For Bon Vivants...
Headed up by Hrishikesh Desai, this Michelin-starred hotel restaurant is reshaping what it means to be a hotel restaurant. Nestled deep in the Cumbrian countryside, it takes the area's history at the centre of the spice trade as a starting point and offers thoughtful and innovative dishes that are imbued with Desai's signature flair.
Beerwolf Microbar, Ulverston
This charming bottle shop and microbar is a finalist in this year's Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards for Bar of the Year. Their extensive beer menu is a must-peruse for any self-respecting hops lovers. They describe themselves as the 'plucky underdogs", but we're pretty sure that they won't be underdogs for long.
The Crafty Baa, Windermere
This quirky little spot has been a local favourite since it first opened its doors in 2016. In fact, it is such a shining example of how to get an independent community pub right that it was awarded the AA Pub of England in 2018. It was crafted using over 80% recycled materials, specialises in cheese, charcuterie and boutique booze and plays blues and jazz all night long.
The Factory Tap, Kendal
'No slots, no music, no gimmicks' is the order of the day at this Kendal favourite. Alongside a stellar library's worth of local craft beers you'll find specialist beers from around the globe and a monthly street food offering. Other events have included an annual Gin Fest and an Indian Spice weekend.
If your trip to the pub isn't worth the visit if you can't fill your belly with something truly special, then this Lakes local is the boozer for you. They were awarded Best Dining Pub in the 2019 Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards for their hands-on approach to a menu that sees everything from the bread to the stocks made from scratch.
The Lingholm Estate Kitchen and Walled Garden, Portinscale
There could be no better setting for a cafe and tea rooms than surrounded by a bakery and vegetable gardens. At the Lingholm Estate you can feast on breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas, all made using the fruits of those surroundings. Plus, check their Cumbrian First board for details of all of the other local suppliers used by the kitchen.
Yard 46, Kendal
This Kendal favourite comprises an open fire downstairs, a light and bright dining space upstairs and an outdoor courtyard, complete with a wood-fired oven. Nominated for this year's Cumbria Life Cafe of the Year award, their in-house baked breads are the perfect vehicle for an appealing array of brunch options.
The influences are American but the produce is all local at this award-winning neighbourhood restaurant. You can expect to find a menu chock full of steak and cocktails. And more importantly, you can trust that they will all be executed with love and painstaking precision. Book ahead. This is the ultimate date night.
This bistro in Pooley Bridge is quietly gaining a reputation as one of the most essential and interesting dining spots in the Lake District. You can pop in for something simple from the a la carte. But, if you have the time, book ahead for the six-course tasting menu. This is food as very tasty art.
The Black Labrador, Underbarrow
For a truly Cumbrian pub experience, The Black Labrador has all of the requisite parts. You'll find local hospitality, unpretentious grub and a blazing log burner, all housed within a 16th Century Inn. There's little wonder that this Underbarrow favourite was nominated for the Cumbria Life Readers' Award 2019.
For Your Reading Pleasure...
My Sister The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaites is the story of Lagos-based nurse Korede, whose sister does excatly what it says on the cover. Fast-paced brilliance.
The British Journal of Photography's new editon is all about Journeys. Not to be missed.
The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachmanas is the story of the son of a great painter living his life in his father's shadow
For Time Travellers: Porto...
Home Place is the most lovingly furnished home from home that you could wish for in Porto. Located in the up-and-coming Bonfim district, it's where the cool locals choose to hang out.
Casa Vasco is part of a mini-empire of restaurants close to Porto's Foz beach opened by local hero Danny Meyer.
is a dusky pink art deco haven for some of Portugal's most impressive modern art. Do not miss the stunning sculpture garden.
Flow restaurant is housed inside a Neo-Arabic architectural gem. The fusion food and flowing cocktails make it a firm favourite with in-the-know locals.