A guide to Cumbria

A guide to Cumbria's Michelin-starred restaurants

Sarah 09 January 2021

Cumbria and the Lake District is a foodie paradise! From cosy pubs to high-end restaurants and from local treats to world cuisine, there really is a range to suit everyone. There are an incredible seven Michelin Star restaurants in the Lake District with Cumbria being the county with the most Stars in the UK. Read on to find out more about these restaurants with updated information as of 21st January 2022.

What is a Michelin Star?

Originally created in France to encourage more motorists to take to the road by offering useful information for drivers, the Michelin Guide only began awarding stars for fine-dining establishments in the 1920s. It’s now the go-to guide for the best restaurants in the whole of the UK, offering from one to three stars to restaurants across the country. Cumbria is proud to be home to seven of those, and here they are.

Image by L'Enclume

L’Enclume, Cartmel

L’Enclume in Cartmel is perhaps the best of the Michelin Star restaurants in Cumbria, as it’s the only one to receive three Michelin Stars. It also boasts five AA rosettes and the title of number one restaurant in the UK, as awarded by The Good Food Guide 2020. Much of the food comes from its own farm, which you can even take a tour around. Praised for its excellent service, beautifully prepared meals, and all-round incredible experience, this is fine dining at its best!

Michelin Rating: 3 stars

Head chef: Paul Burgalières

What’s special: See where the produce is from with farm tours, understated elegance, multi-award-winning chef

Image by Askham Hall

Allium, Askham

The family-owned Askham estate near Penrith is beautiful in and of itself, and Allium adds to the joy of the place. With a menu that follows the seasonal food produced by the estate, you can expect the fresh taste of the gardens, fields and woodland from your meal. Their unique identity lies in the dairy ingredients included in all their menus, which reflects the history and provenance of the region.

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Richard Swale

What’s special: Fresh produce from the estate, set in a beautiful house and garden, family-run

The Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter

The Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter

Deep inside Whinlatter Forest is The Cottage in the Wood, a restaurant celebrating local Cumbrian food in a unique way. Led by head chef Ben Wilkinson, the restaurant specialises in seasonal produce and offers an ever-changing menu of exquisite local flavours. Combine that with its tranquil setting, forest and mountain views, and even the occasional red squirrel visiting the surrounding gardens, and you have yourself a truly special experience!

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Ben Wilkinson

What’s special: Forest setting, mountain views, local produce

The Forest Side, Grasmere

The Forest Side, Grasmere

Offering the option of a four-course or an eight-course meal, the food at The Forest Side is inspired by the stunning mountain scenery surrounding Grasmere. Many of their ingredients are foraged from the local area by a dedicated team of experts, so you can be really sure of the freshest of food! When they’re not finding delicious ingredients in the wild, they’ll be picking the best from their kitchen garden, or working with local suppliers.

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Paul Leonard

What’s special: Foraged food from the local area, stunning mountain scenery

Head chef Hrishikesh, image by Gilpin Hotel

HRiSHi, Bowness-on-Windermere

HRiSHi is the main restaurant at The Gilpin in Bowness-on-Windermere. Alongside its Michelin star, it has been awarded four AA rosettes, and head chef Hrishikesh Desai is himself a multi-award winner. His own love for his work and food creations comes out in the delicious flavours in every meal at this wonderful restaurant. From the atmosphere to the food, HRiSHi is a family-run business that offers only the highest quality!

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Hrishikesh Desai

What’s special: Family-run, relaxed atmosphere, Asian food

Image by Phil Rigby Photography

Old Stamp House, Ambleside

Drawing inspiration from every element of Cumbria – the people, the mountains, the coast, the history – The Old Stamp House sits in a quiet, partially hidden spot in Ambleside. It’s particularly proud of its seafood, with produce from the Solway Coast and the harbours of Maryport and Whitehaven. These relatively unknown parts of Cumbria are stocked with delicious crab, fish and other seafood!

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Ryan Blackburn

What’s special: Seafood, quiet semi-hidden location, cosy atmosphere

Image by Rogan & Co

Rogan & Co, Cartmel

There are two Michelin Star restaurants in Cartmel - which also lots of other wonderful eateries - and both are headed by Simon Rogan. It says a lot about the award-winning chef and his fabulous food. Described as a ‘relaxed neighbourhood restaurant’, Rogan & Co is more like a cosy Michelin Star pub than a fine dining restaurant. It means that you get the best food in a peaceful, relaxed atmosphere that makes any dining experience an absolute pleasure.

Michelin rating: 1 star

Head chef: Liam Fitzpatrick

What’s special: Relaxed atmosphere, knowledgeable staff, village location

Whether you’re heading out for a special occasion, are ticking off some Michelin restaurants from your list, or just want a treat while you’re on holiday, hopefully you’ve been inspired by the amazing foodie offerings in the Lake District and that you enjoy your fine dining experience at one of these incredible restaurants. You can read our further guides on eating out in the Lake District for more foodie inspiration.

Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in the Lake District

Before you set off on your gastronomic holiday, take a look at our range of self-catering holiday cottages throughout the Lake District. Find the perfect holiday property to provide the right backdrop for your Lake District adventure, whether you plan to go boating, hiking or mountain climbing. 

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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