Star Quality

Michelin Star Restaurants in the Lake District and Cumbria

Discovering Michelin Star restaurants throughout Cumbria

Looking for something a little more down-to-earth? Check out our guides to restaurants in Windermere, Grasmere or Keswick.

Explore the beauty of the Lake District through its Michelin star restaurants

There’s a lot more to the Cumbrian larder these days than the good old Cumberland sausage and sticky toffee pudding – delectable as they both are!

Yep, our little old county is now home to more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the country outside London, and we’re rightly proud of that fact.

Now, we do like our food here at Lakeland Retreats, so we thought we’d introduce you to all thirteen Michelin-starred restaurants in Cumbria to help you plan your own fine dining treat next time you’re up in the Lakes.

The Old Stamp House, Ambleside. One of Cumbria’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

The Old Stamp House

Serving food inspired by Cumbria – its heritage, people and landscape, is the ethos of The Old Stamp House. Run by Cumbrian brothers Ryan (chef) and Craig (manager) Blackburn, their 28-cover restaurant has built an enviable reputation since it opened in 2014.

Not only is their exciting menu influenced by the rugged Cumbrian landscape, but it also draws heavily upon the county’s rich seafaring past and its use of imported spices such as pepper, mace, rum and ginger.

Located in William Wordsworth’s former office – from his time as the Westmorland Distributor of Stamps – the cosy, welcoming restaurant with its whitewashed walls and stone-flagged floors is designed to be a showcase for Ryan’s cooking and a celebration of the farmers who supply his meat, the fishermen who catch his fish, and the local artisan producers whose ingredients elevate his dishes to Michelin-star standard. It’s no wonder The Old Stamp House was judged the best restaurant in the world in 2021.

The Old Stamp House website >

015394 32775

The Old Stamp House
Church Street
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0BU

Map >

Source at Gilpin, Bowness-on-Windermere. One of Cumbria’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Source at Gilpin

With three and six-course tasting menus to choose from, attentive but not intrusive service, and the wonderful setting of the Gilpin Hotel to enjoy it in, when it comes to a sophisticated culinary treat, Source has it all.

Like most of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Cumbria, Source is all about local and sustainable. Local suppliers, seasonal ingredients and exceptional cooking that gets the best out of them.

Working with a local organic farm to take a nose-to-tail, low-food mile, pesticide-free, no-waste approach, the team at Source, under head chef, Ollie Bridgewater (formerly of the celebrated Fat Duck) are cooking up a Cumbrian storm.

Source website >

+44 (0)15394 88818

Crook Road
Windermere
LA23 3NF

Map >

Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite, Near Keswick. One of Cumbria’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Cottage in the Wood

A warm welcome, friendly service, creative cooking that makes the rich Cumbrian larder sing, plus a magical location (on Magic Hill, appropriately) high up in the Whinlatter Forest, all serve to make a visit to the Cottage in the Wood a unique and memorable experience.

Chef Sam Miller’s inventive seasonal tasting menus draw from the land and the sea – Herdwick Hogget and venison from the surrounding fells, fish and shellfish from Cumbria’s west coast harbours, and foraged wild food from the woods and fields.

This is sophisticated modern cooking, with Nordic influences from Sam’s time cooking in Scandinavia, presented to delight the eyes as well as the taste buds.

Cottage in the Wood website

017687 78409

Magic Hill
Whinlatter Forest
Braithwaite
Near Keswick
Cumbria
CA12 5TW

Map >

The Samling, Ambleside

Stand-out cooking, outstanding lake views, and a 600-strong wine list (one of the world’s best, according to those who know about these things), including over forty champagnes, when it comes to treating yourself to fine dining in The Lake District, The Samling is hard to beat.

Using ingredients from their own greenhouse, garden and woodland wherever possible, along with the very best produce, meat and fish available locally or from further afield, the tasting menus at The Samling draw upon chef Robby Jenks’ passion for working with the seasons to create dishes that will thrill your taste buds with memorable flavours.

If you really feel like splashing out, take in the Chef’s Table experience, which includes a specially designed menu and a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchen.

The Samling website >

015394 31922

Ambleside Road
Windermere
Cumbria
LA23 1LR

Map >

Forest Side, Grasmere. Michelin-Starred Restaurant in Cumbria

The Forest Side

Housed in a striking gothic mansion, The Forest Side can rightly call itself one of the best restaurants in Cumbria. And it makes excellent use of the Lake District’s natural bounty too, with more than 80% of its fruit, vegetables (over 100 varieties are grown) and herbs coming from the on-site kitchen garden, while its first-rate meat is sourced from local farms.

Combining interesting and unusual flavours in his creative tasting menus, chef Paul Leonard’s recipes are rooted in the Cumbrian countryside (the kitchen team often go foraging for ingredients together) and will take your taste buds on a culinary journey they won’t forget in a hurry.

The Forest Side website >

015394 35250

The Forest Side Hotel Keswick Road
Grasmere
Cumbria
LA22 9RN

Map >

Lake Road Kitchen

Head chef James Cross is no stranger to Michelin-starred restaurants. He’s worked at no fewer than three 3-starred establishments, including a stint at Noma – which may explain the cosy Nordic vibes at the intimate Lake Road Kitchen, which has wooden planks on the walls and sheepskin-covered chairs.

And now he’s earned a Michelin star for his own food, which has been described as offering “Remarkable combinations of taste and texture…”

We think it’s fair to say the Lake Road Kitchen is a pretty special place – with a price tag to match, mind you. But what a treat for the senses the 5, 8 and 12 course tasting menus are. Creative, complex, bursting with flavour, and with influences from around the world, this is top-drawer cooking that will linger long in the memory.

Lake Road Kitchen website >

015394 22012

Lake Road Kitchen
Sussex House
Lake Road
Ambleside
Cumbria
LA22 0AD

Map >

L’Enclume

The only restaurant in the north of England to hold three Michelin stars, and one of only eight in the country, L’Enclume in Cartmel is the jewel in Cumbria’s culinary crown.

Opened by Simon Rogan in 2002, its constantly evolving creative menus take inspiration from the changing of the seasons, with many of the vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers used in the recipes grown on the restaurant’s own farm in the Cartmel Valley. You can even take in a tour of the farm too when you book your table.

Located by the riverside in a former 13th-century blacksmith workshop, L’Enclume offers fine dining at its best (with a price tag to match, we have to say), with Simon and his team’s passion for homegrown, seasonal ingredients and local produce apparent in the incredible 20-course tasting menus that have left many a restaurant critic weeping with joy.

L’Enclume website >

015395 36362

Cavendish Street
Cartmel
Cumbria
LA11 6QA

Map >

Rogan & Co.

To have one Michelin-starred restaurant is quite something – but to have two in the same little medieval Cumbrian village is nothing short of miraculous. So hats off to Simon Rogan and his neighbourhood restaurant, Rogan & Co. 

Just around the corner from L’Enclume, Simon’s 3-star flagship, in a 14th-century building by the River Eea in Cartmel, Rogan & Co offers skilfully prepared, seasonal dishes with locally sourced ingredients wherever possible, many from Simon’s own nearby farm.

On offer to make your taste buds dance with delight is a set, fixed-price menu of three courses with snacks to start, a pre-dessert, and petit fours to finish. Hungry yet?

Rogan & Co website >

015395 35917

Devonshire Square
Cartmel
Cumbria
LA11 6QD

Map >

Heft, Newton-in-Cartmel. One of Cumbria’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Heft

Cumbrian-born Kevin Tickle is the man behind the stove at Heft. Along with his wife, Nicola, whose family have farmed the fells since the 1600s, they have transformed a 17th-century inn into a welcomingly rustic restaurant and bar serving modern British food that draws upon their extensive knowledge of the landscape and uses locally reared and farmed produce as much as possible.

Offering a regularly changing tasting menu at lunch and dinner, along with a bar serving snacks and seasonal small plates if you don’t fancy a full meal.

Book on a Sunday and you can also expect something that’s a cut above your usual Sunday roast.

Heft website >

Newton in Cartmel
Grange over Sands
Cumbria
LA11 6JH

Map >

Allium at Askham Hall, Penrith, one of Cumbria’s Michelin-Starred Restaurants

Allium at Askham Hall

Despite its grand surroundings in a 14th-century Pele tower on the Lowther Estate, Allium at Askham Hall is an unpretentious, welcoming, country-style restaurant with charming service and a wine list to die for.

Featuring a regularly changing tasting menu, inspired by the seasons and the abundant produce grown on the hard-working estate, most of the meat and fish, including deer from the woods and trout from the streams, comes from the estate too.

Cumbrian-born, Richard Swale, is the main man at the stove, ably supported by his skilful and knowledgeable team, where the gardener has as much say on what vegetables and herbs are at their best for the menu as Richard does. Exceptional cooking doesn’t get much more rooted in the local than this.

Allium website >

01931 712350

Askham
Penrith
Cumbria
CA10 2PF

Map >

Dog and Gun Inn

You won’t find any airs and graces on show at the Dog and Gun. Welcoming, dog-friendly, and family-owned. With exposed beams, a roaring fire and furniture that doesn’t match, it’s just what a proper pub should be. But then there’s the food.

Chef and owner, Ben Queen-Fryer has quietly built a renowned reputation for satisfying dishes that showcase local ingredients at their best. Those in the know swear by the twice-baked torpenhow cheese souffle.

Finally, with prices that won’t have you have you crying into your very good local pint (unlike a lot of Michelin-starred places), there are no frills here – just beautifully cooked food that is several cuts above what you would normally expect to find in a sleepy village pub – and it’s all the better for it.

Cumbrian-born food critic, Grace Dent, loves it. And if it’s good enough for Grace…

Dog and Gun website >

017684 84301

Skelton
Penrith
CA11 9SE

Map >

Pentonbridge Inn, Penton: Michelin-Starred Restaurant in Cumbria

Pentonbridge Inn, Penton

Head to this former coaching inn close to the English-Scottish border and you’ll find some of the best cooking in the county, served in a relaxed and unstuffy way.

What’s more, Pentonbridge Inn offers a menu that changes with the seasons, and uses the best local produce – much of it grown at nearby Netherby Hall, the inn’s proximity to Scotland also means it has easy access to some of the finest fish and shellfish available.

Under chef Chris Archer, The Pentonbridge Inn’s modern British cuisine attracted the attention of the bods from the Michelin Guide, who were won over by his well-judged combinations of flavours and textures, and we think you will be too.

The Pentonbridge Inn website >

012285 86636

Pentonbridge Inn
Penton
Carlisle
Cumbria
CA6 5QB

Map >

Cedar Tree Restaurant

Set within Farlam Hall, an elegant country house hotel tucked away in the Cumbrian countryside not far from Hadrian’s Wall, the Cedar Tree restaurant is where you can find Hrishikesh Desai calling the culinary shots.

Previously a winner of a Michelin star at his restaurant at the Gilpin Hotel, he’s worked his magic and done it again in his first year at the Cedar Tree.

Hrishi crafts seasonal menus using the best local and regional ingredients, many of which come from the hotel’s own kitchen garden, with a sprinkle of inspiration from his Indian heritage. We give you exhibit A: Aglionby Longhorn Beef Tandoori ‘Wellington’ – which is a tandoori-spiced marinated beef fillet wrapped in classic mushroom duxelles, with potato cream, seasonal garden vegetables, and a tandoori jus. Lovely.

Cedar Tree website >

016977 46234

Farlam Hall
Hallbankgate
Brampton
CA8 2NG

Map >

But where will you stay while touring Cumbria’s Michelin-starred restaurants?

Well, if that hasn’t made you hungry and ready to book a table, then we don’t know what will. But you’re going to need somewhere to stay too. Luckily, we’ve got you covered – from Ambleside to Keswick, Grasmere to Windermere, and Cartmel to Rydal, there’s a Lakeland Retreats property that’s just right for you. Bon appetit!

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