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As the dark nights set in and the hustle and bustle of daily life takes its toll, we all reach a point where we need to step off the hamster wheel of life and recharge.

Cumbria, nestled in the heart of north west England, offers picture perfect landscapes and a bustling culinary scene. In fact, it has the most Michelin-Starred restaurants outside of London, making it the foodie capital of the north. So, from traditional hearty dishes to modern gastronomic delights, it is the perfect retreat for any couple looking to fill their hearts with wholesome adventures and fill their bellies with great food and drink.

And we should know! Aqua Pura is a natural mineral water bottled at source in the Eden Valley, amidst the rolling hills of Cumbria. We love our homeland so much we make it our mission to encourage as many people to come and enjoy this beautiful part of the UK as possible.

Michelin-Starred Excellence

You are not short of choices when it comes to finding a Michelin-starred restaurant in Cumbria as it is home to many where innovative chefs push the boundaries of culinary artistry. A leading example is the Allium at Askham Hall which is impeccably led by Head Chef Richard Swale.

Askham Hall has been in the same family since 1724 and its focus is always on food and pleasure. At the Allium you’ll taste the best of the seasons and its surrounding landscape. Plus, you can choose from one of the most diverse and interesting wine lists in the UK.

Aqua Pura competition to win a stay at Askham Hall

Sounds good, right? We think so too - which is why we're giving you the chance to WIN a 2-night stay at Askham Hall with Michelin-star dining for two. The competition is free to enter - good luck!

A Taste for the Traditional

Cumbria prides itself on its rich culinary heritage, showcasing an array of traditional dishes that have stood the test of time. You simply cannot explore this region without indulging in the iconic Cumberland sausage. A savoury delight – famous the world over – it is made with high-quality pork and a blend of herbs and spices. Its famed coiled shape embodies the essence of Cumbrian cuisine especially when it’s served with yummy local produce – this is good soul food at its best.

Straight from the Farm

One of the many highlights of experiencing food in Cumbria is the emphasis on farm-to-table dining. The region has an abundance of local produce, from succulent meats to freshly harvested vegetables. You’ll taste the freshness in every bite, whether enjoying a rustic meal at a countryside pub or while lavishing in one of the county’s fine dining restaurants.

Allium at Askham Hall

Photo: Allium at Askham Hall

  • Make a visit to Allium at Askham Hall: a Michelin starred restaurant which makes use of produce from their very own Lowther Estate. Nearby, the George & Dragon at Clifton and the Queen's Head Askham are owned by the same family; serving up delicious dishes in a cosy country pub setting.
  • You should also try the Hidden River Café, which you’ll find tucked away near the River Lyne, a 25-minute drive from Carlisle. It serves a delicious menu of locally sourced, Cumbrian dishes.

You’ll be in Cheese Heaven

If your tastebuds tingle at the thought of devouring a new cheese, then Cumbria is going to be a cheesy delight. Known for its array of artisanal cheese producers, Cumbria cheeses are both creamy and flavoursome. Key producers to look out for include the renowned Cumbrian Fellstone or St James Cheese, both proudly fly the flag for the region's dairy heritage.

  • There are some fantastic cheesemakers across the region, such as Torpenhow Farmhouse Dairy: they produce award-winning cheeses, made by hand in Cumbria and sold at places like the Holker Hall Food Hall and A Day's Walk Farm Shop. You'll also see it on the menu at restaurants including The Yan at Broadrayne, Overwater Hall, and Bassenthwait Lake Station.

Food festivals & farmer's markets

Cumbria plays host to numerous food festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating its diverse culinary offerings. From Taste Cumbria Food Festivals, held across the western Lake District and coast (look out for the flagship event, Taste Cumbria Christmas - held annually in Cockermouth) to farmer's markets across the region, there's plenty to discover.

  • Taste Cumbria food festivals are held throughout the year - keep an eye out for future dates!
  • There are some fantastic farmers markets to enjoy. Don't miss the monthly Kendal Farmers Market, or the Sedbergh Artisan Markets which are held during the summer months.

Learn how to up your Foodie Game

If you’re wanting a more hands-on learning experience, there are plenty of local foodie haunts and experts such as The Lake District School of Food & Wine. All pride themselves on offering cookery classes to share local knowledge, tips and techniques for making the most delicious Cumbrian dishes. We’re sure your friends back home will love you for learning them!

  • Visit The Lake District School of Food & Wine: away from the hustle and bustle of life you can immerse yourself in the beautiful surroundings of The Lake District while taking on learnings from Chef Lecturer Pat Russell 

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What are you waiting for…

So, from hearty traditional meals, artisan cheeses and food experiences through to some of the finest dining in the UK, Cumbria offers the perfect escape. What awaits you is an indulgent journey for food enthusiasts that will refuel and warm your soul this winter.




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