Cumbria is a county with a stellar foodie reputation. It holds the highest number of Michelin stars in the UK outside of London! Cumbria has stretched its lead even further recently. Two new stars (for Heft and Pentonbridge Inn) bring the total number of Michelin Star Restaurants Cumbria offers to an impressive 13! Read on for our round-up of all the must-visit Michelin Starred Restaurants Cumbria and what makes them special.
A Michelin newcomer, the restaurant was awarded its first star in early 2023. Heft is a warm and welcoming fine-dining pub, set in the small village of High Newton. A quiet village, High Newton is nestled between Newton Fell and the esteemed eating destination that is Cartmel.
Locally born-and-bred Co-Owners Kevin and Nicola, Head Chef and Front of House, respectively, ensure a focus on the best local produce. Their set menus (4 courses for lunch and 10 for dinner) are delivered with innovation, style and restraint in their gorgeously refurbished 17th-century inn.
Lunch and Dinner Set Menus are served Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a two-course lunch with sides is offered all day on Sundays.
Heft Inn + Restaurant, High Newton, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6JH
Awarded its first Michelin star back in 2015, Simon Rogan’s first venture quickly climbed the rungs, earning its third star in 2022. L’Enclume has also earned a Michelin Green star for its eco-conscious approach.
Having truly put Cumbria on the map as a foodie destination of national renown, Rogan has continued to grow his empire through Cumbria and beyond. A local focus means nurturing local talent as well as sourcing the best products of local provenance. Many of the herbs, vegetables and fruits on the menu are grown at his innovative Cartmel-based Farm.
Rogan’s pioneering approach has led to menus that feature seasonally-changing ingredients, ensuring, as Rogan himself puts it, a ‘truly traceable dining experience reflecting my farm-to-table philosophy’.
The Tasting Menu is available for both lunch and dinner, Tuesday – Saturday.
L’Enclume, Cavendish Street, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6QA
Rogan & Co
Another feature for Simon Rogan, Rogan & Co began life as L’Enclume’s relaxed, affordable and approachable sister. Quickly stepping up to earn a Michelin star in its own right, Rogan & Co today offers dishes both traditional and more unusual. Rogan maintains a commitment to the best local and seasonal produce here too.
Whilst L’Enclume is very much a one-off, special occasion dining experience, Rogan offers a more informal atmosphere. It nevertheless retains all the Rogan style, charm, and talent (many of Rogan’s chefs work across both Rogan venues).
The set menu invites guests to choose three courses from the seasonal menu. Your meal will then be served alongside a snack to begin, a pre-dessert, and petit-fours at the end.
The Set Menu is available for both lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday.
Rogan & Co, Devonshire House, Devonshire Square, Cartmel, Grange-over-Sands LA11 6QD.
SOURCE at the Gilpin Hotel
Formerly home to Michelin-awarded restaurant HRiSHi, the luxurious Gilpin Hotel has recently changed-up its foodie offering to coincide with the arrival of new Head Chef Ollie Bridgwater (previously of Blumenthal’s Fat Duck), in 2023.
Impressively, Ollie retained the Gilpin’s star, only two months after instating a completely new restaurant concept there.
Diners are treated to refined, exciting dishes which focus on the most beautiful and seasonal local produce. They are reduced right down to clean, precise, and distinctive flavours, full of the most exquisite detail. This is all served up by an engaging and friendly Front of House team.
Diners choose between tasting menus of either 3 or 6 courses, and a fully plant-based alternative is available. Served every evening.
Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NE
Nestled in the hillside overlooking the internationally-renowned beauty that is Lake Windermere, The Samling sits inside the five-star hotel of the same name.
Glory in spectacular views over this expansive lake here, whilst dining. The Samling blends modern prowess with a more classic approach to fine dining. Dishes are generous and hearty, as Head Chef Robby Jenks curates and refines a menu to showcase purity of flavour. He does this by focussing-in on the profile of each dish’s core ingredients.
Sourcing the best locally and from across the UK, Robby’s seasonally-responsive menu reflects the grandeur and refined simplicity of the surrounding landscape.
A 4 course Set Menu is available for lunch, Thursday to Saturday. The Tasting Menu is served every evening.
The Samling, Ambleside Road, Windermere LA23 1LR
Old Stamp House
This tiny 28-cover restaurant is split into two rooms. Both are low-ceilinged, quirky spaces that used to be the offices of William Wordsworth. The famous poet worked as Westmorland Distributor of Stamps from these rooms.
Old Stamp House was opened by brothers Craig and Ryan Blackburn back in 2014. The pair (occupying the roles of Head Chef and Front of House respectively) aim to showcase a glimpse into their Cumbrian heritage. The menu is filled with stories – some historic, some personal to Ryan or Craig – and such jump-off points imbue dishes with inspiration.
Bold flavours are delicately, intelligently balanced across a menu shaped by the area’s food heritage, its people, and its rich cultural heritage. They earnt their star for the first time in 2019.
The Tasting Menus are available at Lunch and Dinner. the former is a shorter version of the latter (but featuring some of the same dishes). Lunch is available Thursday to Saturday, and dinner Wednesday to Saturday.
The Old Stamp House, Church Street, Ambleside LA22 0BU
Allium at Askham Hall
This fine dining restaurant with rooms is shaped by the surrounding gardens and fields. Each season is keenly anticipated for its produce, here, whether used now or preserved for the future. “Whether they have been pickled, dried, salted or left to rest in the ground”, they state, “preserving techniques all add a rich variety in flavour to the same ingredient”.
Askham’s Grade I-listed 14th century peel (or pele) tower passed into the hands of Caroline, Countess of Lonsdale. Her children Charles Lowther and Marie-Louisa Raeburn turned it into a boutique hotel and restaurant. The cosy sitting room, with roaring fire, is a great spot in which to enjoy canapés, before heading through to the country kitchen-inspired dining space, with views onto the garden. Enjoy an impressive wine list courtesy of the estate’s cellars and enthusiastic pair sommelier Josh and Maitre D’ Nico.
Locally-born Head Chef Richard offers two choices at each course; refined takes on the season’s bounty and the organic produce the estate itself can provide. The menu is guided somewhat by the gardener, who advises when the fruits of their labours are at their peak. They also enjoy the estate’s game, livestock, and trout.
Chef Richard’s eight-course tasting menu is available to both residents and non-residents, Tuesday to Sunday.
Allium at Askham Hall, Askham, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2PF
You’ll find warmth and a contemporary feel inside Forest Side hotel & restaurant – set in a quintessentially Lake District-style mansion shrouded in glowering, substantial grey stone.
Hunkered into the hill just up from charming Grasmere, Forest Side is a great place in which to take in all that the surrounding landscape has to offer, from fell walking to exploring Grasmere to lake pursuits.
The modern restaurant space features stylish choices which anchor it in this place. There is a huge glass-topped sommelier’s table, crafted from a tree from the grounds which was brought down by storms. The light and airy space looks out over the terrace and then gardens beyond. Through the dappled trees, you might just glimpse the nodding heads of surrounding Lakeland Fells.
They focus their menu on the freshest, locally-sourced produce, supplemented with ingredients from their own Victorian kitchen garden. Their exclusive wine list is fine-tuned to pair perfectly with their dishes and features interesting small, organic, and bio-dynamic wine producers you’re unlikely to have discovered elsewhere.
Dog & Gun
The Dog & Gun brings all the charm and approachability of a cosy, local pub. Chef and Co-Owner Ben Queen-Fryer works hard to create a menu of food to put a smile on your face.
This food isn’t over-intellectualised, but more from the heart – despite being carefully crafted, knowingly understated, and meticulously refined.
Local ingredients are key; you will find the suppliers listed by name on the menu. Traditional options abound, such as their prized venison suet pudding, as well as chips and soufflés.
This is super-relaxed dining, where flavour comes first.
Ben’s three-course menu and the longer Taster menu are available in the evenings Tuesday to Saturday.
Dog & Gun, Skelton, Penrith CA11 9SE
The Cottage in the Wood
This hidden gem is remotely situated up Whinlatter Pass, deep in the Lakes. Perched 1000-feet up in Whinlatter Forest, this black and white inn, offering accommodation and food, couldn’t be more enticing after a day in the remote Lakes.
Some Nordic influences shine through in Head Chef Sam Miller’s modern cooking. He utilises all that is available from the Cumbrian produce that surrounds the restaurant, too. This cosy, intimate locale is super-special. When night falls, a canopy of stars gleams overhead, as you hunker down by candlelight.
Both lunch and dinner menus are set tasting menus, available Wednesday to Saturday.
The Cottage in the Wood, Magic Hill, Braithwaite, Keswick CA12 5TW
This newly-starred 18th-century inn restaurant on the Scottish Borders has been a labour of love for Head Chef Chris Archer. A smart, contemporary renovation has created welcoming interiors, complementing a menu that focuses on the essence of the ingredients at the heart of a dish. Dishes utilise well-conceived combinations of flavour and texture, and forego any twee or excessive flourishes. This amounts to a quietly luxurious, gracious, and enjoyable dining experience.
Using the best in Cumbrian and Scottish ingredients, alongside the best produce grown in the nearby walled gardens of Netherby Hall, the eight-course tasting menu showcases a unique style of British cuisine; refined and elegant.
Dinner is served Wednesday to Saturday, whilst Lunch is available on Fridays and Saturdays.
Pentonbridge Inn, Penton, Carlisle, Cumbria CA6 5QB