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Food & Drink

The great selection of locally sourced and produced food and drink is just one of the many reasons the Lake District, Cumbria has a reputation as a must-visit destination for food lovers.

Search for places to sample the food and drink on offer throughout the county.


Download your free 2017 Lake District food and drink guide - packed with information on the culinary gems to be found in Cumbria.

This guide is an essential part of your foodie experience, offering a diverse range of food and drink to appeal to all tastes.

Award winning pubs, Michelin starred restaurants and the best in local Cumbrian produce.

Download your free copy now.

The Lake District, Cumbria is fast gaining a reputation as a food lover's must-visit destination. Our locally sourced and produced food and drink are just some of the many things that make this county special. Each area has something to offer you and your appetite.

In Whitehaven, on the Western side of Cumbria, you can learn the rich history of the UK Rum trade. Sample the delights while learning the story.

Grasmere is the home of the famous, handmade gingerbread which is something everyone should try. You may have tried the World famous Kendal Mint Cake but have you tried Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding? A must for anyone that likes sweet treats!

Tired of your average, run of the mill sausages? Why not try a Cumberland Whirl, a local speciality, delicious and true to its traditional recipe. 

With locally brewed ales and locally produced food galore, the Lake District, Cumbria has a wealth of delights to make any foodie happy. Take your taste buds on holiday, go on they deserve it!

Download your free 2018 Lake District food and drink guide - packed with information on the culinary gems to be found in Cumbria.

This guide is an essential part of your foodie experience, offering a diverse range of food and drink to appeal to all tastes.

Award winning pubs, Michelin starred restaurants and the best in local Cumbrian produce.

Download your free copy now.

Search Food & Drink

Where to go for the finest food and drink?

Spoilt for choice? There is so much to choose from when it comes to Food and Drink in the Lake District, Cumbria.

World-class restaurants, Cosy pubs and inns serving hearty homemade food produced using the finest locally-sourced ingredients, and superb cafes and tea rooms, many serving homemade cakes and treats.

Search below and see what's on offer during your visit to Cumbria.


Spotlight on...

The Lakes Cocktails

To celebrate the launch of their mouth-watering flavoured gin and vodka liqueurs, The Lakes Distillery have launched a delicious new bespoke cocktail menu.

The new selection creates science for the senses, offering delectable aperitifs and digestifs for every occasion!

Diners can enjoy a free cocktail every Monday and Tuesday in the Bistro. The cherry on top of a perfect dining experience!

Book now


Choose from the options below to find out about the wealth of Food and Drink available in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Food and Drink Events

In an area so rich with local produce and excellent food, why not take a look at some of our Food and Drink events. Sample the delights on offer, tuck into an afternoon tea or maybe even try your hand at a food smoking course. The breadth and variety of food and drink events in the Lake District, Cumbria is indicative of the quality and variety of food and drink available. Go on - treat yourself!

Award Winning

Award winning
food and drink

This year is shaping up to be a great one for food and drink in Cumbria. Check out these two award winners from the 2017 Cumbria Tourism Awards.

With great local produce and a wealth of choice, Cumbria continues to maintain it's great reputation as a destination for food lovers everywhere.

Food Inspiration

The food and drink available in Cumbria is so good that we have come up with a selection of favourites in association with Kath and Liam Berney of The Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter Forest near Keswick. Some of these local delights you may already know but if there are any on the list that you have not tried before, we recommend you do, you won't be disappointed!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

A classic British desert, attributed to Francis Coulson of Sharrow Bay who originally named it 'icky sticky toffee pudding'. The exact recipe is a highly guarded secret but there have been many versions produced over the years and the simplicity of this popular date pudding with toffee sauce means you don't have to look too hard to find an excellent recipe.

For those who prefer not to make their own, there are some really good sticky toffee puddings available to buy, notably from the Cartmel village shop.

Easter Ledge Pudding

Easter Ledge Pudding

Much like Simon Rogan of L’Enclume (the two Michelin star, five AA Rosette restaurant located in Cartmel), foodie pioneers were keen to ‘tap into the terroir’ of Cumbria by developing recipes that utilised the wild foods of the area. One such dish is Easter Ledge.

The name itself is a term used to describe young wild leaves, mainly dandelion and nettles or bistort. The leaves are boiled and turned into a purée which is then enriched with butter, boiled barley and chopped egg, before being pressed.

This dish is known to have been a particular favourite of the legendary Windermere chef John Tovey, who served a warm slice of Easter Ledge Pudding with lamb roasted in hay.

Windermere Char

The char is a freshwater fish which is almost exclusively found in Windermere, Englands longest lake.
Possibly a result of the ice age, or maybe introduced by Romans, we may never know, but it was legendary chef Bronwen Nixon of Rothay Manor near Windermere who brought it to the menu and is credited with making it a local speciality. She would serve the fish in one of two ways - either simply baked and served with seasonal vegetables, or potted, much like potted shrimps, with the fish fillets cooked, carefully flaked and turned into a paste. Fishing restrictions now protect the stocks of char and its close relative the arctic char and the fish is farmed to a very high standard.

Damson Cheese


Lyth Valley, south east of Windermere is an area of the lake District famed for producing Damsons. Smaller than the ones found elsewhere in the UK, Lyth Valley Damsons are delicious with a distinctive slightly tart flavour and are particularly aromatic.

The Lyth Valley is perfect for growing these delicious little gems. Bronwen Nixon would serve her 'Damson Cheese' with local lamb. Damson chees is the result of cooking 1kg of rinsed damsons slowly in a covered pot until tender, drained and then passed through a sieve to form a purée. 500g of sugar is then added and the mixture is boiled until it leaves the side of the pan. When left to cool, you have delicious damson cheese! Oh, and if you like a tipple, damsons, like sloes also make very good gin!

Herdwick Hogget

Herdwick Hogget

The Herdwick, also known locally as 'herdies' is Cumbria's native sheep and is officially recognised as a world-class breed. You can see then roaming the fells of Cumbria, foraging amongst the wild grass and heathers.The Herdwick is also central to the local cuisine. Sometimes the animals are left to mature to a point that they can no longer clased as lamb, and is instead referred to as hogget, which means a sheep that is aged between one and two years.

Herdwick Hogget is cooked very much like lamb, by roasting a leg or shoulder or grilling a cutlet. If you are visiting The Cottage in the Wood, their 'Taste of Cumbria' menu offers a roasted loin served with a slow-braised breast and crispy nugget of sweetbread.

Spicy Food


The Cumbrian connection with spices happened long before Eastern restaurants came to the UK. In the 1700s, the port of Whitehaven on the West coast of Cumbria was one fo the busiest harbours in the country and accounted for the majority of trade with the Caribbean and Americas, namely sugars and spices.

In addition, immigrant German mine workers brought with them a taste for spicy sausage which contributed to the inspiration for the recipe to the area's famous banger (see below)

Cumberland Sausage

Cumberland Sausage

Taking it's name from Cumberland, one of the original counties that merged to form the current county of Cumbria, the Cumberland Sausage is not just a favourite of the area but across the UK. It has gained a 'Protected Designation of Origin' status, meaning that a true Cumberland Sausage can only come from the area.

A spicy sausage, local butchers have their own interpretations on a theme, but they all have high pork content, and can often be found as a distinctive coil. Delicious served with mash and onion gravy, you can source an outstanding example at RB Woodall in Waberthwaite. Of such a high standard as to hold a royal warrent, they have been producing sausages and curing bacon since 1828.

Grasmere Gingerbread

Grasmere GingerbreadIt was the victorian cook Sarah Nelson who first combined simple ingredients to create the afternoon tea delight that is Grasmere Gingerbread. She sold it from her church cottage home and that is exactly where you can find it now - the Grasmere Gingerbread shop is a must for foodies travelling through the area. This unique delicacy is a cross between biscuit and cake that is faithful to the original recipe, which remains top secret to this day!

Morecambe Bay Shrimps

Potted ShrimpsMorecambe Bay runs around the southern shores of Cumbria and the sands of the bay yield these sweet and succulent tiny brown shrimps. Best prepared simplty by 'potting' them with melted butter and seasoning with cayenne, mace and grated nutmeg before being cooled quickly in a refrigerator. Best served warmed slightly with good brown bread. These little fishy treats are often found as a 'cheffy' garnish in top restaurants.

Cumberland Rum Nicky

Cumberland Rum Nicky

As mentioned earlier, West Cumbria has a long standing connection with the Americas. But sugar and spices were not the only ingredients to come across the water to land in Cumbria. Caribbean rum was quickly adopted by the Cumbrians as part of their culinary identity.

Rum Nicky is a simple dessert comprising shortcrust pastry base with dates and brown sugar which is then elevated to something very special by the addition of dark rum. Again, our friend Bronwen Nixon of Rothay Manor was famed for a particularly fine version of this tasty treat.

The Terrace, Brantwood

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