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Jun 16, 2011 02:22 PM

Lake District

Hello! We are planning a visit to the UK this summer from San Francisco. Spending the first part in the Lake District, then moving on to Scotland.

We will have four nights in the Lakes. I already have a reservation at L'Enclume for one of them, and plan on the Drunken Duck for another dinner. That leaves two dinners open plus breakfasts and perhaps a lunch or two.

Would love some recommendations for the area, especially great fish and chips (preferably fried in beef fat).

We'll be staying in Keswick and Coniston, but will have a car.

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  1. We were there last year and enjoyed a pretty good dinner at Lucy's Bistro. It's not in the same class as L'Enclume or Drunken Duck, but it was fine. Lucy's is in Ambleside. It might be a good lunch stop if you're visiting the Wordsworth cottage.

    There's a nice pub in Hawkshead (sorry I can't remember it's name), and they might make some good fish and chips. If you do get to that charming town (Beatrix Potter country), do stop in at the Hawkshead Relish Company. Their jams and relishes are so good that I get them sent to me by post a few times a year. It's a small village and not as touristy as some of the other towns.

    1. I've never been, but the Jumble Room in Grasmere gets good reports, and looks to be a bit different.

      1. This may not be strictly responsive to the original post, but we enjoyed sumptuous meals several years ago when we stayed at The Boltongate Old Rectory not far from Keswick. Here's the link to their website.
        Dining (at least then) was only for guests of the B&B, but if you are looking for lodging accompanied by delicious food on-site, I recommend it strongly.

        1 Reply
        1. re: masha

          It's been a while since I went, but I had a great meal at Sharrow Bay. Beautiful setting right by Ullswater as well. Fond memories!

        2. We are in Near Sawrey as I type this having done your trip in the opposite direction. Just ate at the Drunken Duck last night. We've been enjoying the pub food at the Tower Banks pub in Sawrey near Hill Top (Beatrix Potter's home). At the Drunken Duck the twice baked Lancastershire souffle was wonderful, as was the duck with black fig pudding. Skip the ham hick cannelloni (bizarre combo if two served warm and one cold) and the pork wellington. In Scotland we enjoyed The Peat Inn. Superb service, excellent food. In Edinborough our favorite meal was at Wedgwood on Canongate, but we also liked Fishers bistro at One Front street. Our B&B 23 Mayfield served the best breakfasts on our trip-moist kippers, excellent black pudding, bangers and haggis.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cyssf

            Thanks for the replies. Cyssf -- I recognize you from the SF Board. Can you eat in the bar at the Drunken Duck for dinner, or do you have to book a table in the restaurant? After our meal at L'Enclume, we might be in the mood for something more laid back. We will definitely try Tower Banks pub.

            1. re: mrs bacon

              We had reservations which I would recommend. I saw people at the bar but didn't notice if they could order from the restaurant menu. We ate early (6:30pm) at the Drunken Duck, I think it's easier to get seats, particularly if you promise to vacate by 8 pm when the British tend to want to eat. At the Tower Bank again without reservations I would come early (say 5:30) grab a table in the pub by the fireplace and preorder dinner which doesn't start until 6. They also had a restaurant but we couldn't get reservations so used the above technique. We had also eaten there two days earlier and had to wait for a pub table, ended up sharing a common table with A British couple which was perfectly fine since they became talkative after they found out we were
              Americans. I liked the Cumberland sausage and the Cumbrian beef in ale stew with suet dumplings. Forgive my mis-spellings in the above post, having Internet connection problems and occasionally reduced to the iPhone's teensy screen coupled with crazy completion matching errors. Truly, the ham hock cannelloni at the DD was a puzzling dish. Tom and I both agreed I had ordered better with the souffle and duck. Best meal by far on this trip was Wedgwood in Edinburgh although their deconstructed Chicken Caesar salad soup (tried to get the flavors of the salad in soup form) was silly in my opinion, but the pigeon, haggis, turnip, mash starter was terrific as was Tom's venison and my scallops, pork belly and cauliflower fritters were very good.

              1. re: mrs bacon

                The Lakes can be insanely busy especially during school holidays and weekend. My advice is to book if at all possible - the good places are well known and very popular.

            2. Chiming in from Canada's west coast to say that my spouse and I enjoyed a terrific dinner at the Langstrath Country inn. It's tucked away a pleasant drive south of Keswick (and a dramatic drive if you take the pass toward the west on the way out).

              1 Reply
              1. re: kinnickinnik

                Hey there. We are actually staying at the Langstrath Inn. In fact I'm on a train to Carlisle at the moment. Will report back. Thanks for all the help!