Food festival in the South Lakes this April not to be Missed

With a full and extremely packed weekend of all things food going on throughout the South Lakes town of Kendal, a day trip is not going to be enough at the Taste Kirkby Lonsdale Food Festival.

Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th of April 2019 will see various premises and the main Market Square lined with stalls and demonstrations celebrating all that is amazing about produce in and around this very foodie region. After ever increasing excellent reviews and attendance figures year on year, the 2019 festival is set to be the biggest and best yet.

The two day festival will have 30 stands to peruse being made up of food to purchase and take home but also a plethora of hot and cold food and snacks to devour whilst walking around. Hot food will come in the form of Cumbrian produce traditionally cooked through to Cumbrian produce with international flavours such as Thai and Mexican.

kirkby lonsdale food festival

Being the school Easter holidays, Children are well catered for too and not just in terms of food. Lots of children’s activities including an Easter egg hunt are planned and Rainbow Jelly for the little ones.

Finally, head to the Lunesdall Hall for chef demonstrations and expert chat and presentations. Kirkby Lonsdale and the South Lakes isn’t just about produce, the area now has some extremely exciting and innovative chefs. Look out for Oli Martin of Hipping Hall and Masterchef The Professional finalist and also Ben Wilkinson of Cottage in the Wood near Keswick.

With so much to see and do and to really make the most of this event, why not book to stay over in or around the Kirkby Lonsdale or Kendal area that weekend. The Riverside Hotel in Kendal is easy to get to from the North East, Scotland or South and the town itself has lots to see and do also as well as being just 20 minutes from Kirkby Lonsdale.

Open 10am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday. Remember to bring lots of bags you’ll need them for all the goodies!

Spring and Sprung at one Lake District Inn

Spring has sprung and so has the new spring menu at the Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey. This highly inviting, social and welcoming, traditional Lake District inn has some equally as inviting dishes on the new menu with seasonality being number one.

Being one of the best places to stop after a long fell walk, if there’s a group of you too to take advantage of ordering a choice of the light bites to share, what could be better. All that is required is a pint of real ale or a glass of wine and the recovery process will take no time at all!

The new menu has lots of vegetarian and gluten free choices even with gluten free artisan breads. Great to have such options now and a little less meat isn’t going to do us any harm and there is no shortage of meaty mains like the Cumbrian Ham and Lakeland lamb rump.

Free Range Chicken Wild Garlic, Sweet Corn & Noodle Broth. Served with their famous English Beetroot Sour Dough Bread

The Windermere Ferry is closed for essential repairs at the moment, coming back into service during the summer. Windermere Lake Cruises are providing a special service so visitors can get from one side of Lake Windermere to the other. But there are buses as well as the road and Cuckoo Brow Inn can be accessed from the south of the lake and the north. On the western edge of Lake Windermere where the inn is near there are lots of things to do and explore such as Wray Castle, for example, Hawkshead and Far Sawrey. Both are in easy reach of Cuckoo Brow and it is just a 5 minute walk to Beatrix Potters Hill Top.

You can hop over the lake to the Cuckoo Brow Inn or there’s easy access from Newby Bridge, Hawkshead and Coniston. They also have 14 Lake District bed & breakfast bedrooms too. Ring 015394 43425 for more information or visit https://www.cuckobrow.co.uk

Taste Cumbria in Ulverston this Spring Bank Holiday

The second Taste Cumbria Food Festival of 2018 is set to take place on Spring Bank Holiday weekend in the market town of Ulverston.

This award winning food festival organiser’s first festival of 2018 was in Kirkby Lonsdale in April, an inaugural event for one of the most foodie and fabulous towns in Cumbria. As in previous years, it brought thousands of people to attend along with many of the counties best food producers and suppliers.

Now looking to the second festival and the town is the lovely market town in the centre of the Furness peninsula, Ulverston. This will be the fifth year the town has hosted the festival which has most definitely grown year on year. The area around Ulverston is so fertile with food brands, producers and suppliers and allows visitors from Barrow and West Cumbria as well as South Lakeland to easily access delicious food.

taste cumbria ulverston festival

Food and beverage businesses spanning the whole industry will be exhibiting, selling and demonstrating at the festival. You’ll find everything from cheeses to breads, chutneys to meat, food to take home and food to eat whilst walking around. Local produce will also be in the form of international dishes and food that always proves popular at these festivals. There will also be homewares too but everything with a distinct and delicious culinary theme.

As a festival is aimed at people of all ages and is a real family weekend of fun. Many visitors go on the first day only to go back the next too as there is so much to see, do, buy, oh and of course, eat! Free to attend, it’s a must date for the Spring Bank Holiday weekend which reports look as showing to be a dry, sunny one. For more information on the festival visit, http://tastecumbria.com/taste-events/taste-cumbria-ulverston/

Being a Bank Holiday weekend and with the thousands of festival visitors, booking accommodation is advised to do as soon as possible. Newby bridge is an excellent location for making a base for ease of travel to and from the M6, to Ulverston. The Newby Bridge Hotel overlooks Lake Windermere giving visitors the best of all that is to offer in this special place on the border of Furness and South Lakeland. Book online via their website for the best deals and a voucher to spend during the stay. https://www.newbybridgehotel.co.uk/

Cumbrian Cocktails on new Cockermouth Bar Menu

Not only has Fredericks Lounge Bar & Restaurant in Cockermouth been recently taken over under new management but the place is thriving and with lots of new food and drinks news to report too.

The latest is the new cocktail menu. Only just launched and receiving rave reviews from new customers and regulars alike it features traditional favourites and ones with a modern and local twist. In an area where spirits are produced and gaining a national reputation for their quality, it’s not been a hardship including these into the new cocktail menu at Fredericks, in fact the local gins and vodkas are some of the most popular drinks loved by customers. Look out for the Class Cumbrian Cosmopolitan – A hot pink, pleasantly sharp cocktail served in the iconic martini glass. Lemon vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, cranberry juice, a twist of orange and the Espresso Martini using A blend of Lake District produced Standing Stones Vodka, Licor 43 and espresso shot. A very modern drink based on an old classic, with a clean clear delivery of vodka, rich creamy flavours and a touch of delicious bitterness.

fredericks cockermouth restaurant

Fredericks is definitely the place for cocktails in Cockermouth and the Western Lake District. To book a table for lunch, dinner, peruse the cocktail, wine and food menus visit https://frederickscockermouth.co.uk/

May is a truly delicious month for foodies

stove restaurant langdale

We’ve just said goodbye to British Sandwich Week and National Vegetarian Week but May keeps on giving with foodie celebrations. May 22nd until the 28th is completely and utterly summer with British Tomato Week.
British tomatoes are what we’ve all been waiting for over the long winter. Anything in its real season is going to be the best but we all love our salads in the UK and tomatoes are always included. How versatile are tomatoes, extremely. Cooked, fresh, pureed and they are staple ingredients in all of our favourite cuisines, Indian, Italian and Great British.

Stove Restaurant at the Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Lake District always cooks seasonally and tomatoes are no exception at this time of the year. For breakfast then their famous Breakfast Pizza is a must and the rosy red plum tomatoes are delicious as they go slightly charred on the edges from the fierce wood fired oven. Head into lunch and the Tomato & Mozzarella Panini is delicious and light. Into the evening and starter heaven is in the form of the now ever so popular Heritage Tomatoes with Basil marinated shallots and goats cheese bonbons. A great choice for a main course is the Pan Fried Salmon where guests are transported to Provence with cherry tomatoes, sauteed potatoes, green beans and olive tapenade.

And let’s not forget tomatoes also feature in one of the most famous cocktails ever, and which is seeing a resurgence also, the Bloody Mary. The Stove Bloody Mary is just that little bit different using Chase Smoked Vodka along with the usual tomato juice, tabasco & Worcestershire sauce.

So look to celebrating the early summer and even better if you can get to the Langdale Hotel or just the Stove Restaurant this week, relax in what is looking like stunning weather and celebrate British Tomato Week. For more information visit http://www.langdale.co.uk

Onion rings as big as hands seen at Lake District inn!

I have to say, I’m personally not a fan of taking photos of the meals I eat when I go out. The main reason being I don’t want to break off from the enjoyment of devouring the dish and also my photographic skills in often dimly (atmospheric obviously) rooms never does the food justice.

If you looked purely at the images taken by most of the reviewers on Tripadvisor, I’d bet you’d go to hardly any of the restaurants anywhere in the country, Michelin or take away. But it is what people love doing now and Tripadvisor along with all the social media platforms are swarming with pics taken mid meal.

But this one I stumbled upon is just brilliant from a review left last month………

lake district inns
My kind of onion rings at the Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey

You’ve got to give it to the person who left a review with accompanying images, the lighting is very good but the composition, fantastic. The said onion rings and chips are from the Cuckoo Brow Inn & B&B at Far Sawrey and from personal experience I can confirm, this image has not been photoshopped in any way, they really are gigantuous. This is not a criticism in anyway, when it comes to onion rings, providing they are homemade and crisp like these, big is beautiful. I would recommend them as a side order to any dish, even if you’re just going for a sandwich.

It is worth booking a table at the Cuckoo Brow Inn if you’re wanting to eat in the evening to avoid missing out on these onion rings. Visit http://www.cuckobrow.co.uk for the menu, contact and location info.

Be upstanding for British Sandwich Week

I know sandwiches are made and served the world over but sandwiches are properly British and did even originate here. More so, they are really very quintessentially British don’t you think? I’m talking a proper sandwich made up of a filling between 2 slices of bread, not on a ciabatta, sub or baguette, actual sliced bread.

If you think to so many times during your lives when a sandwich has featured like at parties on cold buffet tables, the first day of school packed lunch, school trips, home cooked ham sandwiches sat in the car on a wet Bank Holiday Monday (that is from personal experience can’ you tell!), that magic butty when you’ve got to the top of one of the Lake District fells……

The humble sandwich is now available elevated to enormous heights. The choice on offer on nearly every street is quite something with just about every cuisine included and catered for. The sandwich industry in the UK alone is worth 2.6 billion rising each year which just goes to show this once underrated, second class bite is now a major player in the food and drink market.

lake district afternoon tea
Not a crust in sight on a Hobson’s @ Langdale Afternoon Tea!

I doubt anyone has ever been against the practicality of a sandwich, how it can be eaten on the go and so widely available but the mundane fillings were what made people fall out of favour with them. I love cheese but bland, mild cheddar on cardboard white bread is not a cheese butty. Get some farmhouse cheddar on a nice granary or wholemeal sliced loaf with a good pickle and that is a cheese sandwich. Keeping it simple yet with good quality ingredients is what I class as a good sandwich. To make everyone even more hungry whilst reading this how about thick, dry cured bacon on a white bloomer with lashing of red/brown sauce or really good free range egg mayo and cress or the exceptionally traditionally British coronation chicken?

If you’re looking for some good butties in the Lake District then head to the Langdale Estate. Choose between great post walk baguettes and sandwiches with bread from Lovingly Artisan in Staveley at Wainwright’s Inn or for a bit of decadence go to Hobson’s Bar at the Langdale Hotel for afternoon tea. There you can get your coronation chicken fix along with free range egg & cress but also with caviar as well as smoked salmon (and of course homemade cakes galore!). Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk for more details.

By Cumbria Food Blog

Wainwright’s at Langdale is a smoking…..cold inn!

Yes BBQ’d food is about the way the flames char and caramelise the outside of the food and the excitement of cooking outside but the smoked flavour is the third and final piece of the delicious jigsaw and kind of like the addictive part of the BBQ food taste. Just think, that readymade BBQ sauce available in the shops, it is “smokey” in taste.

But the smoke food revolution has gone well beyond just that of smoking meat. On many of today’s menus you’ll find smoke salt, smoked cheese and smoked olives even. There are two ways to smoke, hot and cold. Hot smoking you’ll not be surprised to hear cooks the food stuff so it can be eaten after the smoking process such as the smoked chicken found in delis and hot smoked salmon. They can of course be reheated and included in hot dishes but can be eaten cold too.

cold smoker wainwrights inn langdale
The cold smoker in situ at Wainwright’s

Cold smoking is definitely the form that is most popular amongst chefs and foodies. It is cold smoking that has really pushed on the smoked food revolution with it enabling such a broad range of food to be smoked. Cold smoking can be very well controlled so as to not over power the product as well as enabling controlled cooking of the food for example, cold smoke a beef steak and still be able to cook it to the diners liking.

Wainwright’s Inn at Langdale is the latest eatery in the Lake District to get a cold smoker. The smoker will sit amongst the stunning scenery of the Langdale Valley in the beer garden and will allow the chefs to smoke all manner of meat, cheese or maybe they may even have a go at smoking beer! The popularity of their sliders made up of pulled pork and beef brisket created for them by Pappy’s Texas BBQ has made the Wainwright’s chef aware of how much their guests have taken to this tasty way of flavouring food. Visit http://www.langdale.co.uk/wainwrights-inn.html for more details.

By Cumbria Food Blog

Full Cumbrian Breakfast Week

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so not just the saying goes but which is actually confirmed by nutritionists and health care professionals. As it is National Breakfast Week this week, it seems appropriate to talk about and champion this meal.

There are various facts you may not know about breakfast, here’s a few to get you started (all obtained from the official Breakfast Week website):

“Breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking and a healthy breakfast should provide calories in the range of 20-35% of your GDA”
“Breakfast also restores glucose levels, an essential carbohydrate that is needed for the brain to function”
“Eating breakfast can improve memory and concentration levels and it can also make us happier as it can improve mood and lower stress levels.”

cumbrian breakfast
A Cumbrian breakfast, arguably the finest of them all…..

Breakfast is also a very important meal within the tourism industry. It doesn’t matter what type of serviced accommodation you stay in, breakfast is something to look forward to, most often a treat and different from what is eaten at home and something that is very often scrutinised and talked about. Breakfast can be make or break as to whether a place is returned to. All too often, 5 star accommodation is let down by a 1 star breakfast.

When it comes to a B&B, breakfast becomes even more important for this is the only meal served. With owners of this type of accommodation realising the importance of a good choice of offerings and as important, if not even more so, the quality of the ingredients used.

Cumbria, home of farming and the majestic Cumberland sausage and place of great expectations regarding breakfast. It has to be said, there’s a very slim chance nowadays of receiving a substandard breakfast in even the lowest graded B&B’s in Cumbria.

Bay Villa, a luxury and bespoke bed & breakfast in Grange over Sands is approaching its first birthday and has gained much recognition amongst its guests for the quality of the breakfasts. The best, local produce is used and Grange is home to some 5 star produce and suppliers including Higginson’s Butchers and Grange Bakery, the organic, artisan bakery just around the corner from Bay Villa.

What also sets Bay Villa above and apart from many other serviced accommodation premises is their Slow Life ethos that filters through into meaning breakfast can be eaten at whatever time the guest likes. Breakfast is served in the spacious bedrooms each having a proper table and chairs so the view over Morecambe Bay can be taken in at the same time as coffee. Guests reviewing the B&B in Tripadvisor constantly mention the quality of this meal and the generosity of it. Rooms at Bay Villa start at £110 per room per night B&B based on 2 sharing.

 

National Curry Week 13th – 19th October

This week is National Curry Week and despite the announcement last month that roast dinners had stolen the top spot in the Britain’s favourite dish survey from chicken tikka masala, it’s rain as number 1 dish for over a decade speaks volume as to the love us Brit’s have for a curry.

Our taste for a curry has most definitely changed over the years though and it appears we can take it a little hotter these days with the jalfrezi voted at Britain’s number 1 curry. The popularity no doubt comes from the freshness of a jalfrezi which uses onions, peppers and tomatoes with plenty of fresh green chillies and the classic Indian spices of ground coriander, cumin and turmeric. The sauce and the spices lend themselves very well not just chicken but also fish, seafood and vegetables.

national curry week
With meat dishes featuring so highly on Indian restaurant menus in the United Kingdom, it’s easy to forget this is done for our taste as 40% of India is vegetarian. For none meat or fish eaters, the Indian cuisine is far and away the best way to eat for flavour as well as for health benefits with so many of the dishes being packed full of fresh vegetables and high protein lentils and pulses. Even for meat and fish eaters, meat free days aren’t a bad idea every once in a while. Take for example a hearty chickpea and squash curry, seasonal in autumn and put it in front of a meat eater and it’s highly unlikely there will be any protest, in fact, the lack of meat probably won’t even be noted.

vegetarian curry
A vegetable and paneer jalfrezi (photo BBC)

So combine the popularity of curry in Britain with the lack of flavourful vegetarian offerings especially in pubs, surely a tasty homemade vegetable curry is a great dish to grace any pub menu? These two factors have been picked up on by Wainwright’s Inn on the Langdale Estate where a vegetable curry o f the day can be ordered. The curry changes daily, hence the name of course, and comes with braised rice, mango chutney and a poppadom.

But back to National Curry Week and what better time as the night’s draw in and the temperatures drop to keep warm and feel invigorated with the tastes and smells of Indian cuisine. And it is so easy to add a bit of spice to this week such as a lunchtime soup, add some garam masala to a stew one night, create a full Indian banquet over the weekend or let someone else do the cooking and stop in at Wainwright’s Inn after a walk and be revived by their vegetable curry of the day.

By Cumbria Food Blog