A Delicious 2015 for The Dining Room in Grasmere

Onwards and upwards for Oak Bank Hotel and The Dining Room in Grasmere

Oak Bank has always been renowned for its food with Jay Rayner of The Observer giving it’s restaurant The Dining Room the royal critic’s thumbs up back in 2013. Since then it’s been what can only be described as a truly exiting journey for owner Simon Wood and his team.


restaurant hotel grasmere

The wood pigeon, even some damson gin making and the duck dish, all on the menu now at The Dining Room

The Dining Room also retained its 2 AA Rosette for the seventh year running, yet another plate for the collection, as well as featuring again in the Good Hotel Guide and the Good Food Guide.

It’ a great time to visit The Dining Room in these autumn and winter months. The seasonal produce is some of the best of the whole year with game featuring highly including a delicious starter of wood pigeon, celeriac, poached brambles and granola also a fabulous Holker venison dish. Even more of a reason is the special 8 course Tasting Menu offer of just £99 for 2 people. The offer is valid from November 1st 2015 until February 4th 2016 (excluding Twixmas and New Year), quote ‘Good Food’ at the time of booking.

For further details of The Dining Room and Oak Bank Hotel in Grasmere, visit http://www.lakedistricthotel.co.uk.


Enjoy an apple a day this English apple season

Apples, the staple of any fruit bowl, a fixture of many a lunch box and the topic of one of the most well known sayings “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.

It’s an exciting time for these green and/or red fruity treats, well for us UK residents anyway. It’s now the English apple season and we’ve got the pleasure of enjoying the biggest ever crop, a mighty 160,000 tonnes – the highest for 20 years. From Red Discovery to Russets, Braeburns to Bramleys, call us bias but British apples really are something special. The season coming nicely after the soft fruits have finished for the year but in perfect synergy with free fruit heaven, the blackberry.

english variety apples

Red Discovery and Bramley English Apples

Apples are so versatile and span every possible food course. There’s condiments and chutney’s, an apple fresh as part of a starter salad or with parsnips in a soup. For mains then a tart bramley is a fab partner to mackerel or as the ultimate accompaniment to pork. But puds are where the apple is most associated and from apple sorbet to crumbles, pies, roulades, the list is endless.

At Tebay Services, in the farm shops and hotel, their strong ethos of seasonal produce of course means apples feature highly. The farm shops have seasonal pies containing them as well as English apples to buy fresh. The hotel has delicious dishes using apples on their restaurant menu such as herb baked apples with a local rare breed pork chop.

All guests staying at the Tebay Services Hotel off the M6 motorway Cumbria receive a 10% off voucher for use at the Tebay Farm Shops so not only can they have an apple packed evening meal but they can also stock up on English apples to take home.

By Cumbria Food Blog

Celebrate British Lamb Week with the Brimstone & Langdale Hotels

What could be better than starting off September in the Lake District and Cumbria celebrating British Lamb Week? This region, the home of some of the very best British lamb and arguably the most famous producing and rearing region in the whole of the UK. From fells, to pasture to miles of coastal farmland, taste is the key and it is why chefs up and down the country can’t get enough of this quintessentially Cumbrian product.

British lamb is even winning in most of the supermarkets now too over it’s an antipodean cousin New Zealand. Yes, New Zealand lamb is good but British lamb is right on our doorsteps and supporting British farmers is the key too, and well, let’s not even start on food miles.

Supporters for years of local produce the Langdale and Brimstone Hotels on the Langdale Estate, continue their appreciation of the quality of Cumbrian lamb along with many other of the first class food products coming out of the region now. Lamb can always be found on the menu in one way or another in the four restaurants on the estate.

lake district restaurants

Lake District and Cumbrian lamb at Langdale & Brimstone Hotels

At present enjoy BBQ’d marinated lamb cutlets at The Terrace Restaurant every Thursday during the summer on BBQ night (marinated in garlic, olive oil, herbs) or perhaps Cumbria’s version of salt marsh lamb from Morecambe Bay in the 2 AA rosette Purdey’s restaurant (roast saddle of lamb, sausage farce, braised baby gem, chantenay carrots, fondant potato, rosemary jus). Head over for a post fell walk version at Wainwright’s Inn in the form of their famous lamb shoulder (with mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables and minted red wine sauce). It really is and it’s delicious confirmed by being on the menu 365 days a year.

Lamb is so tasty and versatile and so evocative of the Lake District. What better way to support Lake District and Cumbrian farmers and the field to fork ethos.

Great tip
Guests at Brimstone, the new boutique hotel on the Langdale Estate can take advantage of the Host service. They’ll make a table reservation in any one of the restaurants for you. Visit http://brimstonehotel.co.uk for more details.

Delicious Cartmel makes the foodie grade once again

It doesn’t seem there’s an end to Cartmel, the unofficial foodie capital of Cumbria, being included in best foodie destinations in the national press. The latest is the Delicious Magazine Top 17 Must Visit Foodie Hot Spots in the UK.

The lists gives a brief roundup of the location as well as the key place to dine. It will then of course come as no surprise that L’Enclume is the tipped destination of choice. But Cartmel is far from just this 2 Michelin star restaurant, a complete village foodie revolution has taken over.

cartmel shops

It could be said it all started nearly 25 years ago though when the first sticky toffee pudding was made by the Village Store and Post Office. From there the now world famous Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding was born gaining an audience across the globe. It can be found in shops and delis up and down the country and world along with other delicious and traditional British puddings.

Producers and high quality supplies can also be found within Unsworth’s Yard. This small yet highly picturesque yard close to Cartmel Priory is home to Unsworth’s Brewery where there is a tasting room, the Red Pepper & HOT Wines shop, The Bread Shed bakery and the award winning Cartmel Cheeses. In fact Cartmel Cheeses have recently been included in the FT’s 5 best cheese mongers in the UK.

cartmel holiday cottage

Relax and unwind in a luxury cottage in Cartmel

Visitors to Cartmel will also find a choice of really good pubs, proper pubs with real ale and real food. Dogs are welcome in all and the village as a whole is extremely dog friendly as well as the surrounding countryside for walks.

For somewhere to stay amongst the foodie frenzy The Lakeland Cottage Company have a large selection of luxury self catering cottages in Cartmel and the surrounding area. https://www.lakeland-cottage-company.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.

Celebrate gin o clock in the Lake District on Saturday 13th June

It’s officially World Gin Day on Saturday 13th June. Not that anyone even needs a reason for cheeky gin and tonic but it should be an absolute must on Saturday if you love this botanical tipple. The gin renaissance is well and truly happening right now with the UK offering some of the best in the world, the biggest choice and to, arguably, the most discerning of gin quaffer.

The Lake District surely has to be confirmed as the gin county of Northern England. There are now some national award winning gins being distilled in the Lake District and Cumbria, receiving rave reviews and being stocked and drunk as far as the capital. It makes sense, the Lake District has some of the purest water in the UK, filtered through slate and rocks for millions of years producing the ideal and cleanest water for making spirits such as gin.

windermere hotel

Gin o’cock on the terrace at Applegarth Villa Windermere

For anyone visiting the county then trying one of these Lake District gins is a must. Each have distinctly difference flavour notes meaning all should be sampled (!!!). Choose between Bedrock, Lakes Distillery and Langton’s

After enjoying World Whisky Day earlier in May, Applegarth Villa Hotel & Restaurant in Windermere will now be looking forward the celebrating gin. The terrace looking out across the park and the fells beyond is the ideal location for sipping gin and the weather forecast looks to be rising to this auspicious occasion. Bedrock Gin is highly sort after by guests at Applegarth Villa and still only available to purchase in a select number of outlet, has kept the exclusivity of this artisan beverage. Bedrock Gin has citrus notes, is different to any other gin with the addition of Cumbrian oak bark and goes exceptionally well with basil and lime.

Luxury and Ultimate Luxury room available for gin o’clock weekend from £250 per room per night based on 2 sharing including breakfast. Call 015394 43206 or online via http://www.lakesapplegarth.co.uk

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

Chefs from across Cumbria celebrate the mighty sausage this weekend

When the Tebay Services Hotel say they support and showcase the whole of the Cumbrian county not just the east where the hotel is based when it comes to food they really mean it.

Crossing from the far eastern edge of the county to one of the far western locations, Kevin Hillyer, Head Chef of the hotel will be travelling to Muncaster Castle this weekend May 2nd until the 4th for the Cumbria Life Sausage Festival. Kevin will be showcasing his talents through demonstrations along with another chef within the Westmorland Family, Peter Sidwell (TV chef and judge on ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, author, Executive Chef at Rheged and cookery school owner) also Jason Birkbeck who starred on Great British Menu and Head Chef of the Highwayman Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale and Muncaster’s very own Jon Fell.

food festival cumbria

Chefs and sausages at the Cumbria Life Sausage Festival this weekend

Sausages as so highly regarded now and feature on just about every bar, inn and restaurant menu throughout Cumbria. Appreciation and expectation of high quality sausages is a given now and luckily Cumbria, the home of the highly regarded and holder of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status Cumberland sausage, know a little bit about a beyond tasty banger.

Sausages either on the bar menu, main restaurant menu and at breakfast time feature highly on the menu at the Tebay Services Hotel. Traditional Sausage & Mash, sausage used as a stuffing for a Chicken Roulade and of course, what full breakfast couldn’t be without a Cumberland sausage when staying in a hotel in Cumbria? It only goes to show how revered the quality is with the regular Twitter and Facebook posts by guests of the hotel for the breakfast at the hotel and the nationally recognised and renowned Cumberland sausage bun available at Tebay Services.

So look out for Kevin Hillyer and the delights he’ll be cooking up along with his Westmorland Family colleague Peter Sidwell, both flying the flag for not just the East of the county but the whole of it.

Full details of the Cumbria Life Sausage Festival can be found here.

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

Social starters in a very social setting in the Lake District

Spring has sprung and so has the new spring menu at the Cuckoo Brow Inn at Far Sawrey. This highly social and welcoming, traditional Lake District inn has some equally as social starters on the new menu. We’re talking dipping, crunching and no doubt dripping and most definitely full on tasty.

Firstly Mixed Bean Chilli Dipping Pot which comes with corn crisps, melted cheddar and sour cream
& chives. Secondly, Smoked Lancashire Cheese Dipping Pot and in light of the UK being named the cheese capital of the world recently, an even bigger reason to enjoy. This dipping pot comes with crusty pouchon bread, carrot, celery & cucumber sticks. The there’s Spicy Sweet Potatoes with tomato and chilli salsa and garlic aioli dipping sauces. Finally for the 100% bread lover there’s a selection of artisan breads with olive oil and balsamic to dip.

lake district bed & breakfast

Come straight off the fells to super tasty food at the Cuckoo Brow Inn

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 one of each of the starters to share, what could be better. You’ll absolutely love how they are presented in little pots on boards. 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!

And you may not have even noticed, all the above is vegetarian and gluten free or except the artisan breads, can be gluten free on request. 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 Barnsley Chop or the Cumbrian Ham.

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 http://www.cuckobrow.co.uk.