Bilbo's Cafe in Ambleside

Cheapside is a small lane tucked away behind the Market Hall in Ambleside. It is not the first place you would look for a café given how many are readily available in the heart of the town. But those who do not chance upon Cheapside are missing out!

Bilbo’s Café is a completely unpretentious and very chilled out café serving a selection of creative homely food. Most popular are the mammoth breakfasts or the breakfast baps – a huge floury bap stuffed full of fried eggs, bacon, sausage – whatever you fancy really. There is a daily special which could be anything from an amazing chickpea dhal to a summery pasta salad.

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One the front counter there is an array of rustic, homemade cakes, bakes and biscuits. On my last visit two mammoth scones and two pints of tea set me back just £6.50! I particularly like the fact the butter packs are not rationed and you can take as many as you need, unlike most cafes. 

The pint mugs of tea make my soul sing after a long walk. The convivial atmosphere is just right for enjoying the good honest grub, the local artwork on the walls and the eclectic background music.

There is plenty of seating on comfy sofas, bench seats and tables with a decent selection of climbing, running and walking magazines to peruse. The great thing (one of the great things anyway) about Bilbo’s is that you can quite easily find yourself chatting to the cyclists on the sofa about the right type of piston seals for your disc brakes or the climber on the next table who will tell you about the new E6 at Hodge Close.

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Bilbo’s is dog friendly even on a wet rainy day and there is a large jar of dog treats to keep them happy. The staff never batted an eyelid when Cooper made himself comfy on the unique carpeted bay window seat.

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