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It’s not just the twinkling dark skies that are lighting up the Lake District this winter. This year three Lakes restaurants gained Michelin star status to bring the total to a glowing seven and includes the ‘number one restaurant in the UK’. Groundbreaking, creative and extraordinary – come and taste the stars.

L’Enclume, Cartmel, £59-155 and Henrock, Linthwaite

The only restaurant in the Lake District to hold two Michelin stars as well as being awarded the accolade of ‘number one restaurant in the UK’, by The Good Food Guide 2020.  Excellent is an understatement for the endless tasting plates that come out of this experimental kitchen, under the watchful eye of Simon Rogan. There’s no limit to the wizardry delivered by the most famous development kitchen in the Lake District, all from simple ingredients grown in their local Our Farm or foraged from Lakeland countryside. The place to treat a loved one with one of the most memorable dining experiences in the UK.

For a taste of Cumbria, also visit Henrock – Rogan’s latest culinary venture, opened just this summer so no stars … yet. Henrock is centrally located in Bowness-on-Windermere at Linthwaite House and follows the same passion for local produce and foraging as l’Enclume. The menu again, designed around ingredients from Our Farm. However, as this new eatery chases the stars, expect a global twist, with creative techniques picked up from around the world. This is one to visit before anyone else. You heard it from us first.

Rogan & Co, Cartmel, £29-45

Just down the road in Cartmel from L’Enclume, a more casual approach to excellent food and dining gives this Rogan restaurant a bright one-star Michelin status. Expect a more traditional menu that suits the unique style of Rogan & Co, where diners choose from starters, mains and desserts as they cosy up next to an open fire. Here you can order meals that deliver ‘familiar’ tastes such as duck, fish, chicken or lentils and artichoke perhaps as a vegetarian option, but the plates are pretty as can be, adorned with edible flowers and with ingredients stripped back to their core elements. This is a great introduction to newbies to Michelin dining.

HRiSHi, Bowness-on-Windermere, £70-90

It’s the Lake District’s rich spice trade heritage that gives this one-star Michelin restaurant a global glow. The current menu is inspired by a recent sourcing trip to China, under the watchful eye of head chef Hrishikesh Desai where classic Lake District flavours are combined with classic Asian techniques. Expect brightly decorated decor that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This humour continues on into the brightly coloured cuisine, which delivers an instant smile. Extraordinary textures and tastes, this is modern British cuisine with a twist and the perfect place for a celebration.

Left to Right: L’Enclume | Rogan & Co | HRiSHi

The Forest Side, Grasmere, £40-105

It took this kitchen only eight-months from opening to receive its first Michelin star. Step inside this restored Victorian mansion house and instantly feel at home. The ambience of the dining room is a perfect blend of gentlemen’s retreat and Scandi forest calm. This restaurant is deeply rooted in its forest location and the art of foraging. The likes of Critter Fritter, grey squirrel wrapped in confit breadcrumbs and served with a Douglas Fir mayonnaise, is the ordre du jour. Natural wood features throughout, as serving platters as well as the focal point in the centre of the dining room, where you find the exposed roots of a huge upturned tree supporting a glass tabletop. There’s flexibility in dining options with the six course La’l ‘Un and ten course Grand ‘Un  – again another homage to Forest Side’s Cumbrian roots.

The Old Stamp House, Ambleside, £29-£70

Arrive on foot at The Old Stamp House, just as William Wordsworth would have done back in the 19th century when he worked in this building as ‘postmaster and distributor of stamps’. This year The Old Stamp House, which opened in 2014, was awarded its very own stamp of approval, a shiny one star from the coveted Michelin Guide. The dining rooms, spread over two floors, are intimate, with low ceilings and rustic, white-washed wall decor. This is the place to feel like one of the locals and enjoy a hidden gem. Owned and run by the Lake District born Blackburn brothers,  the menus are inspired by the Lake District landscape, people and history, with cheese boards that look like the iconic Langdale Pikes and soups that are a celebration of the deep pools of the region’s famous lakes.

Allium, Askham Hall, Penrith, £55-£70

Teetering on the very tip of the Lake District border, close to Pooley Bridge and Ullswater, this new addition to the Michelin one-star award guide is part of the Lowther Estate. Once owned by the infamous Yellow Earl, Allium is located in this 11th century castle and has a wealth of local ingredients as well as more than 800 years of family history at its fingertips. Dining here is an elegant affair, with a paired-back menu offering refined simplicity and sitting comfortably within the chic country-style dining room.

Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter, £30-£70

The dream of a Michelin star arrived for the Cottage in the Wood restaurant this summer. Tucked away in the mountain forest of Whinlatter, in the eastern corner of the Lake District, this stylish dining room is certainly worth the detour. Cottage in the Wood is a boutique restaurant styled with subtle mid-century modern finesse and a hint of So Ho House. King Oyster Mushrooms, Coco Beans and Vermouth Cream, the Cottage in the Wood is the place to get carried away with the drama of excellent food and even better company. This is a young and trendy Michelin experience and their private dining space is ideal for getting your friends together.


Left to Right: The Forest Side | Cottage in the Woods | Allium at Askham Hall