A Chef’s Guide To The Northern Lake District

By Ellie Smith

1 month ago

Foodie picks from local culinary duo Jack and Beth Bond


The Lake District is renowned for its picturesque landscapes – but it’s equally famous for its impressive food scene. Top Michelin-starred establishments sit alongside cosy countryside pubs and neighborhood cafes, all cooking up a storm with the area’s bountiful natural larder. Here, we’re focusing on the northern part of the region, which encompasses places like the market towns of Keswick and Cockermouth, and the peaceful area of Bassenthwaite. We’ve enlisted local foodie duo, husband-and-wife team Jack and Beth Bond, who head up one of Cumbria’s most idyllic mountain retreats, The Cottage in the Wood in Whinlatter Forest, to share their local picks. They share their recommendations for the best restaurants in the Northern Lake District.

Jack and Beth Bond

Located 1000ft above the village of Braithwaite, restaurant-with-rooms The Cottage in the Wood offers a unique dining experience, with unrivalled views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick. It’s helmed by Jack and Beth Bond, who took over recently from previous owners Kath and Liam Berney. Jack is head chef, focusing on locally sourced produce including wild foods from the forests and hedgerows surrounding the kitchen, while Beth is the venue’s general manager and head sommelier. 

Where To Eat In The Northern Lake District

Jack and Beth Bond

Dog & Gun, Skelton

Cosy pub feel but with Michelin-starred food. Ben Queen-Fryer does an awesome job of producing a high-quality menu without being pretentious. And who doesn’t want to start and finish their meal with a souffle? 

Skelton, Penrith CA11 9SE, dogandgunskelton.co.uk

Moon & Sixpence, Cockermouth

For coffee in Cockermouth, the Moon & Sixpence is my favourite. They use local roasters, Carvetii, as we do – and go the extra mile by mineralising their water for the perfect brew.

29 Main St, Cockermouth CA13 9LE

The Round, Keswick

For a great burger, the Round in Keswick is my top choice, they also have a good choice of sides and awesome cocktails.

21 Main St, Keswick CA12 5BL, cometotheround.co.uk

Crafty Baa, Keswick

I could easily spend a whole day in Craft Baa, sampling each of the craft beers they have and soaking in the vibes.

13 Bank St, Keswick CA12 5JY, thecraftybaa.com

Food at Cottage in the Wood

The Cottage in the Wood

The Bitter End, Cockermouth

The Bitter End is a great pub in Cockermouth. It does nice, home cooked food and has a very good quiz on a Tuesday which is taken seriously by the locals.

15 Kirkgate, Cockermouth CA13 9PJ, bitterend.co.uk

The Kirkstile Inn, Cockermouth

Another pub, this one is half between Loweswater and Crummock Water, which makes it perfect for a post swim pint.

Loweswater, Cockermouth CA13 0RU, kirkstile.com

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite

We’re very lucky to have a world class whiskey distillery on our doorstep. We recently took our team on a tour which was great, and we got to sample their whiskeys, gins and vodkas. They also have a restaurant on site which does an awesome roast. 

Cockermouth CA13 9SJ, lakesdistillery.com

Jaspers, Braithwaite

Our local coffee shop in Braithwaite, which is super popular with cyclists, is usually my first pit stop of the day for a flat white and a sausage sandwich.

Beech Croft, Braithwaite, Keswick CA12 5TH, jasperscoffeehouse.com

Toast, Windermere

A bit further south, but definitely worth the journey. Toast in Windermere specialises in Japanese milk bread toasties stuffed to the brim with fillings. My favourite is the kimcheese or the BLT.

10 Main Rd, Windermere LA23 1DY