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19th January 2022

Our Must-Visit Michelin Star Guide to the Lake District 

Eating out in the Lake District has changed dramatically since the 1970s (when Sharrow Bay first achieved international fame) and the choice is no longer between antiquated tea rooms or watering holes for hungry hikers, although both still exist. Instead, this corner of the country now rivals the culinary reputation of many big cities.

Four restaurants boast Michelin stars (L’Enclume has two) and prised pubs range from gastro to down-to-earth. Throw into the mix a fusion of classic bistros, tapas bars, farm shops and veggie/vegan cafés, and you’ll not go hungry.

Local produce to look out for includes Herdwick lamb, damsons, Cartmel sticky toffee pudding, forest mushrooms, Grasmere gingerbread and the ginormous Cumberland sausage. Oh and the Lakes are also home to dozens of breweries, specialising in craft beers and traditional ales (it even has its own distillery, offering a selection of world-class spirits).

Here, we take a closer look at Cumbria’s most prestigious award-winning eateries in our Michelin Star Guide to the Lake District.


Not only is Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume a holder of two Michelin stars, but it was also named as the best restaurant in Britain for four years in a row by the Good Food Guide. The brasserie itself is housed in a former ironmongers and whilst many of the original features have been retained, Rogan has taken a minimalist approach to the décor.

There are stripped back walls and floors, as well as bare tables, all to ensure that there is nothing to distract the diner from the food experience. Which consists of one of two tasting menus, either the 10-course lunch time only menu or the 20-course lunch/evening menu.

The dishes themselves are a secret until your order is placed, when the waiter will then present you with a sealed envelope that contains details of what each course entails. Some diners prefer to leave the envelope unopened for an extra surprise. Each course is beautifully presented and uses only seasonal ingredients, many of which are grown in Rogan’s own farm.

Rogan & Co, the Square, Cartmel

Rogan & Co is the holder of Simon Rogan’s newest Michelin star and housed in a 16th century building complete with exposed beams, whitewashed walls and a roaring fire (creating a more relaxed and informal atmosphere to that found at sister restaurant L’Enclume). In keeping however, the kitchen makes the most of seasonal produce grown on Rogan’s farm and while a traditional experience, with a standard 3-course menu, the dishes are presented in the same beautiful style.

Forest Side Hotel, Keswick Road, Grasmere

Head Chef at Forest Side, Kevin Tickle, spent nine years working under Simon Rogan at L’Enclume, before moving to his position at the luxury Grasmere Hotel. Rogan’s influence is clear, with the restaurant also offering an exquisite tasting experience that uses the best of local and seasonal ingredients (particularly keen on foraging).

A true Cumbrian born and bred, Tickle spent much of his childhood “collecting elderflower and other ingredients” with his Dad to create wine and before he opened the restaurant at Forest Side, planned months of preparation by scouring the nearby countryside for food to pickle and cure. He continues to ensure that the menu is informed by local produce and claims to be inspired by the Cumbrian landscape (Herdwick lamb certainly one of many stars).

HRiSHi at the Gilpin Hotel, Crook Road, Windermere

HRiSHi at the Gilpin Hotel was first awarded a Michelin star in 2016 and once again the British-Asian restaurant has retained the coveted award. Head Chef, Hrishikesh Desai was born in India and trained/worked in France before moving to Cumbria. His dishes infusing the best of British produce with the exotic spices he grew up with to create a taste explosion (think Morecambe Bass combined with masala, whilst Scottish salmon is served alongside piccalilli and cucumber jelly). Diners can opt for a traditional three course meal, seven course tasting menu or a decadent take on afternoon tea.

When joining us for a stay in one of our Cumbrian cottages, be sure to consult our Michelin Star guide to the Lake District and discover what makes Lakeland’s finest eating establishments worthy of such high praise. 

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