury and service at hotels such as Storrs Hall and Lindeth Howe at Windermere and the world-famous afternoon tea and romantic view at Sharrow Bay Hotel on the shore of Ullswater.


You will be spoilt for choice with pubs in every town and village, many serving beer from their own or local micro-breweries. Visit Hawkshead Brewery in Mill Yard, Staveley, adjacent to an artisan bakery and a cookery school. The Drunken Duck at Ambleside, Masons Arms at Strawberry Bank, near Windermere and Strickland Arms, near Sizergh Castle are well-known local pubs. The Tower Bank Arms in Sawrey is a traditional 17th century Lakeland inn which appears in many Beatrix Potter tales. Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth offers guided tours, a beer shop and tearoom.

Find out more about food & drink in South Lakeland here... (information in English)

For news on Cumbria's Taste District, find out more here... and download a Guide to Food & Drink here... (information in English)

Food & Drink Establishments:

All | Beer | Cafe | Celebrity Chef | Cookery School | Damson Gin | English Afternoon Teas | Food Historian | Ice-cream | Public House | Restaurant | Shop


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