Tag: ambleside

Vegetarian Restaurants and Cafés in the Lake District

Vegetarian Restaurants and Cafés in the Lake District

Last Friday, 1 October, was World Vegetarian Day, a day showcasing the benefits of vegetarianism. It also gave rise to October being observed as Vegetarian Awareness Month.

There was a time when the likes of  Mushroom risotto, stuffed peppers, nut roast or portobello mushroom burger were considered fancy vegetarian options. While we’re sure these can be extremely tasty, thankfully the world of vegetarian cuisine is now far more exciting.

Fortunately, we’re blessed with some of the finest places to eat in the UK, including some amazing vegetarian restaurants and cafés in the Lake District.

We’ll start close to our Windermere cottages, before heading north to Penrith and a couple of fantastic options for guests staying in our Ullswater cottages.

Zeffirellis, Ambleside

Mention vegetarian to anyone in Windermere and the chances are they will recommend Zeffirellis in Ambleside. Zeffirellis has been a firm favourite for over 40 years and is great for family, friends and couples alike. It also houses an award-winning cinema.

The menu offers Italian-themed pizza and pasta dishes, with daily specials freshly prepared by a team of passionate chefs. What’s more, there’s enviable wine list to match.

For the complete evening out, why not book a 2-course dinner with a reserved cinema seat?

Fellinis, Ambleside

Fellinis is a new, modern ‘Vegeterranean’ restaurant which caters for the most discerning vegetarian palette. The food is inspired by the warmth of Mediterranean, with a frequently changing menu to reflect the seasons and the availability of local ingredients.

After dinner, why not head upstairs for a unique cinema experience, where you can see the latest art house and niche film productions, as well as live satellite links to world class opera, ballet and theatre events.

Gandhi’s Café, Ambleside

Staying in Ambleside, Gandhi’s has gained a reputation for producing high quality, home cooked vegetarian and vegan food. From relaxed breakfasts to an afternoon pick-me-up, wholesome burgers to tasty pad-Thais, this quirky little café is packed with big flavours.

Chesters by the River

Chesters by the River at Skelwith Bridge is the perfect spot to stop for a bite to eat before, after or during a good walk. Situated on the banks of the River Brathay, the food is wonderfully crafted with plenty of choice. There is some parking, but as it’s ‘out of town’ you may need to plan ahead a little. One option is to park at Elterwater and follow the path alongside the River Brathay, past Skelwith Force, enjoy a good lunch followed by a leisurely walk back to the car.

Upfront Gallery Restaurant, Penrith

For our next stop we’re heading to Penrith, just a short drive from Glenridding and Patterdale. Perfect for our Ullswater guests.

There’s more to Upfront Gallery than just food. It’s a gallery, puppet theatre, music venue and restaurant located in beautifully converted 17th century farm buildings near Penrith.

The licensed café serves a delicious range of vegetarian options throughout the day, beginning with breakfast. Pop in for a range of delicious meals, snacks, cakes, puddings and coffees.

The Yard Kitchen

Our final choice is also in Penrith. The Yard Kitchen is a popular café with a wide range of vegetarian and vegan choices.

The café is located in Brunswick Court, alongside an eclectic mix of specialist sellers, including a bookshop, a wine merchant and a grocers. In fact, the yard is now home to more than 20 independent dealers. So browse to your heart’s content and then enjoy some delicious vegetarian fayre.

That’s it. Our round up of our favourite vegetarian and vegan restaurants and cafés in the Lake District. If you happen to visit one of them, please do let us know what you think. And if you would like more information about dining in the Lake District, please get in touch.

Photo credit: Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Unsplash

Waterfalls in the Lake District

Waterfalls in the Lake District

After a wonderfully warm Summer, Autumn has arrived in the Lake District and with it a change in the landscape. The colours are changing, the skies are growing heavier and our waterfalls are once again in full spate.

Thanks to its many rivers and just a little rain from time to time, the Lake District has an abundance of waterfalls. You’ll come across a waterfall of some description on most rivers, but if you’re looking for something a little more spectacular, a little more exhilarating, we’ve highlighted a few of our favourite waterfalls in the Lake District in this post.

Aira Force and High Force

Arguably the best known of our waterfalls is Aira Force. It’s also one of the easiest to get to, especially if you’re staying in one of our Ullswater cottages. There is a National Trust car park off the A592, halfway between Glenridding and Watermillock, and from there a circular footpath leads through peaceful woodlands to Aira Force.

If you want to make a bit more of your visit, why not take one of the paths which lead beyond the falls to Yew Crag, where you’ll find excellent views east towards Ullswater. Or you could continue uphill from Aira Force until you come to High Force. High Force might not be quite as spectacular as Aira Force, but it’s usually less crowded.

Lodore Falls

Lodore Falls is about an hour in the car from Windermere and slightly less from Glenridding, but well worth a trip if you have time. Situated at the southern end of Derwent Water, the pouring and roaring, whirling and curling falls inspired Robert Southey’s famous onomatopoeic poem ‘How does the water come down at Lodore.’

The falls, which are formed by the beck from Watendlath Tarn cascading over huge boulders, can be accessed by a roadside path. The nearest place to park is the National Trust’s Kettlewell pay and display car park. From there it’s quite a short walk but with dramatic results, especially after a period of rain.

Rydal Falls

Rydal Falls are located just a short walk from William Wordsworth’s home at Rydal Mount and surely one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Lake District.

There is parking along the lane leading off the A591, or in busier times a small car park just south of Rydal Mount. Take the lane leading to Rydal Mount, passing the house on your left, and keep following the stone wall through the woodlands to the waterfall.

Make sure to visit ‘The Grot’ at the base of the waterfall. Built in 1668, this small stone hut is considered to be Britain’s first purpose-built viewing station.

Stock Ghyll Force

Stock Ghyll Force is about 15 minutes on foot from Ambleside. The walk takes you through a classic woodland setting until you reach the falls, which fall around 70 feet in two distinct steps, forming a lovely ‘V’ shape when they meet.

There are a number of mini falls along the way to whet the appetite, and once you’re at the main attraction, there are several viewing platforms, including special viewpoints for those with wheelchairs or pushchairs.

Skelwith Force

Another waterfall relatively close to our Windermere Cottages is Skelwith Force. At around 15 feet in height, it’s certainly not one of the highest falls in the Lake District, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t lack drama. The combination of the waters from the River Brathay and Langdale Beck mean the word ‘force’ is an apt description, especially after a period of heavy rain.

This is another waterfall which can be easily reached. We like to approach it from the village of Elterwater, following the path alongside the River Brathay, through the fields bordering Elter Water and into the woods towards Skelwith Force. The bridges criss-crossing the River Brathay give you excellent views of the falls.

The stunning views of the Langdales are an added bonus on this short walk.

Tom Gill Falls, Tarn Hows

We often mention Tarn Hows. It really is a beautiful spot and one of the most easy-access walks in the Lake District. But if you choose an alternative route, you could walk alongside Tom Gill, a tumbling stream boasting a stunning waterfall.

Instead of heading straight to Tarn Hows, park at the Glen Mary Bridge car park, just off the A593. From here, follow the signposted route alongside Tom Gill. After about a quarter of an hour you’ll reach the first waterfall, with the second, more impressive fall a little further along.

Having passed the waterfalls, you’ll come out at Tarn Hows, where you can enjoy a picturesque walk around the tarns.

Scale Force

No round up of waterfalls in the Lake District would be complete without mentioning Scale Force. It’s about an hour or so in the car from our Windermere and Ullswater cottages, but if you’re looking for a day out exploring the lakes, it’s well worth the excursion.

Scale Force is the tallest waterfall in the Lake District, located next to Crummock Water. It’s easily accessible on foot from Buttermere village. If you park in the National Trust car park, the round trip distance is about 2.5 miles (good waterproof footwear is essential).

With so much to see and do, we are truly spoilt, but a visit to one of the wonderful waterfalls in the Lake District is a must, especially at this time of year.

If you need more information, please do get in touch.

Lucy’s of Ambleside Private Dining

Lucy's of Ambleside Private Dining

We are delighted to be able to offer our guests Lucy’s of Ambleside private dining services. Fantastic food delivered straight to your Matson Ground cottage. Meaning you get a very well-deserved night off – after all, you are on holiday.

Whether you’re in the Lake District for a special occasion or simply spending time with family and friends, why not enjoy a delicious dining experience from Lucy’s Inside Out? Take away the headache of shopping, putting away, preparing, serving, washing up. Instead, choose from a selection of dishes, prepared using locally sourced ingredients wherever possible.

All meals are catered for, from small and intimate to large and loud. If you fancy something ready prepared for when you arrive, maybe you’re celebrating a special occasion during your stay, or you simply fancy a night away from the cooker, let us know and we’ll send you some menus.

What’s on the menu?

Lucy’s of Ambleside private dining offers a range of dishes. Choose from the ‘Hot and Hearty’ savoury selections, perfect for small and large parties. If you’re gathering guests together for a celebration, enjoying a simple kitchen supper or you want something warm and tasty after a day walking the fells and don’t feel like cooking, these dishes are the perfect solution.

The ‘Super Salads’ menu has been designed to accompany most of the dishes at Lucy’s Inside Out, while the ‘Delicious Desserts’ menu will have you sorely tempted to ditch the diet for the day, offering over twenty luscious, sweet treats. From Westmorland Toffee Apple Crumble Tart to Damson and Sloe Gin Fruit Fool, Lancashire Lemon Tart to Sublime Sticky Toffee Pudding laced with rich butterscotch sauce, we challenge you not to indulge.

Lucy’s of Ambleside

Lucy’s of Ambleside comprises Lucy’s On A Plate, Lucy’s relaxed and friendly Ambleside-based restaurant, as well as Lucy’s Inside Out, for those who fancy a taste of Lucy’s On A Plate but in the comfort of their own home.

For more information about Lucy’s Inside Out, or to take a look at the menus, please do get in touch.

Books for a Matson Ground Holiday

Matson Ground holiday reads

This week we celebrated World Book Day and it got us thinking about what books we would we pack for our Matson Ground holiday.

With literally millions of books to choose from, this would need some serious thinking. To make it a little easier, we decided to focus our search close to the Lake District. After all, it’s well-known for its wonderful literary heritage, boasting writing talent such as William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome.

But we’re not necessarily after poetry or children’s books. We’re looking for gripping page-turners. Something you can really lose yourself in.

Our final list features a number of excellent books. What’s more, each one is set in the Lake District and based on the reviews, they’re on our list.

Happy reading!

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid

It’s summer in the Lake District, and heavy rains have uncovered a tattooed body. Could it be linked to rumours that Fletcher Christian, mutinous first mate on the Bounty, did secretly return to England, where he was sheltered by Lakeland poet, William Wordsworth?

Local Wordsworth specialist, Jane Gresham, wants to find out. But as she follows each lead, death is hard on her heels. Jane soon finds herself at the heart of a 200-year-old mystery that still puts lives at risk.

Haweswater by Sarah Hall

Haweswater tells the tale of a centuries-old community that has survived into the 1930s largely unchanged, until Jack Liggett arrives from the city.

Liggett is a spokesperson for a Manchester waterworks company which has designs on a vast new reservoir. The valley in which the community has stood for hundreds of years will be evacuated, flooded, devastated.

This is a story of love, obsession and the destruction of a community.

Also by Sarah Hall, The Wolf Border.

The Windermere Witness by Rebecca Tope

Florist Persimmon ‘Simmy’ Brown has moved to the Lake District following a personal tragedy, content to lose herself in her work. But the peace is short-lived when, at the wedding of a millionaire’s daughter, the bride’s brother is found dead in the lake.

As the wedding florist, and one of the last people to speak to Mark Baxter alive, Simmy becomes embroiled in the relatives’ grief and anger.

When events take another sinister turn, Simmy finds herself at the very heart of a murder investigation.

Also by Rebecca Tope, The Ambleside Alibi and The Coniston Case.

The Woman from Browhead by Audrey Howard

If the psychological / crime genre isn’t your thing, how about a bit of historical romance? Set in the late 1840s and early 1850s, The Woman from Browhead tells the story of Annie Abbott, daughter and only child of a poverty-stricken Lake District farmer, who ran away with a theatre group at the age of fifteen.

Hearing that her parents have died, she returns to lay claim to the farm. But with an illegitimate child in tow, virtually no-one will speak to her, with the exception of a local landowner. But he is engaged to marry another woman.

Also by Audrey Howard, Annie’

All Quiet on the Orient Express by Magnus Mills

This is one we haven’t read yet but will be doing so very soon. By all accounts it’s hard to pigeon-hole in terms of genre; possibly a ‘tragi-comedy’. It’s been described as weird, funny, quirky. Perhaps it’s this ‘hard to define’ element which makes it all the more appealing.

As for the plot itself, it’s the end of the Summer in the Lake District, the sun is lower in the sky and the tourists have gone home. Our unnamed narrator decides to spend a few weeks in the Lake District, enjoying the quiet, before embarking on a motorcycle trip to India.

The book description reads: “But then the owner of the campsite asks him to paint a fence and he innocently obliges. Soon other odd jobs pile up until little by little he becomes ensnared in the ominous ‘out-of-season’.

Sounds intriguing.

We hope this list provides a little inspiration for you when it comes to books for a Matson Ground holiday. If you fancy buying something while you’re staying in the Lakes, why not pop into Fred’s Bookshop where you will find a diverse range of books.