Cumbria’s reputation as one of the finest foodie destinations in the UK has been given another welcome boost this week, thanks to the publication of an article on the BBC Good Food website following a visit paid by a member of its team last year.
With a circulation of almost 160,000 and readership of 13 million people, the title and its accompanying website is the UK’s best-selling food and drink magazine and one of the overall top five monthly consumer titles across all genres.
As Cumbria’s food and drink offering is one of Cumbria Tourism’s key annual themes and cited by the organisation as a prime motivator for visits, the organisation arranged meals at three of Cumbria’s newest Michelin Star–recipients, as well as visits to a selection of other “must visit” food & drink related businesses.
This month marks exactly a year since the prestigious Michelin Guide boosted Cumbria’s star total from five stars to eight, giving the county the highest number of stars anywhere north of London.
First stop on the BBC’s tour was ‘Allium’ at Askham Hall, where writer Natalie Hardwick was given a first-hand look at how Head Chef Richard Swale carefully selects the ingredients straight from the gardens for his award-winning dishes.
Next was The Cottage in the Wood at Braithwaite (pictured), followed by Old Stamp House and its sister restaurant Kysty in Ambleside, where Natalie enjoyed an outdoor foraging experience before lunch was served – using the very ingredients sourced with the restaurant’s team from outside just an hour earlier.
Grasmere Gingerbread hosted a behind the scenes tour before Natalie enjoyed afternoon tea at The Lingholm Estate and sampled the Lakes Distillery’s new ‘Whiskey and Chocolate’ tours. The BBC Good Food team also paid a visit to Sedbergh, dropping-in at the Black Bull and The Three Hairs.
Natalie says, “My visit to Cumbria was such a memorable, action-packed trip, and Cumbria Tourism certainly set me up with an itinerary to remember. The variety of what’s on-offer was definitely worth making the trip for, and I’d strongly recommend our readers sample all the places I visited for themselves at the earliest opportunity.”
While publication of the article was initially postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now available, here.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “It goes without saying that Cumbria’s hospitality sector, along with the rest of the UK, has endured a very difficult 2020. But this acknowledgement of The Lake District’s foodie-offering has come at just the right time, especially following this month’s Lonely Planet ‘Top 500 Essential Travel List’, which positioned The Lake District as the UK’s highest placing.
“It’s brilliant that we can boast these high profile Michelin star restaurants, but as we all know high quality Cumbrian food and warm hospitality to complement can we found in abundance right cross our county’s wonderful eateries – pubs, cafes, hotels – in our towns, along our coast and nestled in our countryside. If you haven’t already it’s worth picking up a MyCumbria Card which offers lots of inspiration but also some fantastic discounts for local residents, at mycumbriacard.co.uk.
“And if you are wondering what to buy someone this Christmas, a foodie gift voucher is a great way to support local producers and businesses and also ensure a memorable culinary experience. With so many well-known publications featuring the county prominently in their destination coverage, we hope their readers – including readers of BBC Good Food magazine will pay us a visit during the cosy autumn and winter months to enjoy a hearty meal, created by some of the country’s finest chefs, all of whom we are very proud.”