Michelin Star Dining in the Lake District


25th February 2022

The prestigious Michelin guide has been in the news recently, and Cumbria in particular. Not only does the county now have the highest number of Michelin starred restaurants outside London, it also has the most recent recipient of three Michelin stars – L’Enclume in Cartmel.

Which means, if you’re looking for Michelin star dining in the Lake District, you’re actually spoilt for choice. Here’s our roundup of these top eateries and a few snippets taken from the 2022 Michelin Guide. Let’s start with the closest to Birkdale House, HRiSHi.

HRiSHi, Bowness-on-Windermere

Just a short drive from Birkdale House is HRiSHi, located at Gilpin Hotel, where Head Chef Hrishikesh Desai’s aim is to awaken the senses by using flavours and textures to evoke certain memories.

Dishes are precisely prepared, original and very attractively presented – the vegetarian options are packed with flavour and some dishes blend local ingredients with subtle Indian or Asian spicing. 

L’Enclume, Cartmel

Run by Simon Rogan and his partner, Penny Tapsell, L’Enclume is the only 3-star addition to the 2022 Michelin Guide.

The cooking in this lovely old smithy has never stopped evolving and the energy emanating from the kitchen is as palpable as ever. Classic dishes have been reworked and refined, while stunning new dishes have slotted seamlessly into the set menu.

Rogan & Co, Cartmel

Staying in Cartmel, L’Enclume’s laid-back cousin sits in the centre of the village and occupies a pretty cottage beside a stream.

Simon Rogan’s influence is clear to see on the appealing menu, which lists skilfully prepared, understated dishes which make great use of creative ingredient and flavour combinations. His clean, uncomplicated approach keeps the focus firmly on each main ingredient.

The Old Stamp House, Ambleside

The Old Stamp House occupies the cellars of an old house where William Wordsworth used to work as the Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland.

The owners have a passion for all things regional, which is summed up in the name of their tasting menu: ‘A Journey Around Cumbria’. The skilfully prepared dishes have been well-thought-through and carefully balance bold and delicate flavours.

Forest Side, Grasmere

According to the team, “Forest Side is designed to be a reflection of the landscape in which it sits”.

Provenance and sustainability play a major role. Ingredients come from their Victorian kitchen garden and local suppliers, as well as being foraged for by the team and, as such, menus are micro-seasonal. Skilfully prepared, creative dishes are full of vibrant colours, textural contrasts and sublime flavours.

Allium at Askham Hall, Askham, Penrith

Located in the beautiful Eden Valley, Allium’s Head Chef Richard Swale offers a concise menu with two choices at each course.

These accomplished dishes are driven by the seasons and the availability of produce from the Lowther Estate, in which the building sits. The gardener plays an important part in guiding the menu, advising which ingredients are at their peak.

Dog and Gun, Skelton, Penrith

The Dog and Gun Inn is the latest Cumbrian restaurant to be awarded a prestigious Michelin star.

It’s a proper village pub which does what pubs do best, by providing warmth, honesty and food that puts a smile on your face.

Dishes satisfying and recognisable, showcasing local ingredients in pure, understated compositions with plenty of depth, where flavour comes above all else.

The Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite, near Keswick

The Cottage in the Wood really is a cosy little place: in winter sit in the dining room; in summer take in the view over the fells and valley from the conservatory.

Top quality ingredients and classic techniques take the lead, and there is a certain sophistication to the well-balanced flavour pairings – and while skilfully making the dishes look eye-catching, chef Ben Wilkinson manages to avoid over-elaboration.

With a total of ten Michelin stars and some amazing local produce, not to mention so many pubs, bars and restaurants offering amazing culinary experiences, Cumbria truly has become a world-class destination for a gourmet escape. If you would like any further information about Michelin star dining int he Lake District, please contact us.

Photo on left © Steven Barber