Good Food & Drink

A Welcoming Destination in a Wild Place

The wild solitude of Ennerdale valley and the soaring fells which surround it offer a magnificent arena for a day out, and after exploring what is on offer outside there is no better place to go inside and pause for refreshment or enjoy a wholesome meal than at The Shepherds Arms in Ennerdale Bridge.

An old village-center farmhouse, The Shepherds Arms has welcomed travelers and locals since Victorian times and probably earlier. Today, still maintaining a traditional style that would be familiar to visitors from the past, even if WiFi and perhaps electricity would prove puzzling, The Shepherds is enjoyed by walkers from as far away as Alaska and New Zealand and remains a favored destination for the local community.

A comfortable hotel, they have a reputation too for excellent homemade food emphasizing local produce, while events like their theme nights which focus on the foods of other countries offer yet wider tastes and flavours.

The deliciously succulent Sunday roasts here are very popular so be sure to book if you can. The standard and daily menus range from classics like their celebrated steak and ale pie, fish and chips or homemade burgers, to broccoli & goats cheese tartlets, fish pies and spicy beef strips with noodles. Other local dishes include lamb shank and, in season, lobster fresh in from St Bees, but The Shepherds is known too for being one of the first outlets in the area to introduce a range of vegan dishes on their menu, such as sweet potato, sage & onion tart, or stuffed baked courgette.

The ales are local, the wine list impressive at the prices, and with snacks, sandwiches and salads too there is something to satisfy everyone here. Oh, and be sure to leave room for dessert as well, all homemade, of course.


Steel Bonnets, The Lakes Distillery’s blend of English and Scotch malt whisky, has been awarded a Gold Medal in the World Whisky Ultra-Premium category (whiskies priced over £51) by the prestigious Spirits Business Awards.

The Luxury Masters competition aims to reward the finest luxury spirits on the global stage. Chaired by The Spirits Business and assessed by a panel of leading spirits specialists, Steel Bonnets was the only World Whisky in its category to secure a Gold Medal award.

Speaking following a blind-tasting, the panel of whisky experts from across the globe commented that Steel Bonnets was ‘full and warm’ with ‘green apple, slight wood smoke’ and a palate of ‘cinnamon and plum.’

Created with the highest quality malt whiskies from both sides of the border, Steel Bonnets is a combination of The Lakes Single Malt from England and some of the most respected malts from Scotland. It is the world’s first blend of English malt and Scotch malt whisky.

The name pays homage to the memory of the English and Scottish people who lived in the Border Marches from Berwick-upon-Tweed in the East to Carlisle in the West during the 13th – 17th centuries.

Paul Currie, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Lakes Distillery said: “I’m incredibly proud that Steel Bonnets has been recognised by some of the world’s leading whisky experts for its excellence. Our Master Whiskymaker Dhavall Gandhi has created something very special.

“This is the third year of the competition and the excellence demonstrated in our category confirms the emphasis leading whisky makers are putting on taste and quality. With the growing trend for customers to spend more and drink less this is an increasingly important award for premium spirits.

“Our ambition is to establish The Lakes Distillery as a luxury global whisky brand and this recognition is another significant step towards this. Steel Bonnets now sits alongside world brands including Sullivan’s Cove of Tasmania and Chivas Regal Ultis, both Gold award winners and I’m absolutely thrilled.”

The Lakes Distillery Master Whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandhi, said: “I’m honoured that Steel Bonnets has received a Gold Medal. It is very rewarding that the knowledgeable tasting panel appreciated this unique whisky.”

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Do the words Good Food catch your eye? Traditional afternoon tea is very much loved and must be tried if you haven’t done so already as it really is a very relaxing and sophisticated way to spend an afternoon.

Think delicately cut sandwiches, cakes of different sorts, pastries and a selection of teas to choose from. If you have young children then you probably would prefer a family friendly restaurant where the staff don’t stop smiling and are very much used to the odd pea being thrown across the room. Look for restaurants/café with children’s menus, high chairs, bottle warming, and even baby changing facilities. There are loads of really good child friendly places and they are certainly not all the same. There’ such a variety out there from stylish Italian restaurants to cosy picturesque cottages.

The overall experience is that more special with little touches making all the difference. Lighting and music is subtle to reflect the mood and more traditional restaurants will have a centrepiece such as silver candelabras. Hip and trendy restaurants will be bold in colour and have modern furnishings playing more modern tunes such as jazz.If you are lucky enough to have a romantic evening planned or thinking of one then enjoying quality time together is best when enjoying the finest food together. Fine dining used to be associated with snooty French waiters and restaurants with names you couldn’t pronounce but not anymore all that has changed and fine dining can be in any setting and feature a wide variety of cuisine, from ethnic to organic, local fare. Customer service in a fine dining restaurant is much more attentive than in casual dining establishments and that’s not all.

Eating Out in the North West

A region that caters for everyone’s budgets and tastes

If you are looking for somewhere to eat out during your stay in the North West, you will certainly not be disappointed. A city renowned for great hospitality, Lancashires’s streets are littered with wonderful award winning restaurants, quaint tearooms and

welcoming cosy pubs.

Many of Lancashires’s hotels boast amazing restaurants, serving exquisite cuisine, and more hearty fare can be found in country pubs in and around Lancashire. All tastes really are catered for, with British and international food in all price ranges.

For people who really love food, a selection of food and drink events run throughout the year, and you will find local produce and tasty treats at local farmers’ markets in Manchester and the surrounding towns.

The great family get together

The weekends are always full of fun & laughter, and there’s one thing we love more than anything, and that’s sharing it with our family and friends. Enjoying good food & drink together is a fabulous way to spend time with one another, a perfect chance to catch up on all the gossip and excitement. Everyone loves quality food and that’s why gathering around a table to enjoying delicious food and drink is one of life’s simplest of pleasures that must be done more often.

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