Over the last few years Cartmel has become THE place in Northern England to visit for food lovers.
The village has been famed for years for the Cartmel village shop, home to the famous Cartmel Sticky Toffee pudding and North West England’s only 2 Michelin star restaurant, L’Enclume.
However, in the autumn of 2018, Simon Rogan’s 2nd restaurant in Cartmel was also awarded a Michelin star making Cartmel 1 of only 3 villages in the UK with 2 Michelin starred restaurants.
Simon Rogan opened L’Enclume restaurant in 2002 and gained a prestigious Michelin star within his 1st year. His reputation started to grow and there was quickly talk of Simon being 1 of the world’s top chefs.
In 2012 he won the final of the BBC’s ‘Great British Menu’. This was quickly followed in 2013 when ‘L’Enclume’ in Cartmel became the only restaurant in Northern England at that time to be awarded 2 Michelin stars, which they’ve held ever since.
L’Enclume’s’ fantastic achievements put it in a class of its own in and the ‘Good Food Guide’ has rated ‘L’Enclume’ a perfect ‘10 out of 10’ for several consecutive years and also rated the restaurant as the ‘best restaurant in the UK!’
Simon Rogan’s second restaurant in Cartmel ‘Rogan & Co’ offers a more relaxed approach to Simon’s cooking serving great local produce in a beautiful setting in the heart of Cartmel village.
This ‘more affordable’ restaurant also scores highly in the ‘Good Food Guide’ and was awarded a Michelin star in 2018.
Rogan & Co is now one of the most inexpensive Michelin starred restaurants in the UK with 2 courses from around £26 and 3 courses from around £35. Booking is essential at this popular local bistro.
Thanks to Simon Rogan and his hugely skilled team, our little village of Cartmel at the southern tip of the English Lake District has been transformed into a food lover’s hot spot.
There’s even a ‘Rogan’ Shop that sells a range of L’Enclume keepsakes as well as a selection of appetising L’Enclume and regional produce.
All products reference back to Simon’s passion for provenance, expertise and craftsmanship.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT SIMON ROGAN!
A great village isn’t complete without a good pub and Cartmel has several!
An old favourite with locals and holiday makers is the ‘Cavendish Arms’ in Cavendish Street-close to L’Enclume. The ‘Cavendish’ serve very popular pub food using local ingredients, a good selection of local ales and a great selection of gin too!
Our other favourite pub is the ‘Pig & Whistle’ on the edge of the village. The bar area is small but they have 2 other larger rooms for their much liked pub food and tapas. Out the back is a lovely, peaceful beer garden overlooking fields, somewhere where I love to relax after a hard day.
Cartmel’s 4 pubs and the ‘Priory Hotel’ all have outdoor seating where you can make the most of the sunshine and Cartmel Square is a great place to sit outside ‘people watching’ in Cumbria’s most stylish village.
Real ale drinkers are spoilt for choice with at least 4 different real ales being served in each of the pubs including many local brews, some of which are brewed in Cartmel at ‘Unsworth’s Yard Brewery’.
Every great village has a great café too and Cartmel is no exception. Our 2 favourite cafes are the award winning ‘Cartmel Coffee’ in the village square where you’ll also find a couple of tables and chairs outside. This is a great place to relax, read the newspapers or do a spot of people watching.
Our other favourite café is in Cartmel Village shop, home of the famous sticky toffee pudding.
Cartmel Village Shop is a haven of foodie treasures including a selection of the best local artisan producers and a well stocked deli counter.
You’ll find everything from homemade quiches, scones, cakes, their own famous pork pies and of course-their famous Sticky Toffee Puddings.
The shop also offer take away sandwiches, drinks and coffee, or if you have a little more time, take a seat in their charming first floor café. Sit in the window and take in the view of the village square as you enjoy a delicious selection of hot and cold food not to mention their award-winning puddings. Which will you choose? Traditional Sticky Toffee or maybe a Lemon Drizzle or Sticky Toffee Apple Crumble?
Open everyday including most Bank Holidays
Then we come to Unsworth’s Yard. This is a wonderful addition to Cartmel.
At the front of the yard is the excellent ‘Cartmel Cheese shop,’ one of the very best cheese shops, cellars and cheese producers in the North of England.
The top-quality cheese on sale here is handpicked and bought when they are at their best (cheese quality varies throughout the year as does the grass that the livestock grazes on).
The cheese is stored in a precise temperature and humidity-controlled environment at the shop and there selection includes superb local, British and European cheeses, as well as their own sheep and goats cheese, made a mile down the road at Holker Farm.
Cartmel Cheese shop also has a great selection of local artisan bread, freshly baked 7 days a week a mile down the valley.
Naturally the shop also stocks an excellent selection of the best biscuits and chutneys to accompany your cheese.
……….and what’s the perfect accompaniment with bread and cheese? ‘Yes’ wine!
Opposite ‘Cartmel Cheese shop’ is a great wine shop-the ‘Cartmel Wine & Drink Shop’. A concise but very well-chosen section of quality wines and spirits are available. You can even sample many of their wines before you buy-that’s what I call good service!
The Wine Shop also has several tables, chairs and parasols outside (heaters in colder months) where 7 different wines by the glass are available plus cocktails, gin, malt whisky and other quality spirits. You can also buy any bottle of wine or spirits from the shop and pay a small ‘corkage’ charge to drink in the Wine Snug or the tables outside.
Peckish? You can order a selection of cheese to go with your wine and on Friday and Saturday evenings, Cartmel Cheese shop even make and bake their own delicious pizzas. The smell of freshly baked pizzas and garlic pizza bread wafting around Unsworth’s Yard on Friday and Saturday evenings is so mouth-watering!
The Wine Snug in the Wine Shop is a lovely lounge area that is open until 6pm during the week and 9pm at weekends.
Unsworth’s Yard itself has several tables, chairs and parasols where customers from the Wine Shop and Unsworth’s Yard Brewery can enjoy their drinks in a lovely peaceful location.
Unsworth’s Yard Brewery is an ‘open door’ microbrewery that sells its own craft real ales, keg beers and craft lagers until 6pm during the week and 9pm at weekends.
It’s hard to imagine that all of these wonderful places to eat, drink and buy great local produce can be crammed into such a small but beautiful, quintessentially English village, but it’s true!
Cartmel is a truly wonderful village and in many people’s opinion, it is now the best village in Cumbria. You’d be hard pushed to find such a beautiful small village that isn’t too busy, not at all commercialised and has so many great places to eat drink and buy wonderful local food and drink. There’s even free parking for a couple of hours!
You can see our lovely cottages in the Cartmel area here
You can also download my current ‘Food & Drink Guide’ for the Cartmel Valley here
This was another gorgeous dollop of indulgence brought to you by the providers of luxury Lake District Cottages and a food loving Simon Cleasby.