Pretty riverside town in Lake District with ‘UK’s best restaurant’


Fancy a long weekend in the lakes paired with some of the best food in the country? So look no further than Cartmel, Cumbria – a quaint little town tucked away by the River Eea that’s home to L’Enclume, the restaurant that has been dubbed number one in the UK for 2020 by Waitrose & Partners’ The Good Food Guide .

Londoners may know celebrity chef Simon Rogan via Aulis and Roganic, two of his restaurants that have become staples on the London food circuit in recent years.

But it was its flagship product L’Enclume in the Lake District that scored 10 out of 10 in cooking – and it’s not hard to see why.

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Cartmel, Cumbria

The restaurant is located in a former 13th century blacksmith’s workshop with a view of the river and a warm atmosphere.

He has two Michelin stars to his credit, alongside many other prestigious awards. In January 2021, L’Enclume even received a Michelin green star, recognizing it as a leader in the field of sustainable development.

Known for his farm-to-table philosophy and use of hyper-seasonal produce, most of the ingredients are grown on Simon’s own farm in the Cartmel Valley, Our Farm.

This means the tasting menu features seasonal and local ingredients, with dishes like the native lobster and currant pie or the bone-roasted Texel Cross lamb loin served to guests.

A walk from Cartmel to the old hospital on Cartmel Fell

Away from the restaurant, Cartmel is generally known for its dining options, home to a wide variety of traditional Lakeland inns, tearooms, and cutting-edge gourmet restaurants. Note in particular the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding from Cartmel Village Shop on the market square.

Around its main square is an array of interesting shops and traditional pubs, as well as old buildings in the narrow, winding streets.

These include the Cartmel Priory Guard House, now a heritage center that depicts the history of the monastery and the village.

The medieval village has a rich heritage, which includes the 12th century Cartmel priory, with its pretty stained glass windows, modern sculptures and ancient choir stalls.

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It is also a beautiful place, described as a hidden gem by those who know it.

There is even a racecourse you can visit.

The journey from London takes around five hours, but it will be worth it for the peaceful and picturesque embrace of the lakes that await you at the other end – and, of course, the best meal in the UK.

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