Cumbria and the Lakes- A Growing Foodie Hotspot

28, November 2018 | Published by

If you’re in search of a foodie haven when looking to relocate or invest in a holiday home, here at County Homesearch our property finders know that truly excellent and pioneering cuisine can be found outside of the capital. Cumbria and the Lakes are historically home to the iconic Cumberland sausage as well as Kendal Mint Cake, the sugary snack that sustained Sir Edmund Hillary on the first successful ascent of Everest in 1953 and the famous Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding.

However, in recent years this region has expanded its repertoire and gradually transformed into a thriving gastronomic hotspot, attracting many new residents to the area. The region boasts an excellent variety of restaurants, pubs and cafes which promote locally-sourced ingredients and will stimulate your taste buds and showcase the vibrance and potency of the natural world around them.   Here we show you just three of the many examples.

L’enclume, Cartmel

Simon Rogan’s iconic riverside restaurant L’enclume, winner of two Michelin stars and situated in the gorgeous medieval village of Cartmel, is a triumph for the area and proudly trumpets the finest home-grown, local ingredients in all its innovative dishes. Many of the complex components of each plate are sourced from the Chef’s in-house organic farm, whether it be fragrant elderflower, beetroot leaf, Goosnargh duck, aged veal, calamint or wild mushrooms, harnessing the best of the Cumbrian natural landscape. These ingredients complement the locally-sourced and fresh seafood served up daily, ranging from flaky crab to eel served with succulent pork and ham fat.

About the area: Cartmel: A Property Finder’s Guide

Located just outside the southern boundary of the Lake District and north-west of Grange-over-Sands, Cartmel is a picturesque ancient village, renowned for the 12th century Cartmel Priory in addition to its compact and picturesque racecourse set against the impressive backdrop of the beautiful Lakeland fells. Race meetings are hosted at the site throughout the summer, and have been a feature of the Racing Calendar since 1856. Around the market square is Cartmel Village Shop, home of the Sticky Toffee Pudding, and several gastro-pubs. However Cartmel isn’t just for tourists and holiday home owners.  The village and the surrounding rural area attracts families as a result of its excellent schools.  In the latest Ofsted reports, Cartmel CofE primary school is ranked as Outstanding and Cartmel Priory secondary school is ranked as Good

The Hazelmere Café & Bakery- Grange-over-Sands

Located in the Victorian seaside town of Grange-over-Sands, the café building itself dates to 1897 and is Grade II listed with outdoor seating that overlooks the town’s ornamental gardens. The concept of this popular café is a very British celebration of tea, offering a total of 80 different high-quality leaves. Tea blends are accompanied by a selection freshly-baked cakes, artisan pies and other tasty morsels which draw young families and retirees alike. The extensive menu changes seasonally, owing to the supply of local ingredients, and many of the home-baked breads and cakes can be taken away.

About Grange-over-Sands: A Property Finder’s Perspective

Historically, a fishing-village on the northside of Morecambe bay but with the arrival of the railway station the town became a popular destination for Edwardian visitors in search of fresh sea air. The town retains many of its elegant Edwardian features including the delightful ornamental gardens, attractive shopping arcades and a stone-walled seafront promenade with spectacular views over the estuary. The long level promenade, backed by tropical palms and ornamental shrubs as well as facilities for activities such as tennis, putting and golf, make it an extremely popular destination for retirement.   As well as accessibility to the Lakes and M6, Grange-over-Sands is well-connected owing to the railway line connecting to Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness to the west, and Lancaster, Preston, Manchester and Manchester Airport to the east. The town has a CofE primary school ranked ‘Good’ by Ofsted and a nursery school which is attractive for young families. Secondary-school level children travel to the neighbouring school in Cartmel, which is conveniently located less than a ten-minute drive away. The town’s location outside the National Park means that property prices tend to be considerably lower than in other centres nearby, despite the area being blessed with many delightful features for residents to enjoy.  

Forest Side Hotel – Grasmere  

Forest Side Hotel is set in a romantic gothic manor house a short walk from bustling Grasmere village and also from the picturesque lake and Rydal Water. Nearby is Dove cottage, a traditional Lakeland cottage and former family home of poet William Wordsworth. The cottage is now a museum dedicated to Wordsworth to the poet and his fondness for the area.  

The hotel is home to a wonderful Michelin-star restaurant which draws not just culinary pilgrims but also local residents. The restaurant, is managed by highly successful L’Enclume alumnus, Kevin Tickle. Tickle is renowned for his sensational dishes, making the most of foraging opportunities on the hotel grounds and home-grown fruit and vegetables from the kitchen garden.

The head gardener on site, Catherine Walsh, also formerly of Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume, planted the 100-odd raised beds and greenhouses a year before opening which supplies most of the vegetables for the restaurant, as well as the herbal infusions for the bathrooms and the garnishes for cocktails.

About the Area- Grasmere: A Property Finder’s Insight

Grasmere village, on the shores of Grasmere itself, is a buzzing destination throughout the year attracting buyers searching for a picturesque but thriving town. Situated in the centre of the Lake District with Helm Crag fell as its backdrop, the village attracts new residents due to its astounding beauty and rich, colourful history, not forgetting the moreish Grasmere gingerbread, made to a “secret recipe” popularised by a Victorian Housekeeper, Sarah Nelson.  Grasmere is served by a regular bus service to connecting towns such as Keswick and Lancaster and has a CofE Primary school ranked ‘Good’ by Ofsted. Or, if you are looking to invest in a Lake District holiday home with excellent year round rental potential, Grasmere could definitely be worth a closer look.

At County Homesearch, our property finders have years of experience working in the Cumbria and Lake District area, developing far-reaching networks and excellent relationships with estate agents. Contact us on 0333 939 8300 to discuss how we can help you to find your new home.