Here are the Top 5 restaurants in Cumbria, as voted for by our panel of Top 100 judges, taking into account our own review scores and other guidebook scores, plus any rosettes, stars, plates, forks and all that stuff…
1 Book Now Cumbria Modern British
One of the UK’s best restaurants. Executive chef Simon Rogan’s simple, imaginative restaurant typically exceeds its formidable reputation, serving florid takes on foraged ingredients and food sourced from the restaurant’s own 12-acre farm. After more than 15 years in the kitchen and a number of changes of direction, the menu, cooked by head chef Paul Burgalières, is a showcase for Rogan’s iconic style. Lunch and dinner menus which include anything from 8 to 16 courses waltz with the seasons.
13 Book Now Cumbria Modern British
This Michelin-starred restaurant and hotel, owned by Lakes hotelier Andrew Wildsmith, is built on the foundations of the cooking of former L’Enclume forager, Kevin Tickle. New head chef, Paul Leonard took over the stove in late 2019. The menu is, undoubtedly, “inspired by the Cumbrian landscape”, but there’s plenty more going on here, with aspects of Scandi and Californian chic creeping into the tasting and lunch menus. While adventurous meat eaters are very well catered for, vegetarians are certainly not left out. In fact, ‘garden shenanigans’ are a theme as lovage, anise hyssop, woodruff, lemon verbena all typically feature along with wild garlic capers, elderflower and coastal greens.
18 Book Now Cumbria European
A wild-maned toddler of a restaurant, bound for great things. Lake Road Kitchen is an exciting place to eat. The baby of former Samling chef, James Cross, is one of the leading lights in the Lakes foraging trend, serving mostly food grown in Cumbria, as well as aged retired Dairy Holstein txuleta (steak). A whole cauliflower, steeped in pine and goat butter is one of Cross’s signature dishes. Meaty mains draw on a winter palate that could include vension (Holker Estate fallow deer), Norweigan salmon, arctic cloudberries and black winter truffles. Desserts could include baked sweet woodruff custard and sour cherry crumble. Wines from the Northern European region could include white Furmint, Slovenian varietals and British sparklers.
Book Now Cumbria Modern British
Delightful lodge and fine dining restaurant oozing exclusivity. A favourite of Hollywood celebs (like Tom Cruise), it’s easy to see why this charming, collection of restored farm cottages is thriving; recent additions include restaurant and kitchen complex alongside the main house complete with glass-fronted dining room overlooking Lake Windermere.
29 Book Now Cumbria Modern British
Home cooking with Rogan elements in cosy surrounds. Simon Rogan is the owner of award-laden L’Enclume (currently number one in the Top 100) and this is his more casual restaurant, just around the corner in the medieval village of Cartmel. Head chef was Kevin Tickle, who has since won a star at Forest Side (Grasmere, also in the Top 100) so the stakes are high for new head chef, Gerald Van Der Walt, who comes to Cartmel from The Greenhouse and Le Quartier Francais in South Africa. However his menu sees region’s finest ingredients served with confidence, in true Rogan style. Typical dishes include confit leek with a soft poached egg, nasturtium, mackerel parfait or venison with beetroot and chicory from Rogan’s farm. There’s local pork and regional hispi cabbage combined with kale and pickled walnut, while picture perfect puds could include Tonka bean ice cream with miso butterscotch, caramelised caramel tart (not a typo), and a local cheeseboard. Wood and oat shades, blackened beams and sturdy furniture complete the cosy picture. The restaurant currently holds 3 Rosettes in the AA Guide.