Mr Memoirs of an Amateur Cook and I visited the Lake District a few years ago for Mr MAC’s birthday. Being October, the weather was cold and a bit dreary but we still had a lovely time and managed to take in a lot of the local sights.
One of my favourite finds on the trip was the village of Cartmel which was only a 10 minute or so drive from where we were staying on the outskirts of Grange-over-Sands. Cartmel is a medieval village in the heart of South Lakeland which features beautiful scenery, a Priory and one of the UKs most unusual racecourses as well as lots of foodie delights in the shape of shops, pubs, restaurants and even a Michelin Star restaurant, L’Enclume (a must for next time we visit I think!!).
On the Sunday during our visit, we decided to have a roast lunch at the Pig and Whistle in Cartmel. Although fairly traditional, the food there really was excellent. This pub, as well as L’Enclume, is owned by Simon Rogan. From memory, I believe we both had lamb which was not at all fatty and every element of the dinner was packed with flavour. One course was £8.95 so very good value for such a good quality Sunday lunch. As we were in Cartmel, home of the Sticky Toffee Pudding, I really couldn’t resist having a dessert of the same. It was wonderful and although my first taste of sticky toffee pudding, it lived up to expectations and I have the feeling that all other versions will now pale in comparison!!
After lunch we had a wander around the village, looking in the various foodie and gift shops as well as stopping for a drink at The Cavendish Arms. Of course, I could not resist a visit to the Cartmel Village Shop, who sell delicious sticky toffee puddings as well as many other foodie treats. In fact, the puddings made here are sold all across the county and are even stocked in some shops local to me in Northamptonshire.
Another place well worth a visit when in the Lake District is Holker Hall, the Cavendish family home. We only paid a fleeting visit here and unfortunately, as we hadn’t done our research, the Hall was closed the day we were there so we kept ourself happy with the food hall, shop and tea room. The food hall stocked a lot of local produce including meat from the estate. Whilst in the tea room, I sampled possibly the best scone and jam I have ever tasted in my life. Unfortunately, it was a little pricey but well worth it. My only regret is that I didn’t buy some of the Holker jam that was sold in the food hall!!
For our last night in the Lake District, which was in fact Neil’s birthday, we stayed at Dene House in Windermere. I cannot recommend this B&B enough; not only were we extremely well looked after, the B&B is fantastically located, stylish and very reasonable.
Although the weather was utterly rubbish, we still had a lovely day going out on the lake and enjoying browsing the shops in Windermere. That evening, we went to Postilion Restaurant for dinner. My boyfriend found this place on-line and we booked prior to our visit. When we walked past during the day, we weren’t that impressed with how the place looked and were wondering whether to go elsewhere. We were so glad that we didn’t as the meal at Postilion was one of the best we both had eaten in some time. The menu has changed a bit since we were there last year but we both had ‘Three Little Pigs’ – Chorizo wrapped Cumberland sausage, on a bed of mushy pea, bacon and Lancashire cheese mashed potato served with a creamy tomato sauce (Mr MAC as a starter and me as a main course). The dish really was fantastic and the meal was very reasonable; I would highly recommend a visit if you are ever in Windermere.
I hope you enjoyed some of my recollections about the Lake District, there are some really fantastic foodie places to visit and tons of tons of farm shops stocking luscious local produce.