Where to Eat

Although we have been visiting the Lakes for some years, we cannot pretend to have done exhaustive research into where to eat. There is a huge variety in the Lakes, ranging from the seriously special to the very down to earth. We have limited our ideas below to those we have sampled recently - or those that have been specially recommended to us. What we do recommend, however, is to try to book in advance for the more serious restaurants, as they get very busy - even in the quieter months.

If somewhere is not in the list below it is most likely to mean we have not been there rather than that we would not go there!

On Your Doorstep

On Your Doorstep

Just 5 minutes walk down the road is the well known Badger Bar in the Glen Rothay Hotel. It is the ideal place to stop off for a bit of refreshment on your way back from a hard day on the fells: outside next door to Dora's field on a good day, inside by one of the open fires on a bad one. The beers are excellent. It also does an extensive menu of good food all day and into the evenings.


There is a huge range of restaurants and cafes in Ambleside, catering for every taste. And if the weather is ok it is a pleasant walk into town and back in the moonlight if you don't want to drive (but do take a torch or otherwise get a taxi back). Our favourites are below.

Lake Road Kitchen

Lake Road Kitchen is our favourite. It has a very unusual menu of locally sourced - and often locally foraged - food. Unusual tastes and tasty combinations, wines you will not find elsewhere, chefs on show hard at work, and some of the most enthusiastic waiting staff you will come across.

Old Stamp House

Old Stamp House is on the list even though we have not yet been organised enough to book in advance to eat there. However it has been recommended highly to us and specialises in ingredients from Cumbria. The menus always look extremely tempting.


This is a very sophisticated vegetarian restaurant: even if you are a meat eater you are likely to be impressed by the food here. It is owned by the same people who own the small and personal cinemas in Ambleside, and they offer a great meal and film package. If you choose to eat before the film they will make sure you get there on time for the start of the film - it is a short walk and you will have a very good reserved seat waiting for you.


This is the sister restaurant to Fellinis, also vegetarian but with an emphasis more on pasta and pizza. Again it is possible to book film and meal deals.


An Italian restaurant in the heart of Ambleside - very popular, often recommended and always seems to be busy. It does not take bookings - or at least didn't when we last checked!

The Fulling Mill

Formerly The Glass House when it was for a time one of our favourites - and an interesting old mill building as well. We haven't had many meals there since it re-opened serving typcal bistro food, but those have been good.

Spice of Bengal

The only Indian restaurant in Ambleside. We have always had very good food there (and takeaways as well). It can get busy on weekends and in high season and the solution seems to be to get there reasonably early.

Doi Intanon

A Thai restaurant in the centre of town which is always very popular.

Around Ambleside

There are a number of excellent restaurants not in Ambleside but within a very short drive (or taxi ride) of Loughrigg Cottage.

Eltermere Inn

This is one of our favourite places to eat in the area. Situated in Elterwater. You can eat in the bar or the restaurant but we normally choose the bar if there is space- the food is the same. Excellent gastro-pub type food often locally sourced. Look out for the interesting (!) prints in the hallway taken from a French illustrated version of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Great views over Elterwater in the daytime.

Drunken Duck

One of the best dining pubs in the Lakes and consistently recommended by the Good Food Guide. A great modern British menu as well as its own brewery - what more can you want! Just off the B5286 heading towards Hawkshead - so very close indeed if you head out of the Clappersgate end of Under Loughrigg.

Jumble Room

One of our most recent discoveries - situated in the middle of Grasmere. The Good Food Guide describes it as a "Wacky Lakeland Eatery", but the food was seriously good when we visited and the ambience fun.

The Samling

Up on the left just as you leave Ambleside heading towards Windermere, this is seriously fine dining with a Michelin *. Special occasions only unless you are feeling very flush. But so close it is tempting...

Holbeck Ghyll

Another seriously good restaurant serving up modern British food in a country house up on the left between Ambleside and Windemere. Also a Good Food Guide favourite. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon chose to eat here in "The Trip".

Jerichos at the Waverley

It was a massive disappointment to us when Jerichos at the Waverley in Windemere decided to serve food to non-residents only on Saturdays. If you can get a table on a Saturday then go for it - we have only ever had great food there.

For prices, availability and online booking please either call Lakelovers on 015394 88855 or book online