The Lake District has always been known for its excellent food, innovative restaurants and outstanding local produce. And although we continue to serve Wojtek’s delicious, mainly vegetarian food through the week, on Wednesday night students can eat out and explore what’s on offer. And there are now 2 more Michelin starred restaurants just 2 miles from us here at Nab Cottage. The first is the Old Stamp House in Ambleside. https://www.oldstamphouse.com/
Long before Michelin started handing out stars to restaurants, William Wordsworth worked at the Old Stamp House in Ambleside as a distributor of stamps. Whilst many of Wordsworth’s former haunts have become meccas for literary lovers, his former place of work has taken a different course, with the cellar of the building now housing the third restaurant in the Lake District to receive a Michelin Star this year.
Chef Ryan Blackburn opened the Old Stamp House in 2014, keen to promote Cumbria’s rich food heritage. Blackburn is Cumbrian through and through, being the third generation in his family to work in the Cumbrian hospitality industry, and it is clear from Blackburn’s menus that he is a passionate advocate of Cumbrian produce. His speciality is Herdwick Hogget, but Blackburn has also sought inspiration from Cumbria’s coast and in particular, the role that the port of Whitehaven played in bringing exotic spices into the country, many of which are used in local speciality dishes. The Old Stamp House makes excellent use of the fishing fleets that operate from the west Cumbrian coast, whilst herbs and mushrooms are regularly foraged from the Lake District’s extraordinary landscape.
The second Michelin starred restaurant within easy walking distance is the Forest Side https://www.theforestside.com/
The head chef Kevin Tickle (who came from Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume) is also passionate about foraging. Together with his 11-strong kitchen team, he produces dishes that both concentrate and mix flavours, and play with ingredients. Ever tried barbecued radish leaves or mugwort ice cream? They might pop up on the taster-menu (£105 or £80), alongside venison pastrami with sheep’s milk cheese or lemon sole with leeks in horseradish.