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Mar 19, 2011 01:58 AM

NW and NE England Must Eats - Produce and Restaurants

Apologies for the vagueness of the subject as I realise it covers a lot of bases, but I plan to try and cover a lot of eating while in the North during a trip in June.

I am holidaying in the Lakes, Northumberland and Edinburgh over a ten day period. At present I have lunch booked at L'enclume and Kitchins at either end of the holiday, but need some recommendations for the inbetween. I am interested in finding what the north has to offer in terms of good eating establishments (be it pubs, caffes, restaurants) as well as trying some local specialities. So, for example, who supplies the best cumberland sausage, where can I get the best locally brewed beer, what farmers markets are on where and when, plus anything else you think I should be sampling while away?

If it helps any, destinations will be; Carrtmel, Morpeth, Berwick and Edinburgh

Will post back thoughts once done

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  1. While in the Lakes, if you find yourself near or in Hawkshead, do stop in to the Hawkshead Relish Company. The shop has fantastic marmalades, jams, sauces, relishes etc. We took a lot home with us and now order it via the Web.

    Lucy's on a Plate in Ambleside is a nice spot for lunch.. very casual and tasty food.

    1. Don't forget Craster for kippers

      1. On the way from the lakes to the NE you could pop into the Highwayman in Kirby Lonsdale, then on to Tebay services for their farm shop

        1. Will you be driving? If so, it gives us more options for recommendations.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Theresa

            Thanks all, yes will be in a vehicle, so have got ready access to places on route, as long as not too narrow, tis a campervan after all, keep the costs down to spend it on the more important things!

            1. re: stanleyk

              Lancashire is known for its gastro pubs - The people running Northcote Manor (excellent food in a country house hotel, and worth a trip on its own) also have several pubs - the Highwayman Inn has already been mentioned, and there is also the Three Fishes and the Clog and Billycock and I think there's now one other. They all specialise in food from Lancashire and the NW.

              The Inn at Whitewell is a lovely place near Clitheroe, right on the banks of the Hoddle and great food.

              The Lunesdale Arms in Tunstall south of Kirkby Lonsdale is also lovely.

              There are loads more, so it's worth checking the Harden's Guide - it has others recommended up the M6 which would make good stop offs on your way to the lakes.

              1. re: Theresa


                Thanks for your thoughts, I will pass them on to those driving up to the lakes, I am cheating somewhat and flying up to meet them up there, they have the luxury of retirement on their side, I am slightly more time restricted! Anything from Lakes/NE/Edinburgh still welcome though

                1. re: stanleyk

                  My recommendations are really more about produce and pubs rather than fine dining, but having spent a lot of time in the Lakes, as well as some v good New Year's in the NE and work trips to Edinburgh here's my pennyworth:

                  Lakes -
                  Drunken Duck Inn at Barngates nr Ambleside
                  Pop by The Sun Inn at Coniston for Sticky Toffee pudding
                  If you're after fine dining then propbably best to look out for some of the hotels with good reputations such as Sharrow Bay
                  Jennings is the local brew but I think there are many better options?

                  North East
                  Newton by the Sea - great National Trust owned pub The Ship Inn (go early to avoid queue
                  )Kippers from Craster
                  Bamburgh has a great butcher who also sells pies and pasties

                  Foodie heaven. So much to choose from including the Leith area now that it's been gentrified. Particularly like Martin Wishaw and The Shore pub in the docks - have never had a bad meals there ever. Oloroso was also good. A lot of folks rave about The Witchery but personally I've never really understood the attraction - maybe it never weaved its magic on me?

                  Enjoy! Sounds like a great trip. What time of year are you going?

          2. The Feathers Inn, in Hedley on the Hill (tiny village off the highway that runs from Hexham to Newcastle) Really great dining pub that features all local meats and produce.

            I also second the vote for Craster kippers.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Joan Kureczka

              Thanks both, this is th ekinda thing I need, 'Fine' dining is kinda covered with L'enclume and The Kitchin so produce and pubs is all good. Will be visiting in late May/early June

              loving the sound of Kippers and Pies in the NE

              1. re: stanleyk

                If you find yourself in Newcastle then Cafe 21 on the Quayside is a must. Top class brasserie food. Essential to book if eating in the evening, even mid-week. Round the corner is Caffe Vivo, owned by the 21 group, dong "proper" Italian food at good prices. Pani's Cafe in High Bridge is great, owned and run by a Sardinian family. Good, inexpensive food with Sardinian specialties and the nicest front of house anywhere.

                Bouchon Bistrot in Hexham is also excellent. Again, classic brasserie food, the owner is a lovely guy from the Loire who married a Geordie. He worked at 21 in Newcastle when it was known as 21 Queen Street and had a michelin star. I've heard good reports about The Duke of Wellington Inn at Newton, just off the A69. The head chef was one of the three finalists on the last series of Professional Masterchef.

                1. re: Al Toon

                  Stanley - search Edinburgh, there's a lengthy, previous thread that covers the city comprehensively. What I would add here is don't rule out Martin Wishart and, for gastro-pub style try The Dogs. I've not been to the latter, but it continues to pick-up excellent word of mouth and guide listings.

                  Not to blow the budget, but Gleneagles is but an hours train ride or drive from Edinburgh near Auchterader where you'll find the 2-star Andrew Farlie. As you've already booked L'Enclume and The Kitchen I assume you will be aware of the restaurant. I mention it here because a lot of people assume Gleneagles is a lot further away and, as you are so close, the short hop may be worth the effort.

                  Again, I've not been, but turning to the North East Kenny Atkinson at Rockliffe Hall near Darlington is somewhere I'd love to try and, based on his excellent reputation, worth considering. Their website doesn't carry a menu section unfortunately but it is very much in the fine dining genre.

                  1. re: marcus james

                    I'd forgotten about Kenny Atkinson. We ate there twice last year and it was superb, high-end cooking. Beautiful hotel as well.