A Chef’s Guide to the Lake District
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A Chef’s Guide to the Lake District

The top Cumbrian foodie hotspots, according to local chef Tom Barnes

After a long day exploring the picturesque landscapes of The Lakes, you’ll no doubt have worked up an appetite – and luckily there are an abundance of great restaurants to refuel at. Cumbria has it all: Michelin-starred restaurants, cosy pubs and charming cafes – all of which make the most of the area’s abundant natural larder. Here local chef Tom Barnes, executive chef of the Simon Rogan umbrella, picks out his favourite restaurants in the Lake District.

A Chef’s Guide to the Lake District

Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes

After earning his stripes at various Michelin-starred restaurants across the UK, chef Tom Barnes returned to his home in the Lake District to join Simon Rogan’s team at L’Enclume. He quickly climbed the ranks, becoming head chef in 2013 – the year the restaurant won its second Michelin star. Keen to gain some more experience cooking overseas, he left The Lakes in 2017 to work at three-Michelin starred Restaurant Geranium, which was recently named the best restaurant in the world. A year later, though, Tom returned to UK shores – this time heading to another of Simon’s restaurants, Rogan & Co. He now stands as executive chef of all Simon’s restaurants and operations in the North West. 

L'Enclume

L’Enclume

Places To Eat in the Lake District: Tom’s Pick

Drunken Duck Inn, Ambleside

This is a beautiful, cosy pub in the heart of the Lake District, serving beautiful food and amazing beers. It’s the perfect place to visit after a long walk through the beautiful, scenic country. drunkenduckinn.co.uk

Base Pizza, Bowness

Amazing woodfired, sourdough pizzas served in Bowness. There’s no booking required and the pizzas are delicious – a great way to end a day exploring Bowness, home of the Beatrix Potter museum. basepizzapalace.co.uk

Old Stamp House, Ambleside 

Chef Ryan Blackburn’s Michelin star restaurant offers outstanding, tasty dishes in a beautiful setting. The restaurant is housed in a former office of William Wordsworth, and the food and service always make for a memorable evening. oldstamphouse.com

Alium Restaurant, Askham Hall

Incredible dishes cooked by chef Richard Swale using local, seasonal produce, served in a stunning hotel restaurant. The restaurant was recently awarded its fourth AA Rosette, showing its culinary excellence – a must visit if you’re in the area. askhamhall.co.uk

Chesters By The River, Ambleside

This bakery/café serves up incredibly tasty vegetarian food. It’s a very popular location due to the stunning food and incredible location, but if you can’t sit down there’s always a takeaway option! chestersbytheriver.co.uk

Main image: Getty Images

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