I promised more food blogs, so here is my first.
Because people know I have a bit of a passion for food, they often ask me where to go for thing x, y, or z. When asked, I usually panic and offer places off the top of my head.
They’re always good, but they might not be my definitive list. I worry – what if I missed somewhere amazing and whoever asked ends up in only the second best place for tapas and cocktails? The struggle is real.
So in the first in a series of blogs, I thought I’d give my views on the best places to eat. In this blog, I am focusing on brunch in my home county of Cumbria.
What do you think of my suggestions? Am I missing anywhere? Let me know in the comments or on the socials.
Brunch is a big thing. Even in Cumbria. I think we were slightly later to the party than some, but we’re here now, and we’re making up for our late arrival by going full pelt. This means a decent selection of venues across the county now offer incredibly Instagrammable and utterly unique takes on this least English of meals.
Arguably the one that sets the bar. Homeground, in Windermere, only offers brunch. If you’re going to focus on only one course, then you’d best do it well. And boy do they.
When you think of brunch, you think of things like waffles, buttermilk fried chicken, pancakes and eggs; and they’re all available here. All have a twist, and along with a menu that rotates regularly, are surely designed to ensure you return time and time again.
On top of brunch staples, you get the best accompaniments in the form of outstanding coffee and home-baked cakes and pastries.
I’ve only managed to sample one of their homemade doughnuts once, but I’ve looked out for them on every single visit since.
Be warned though, getting a table can be a challenge. So be prepared to wait.
Trust me, you won’t regret that decision.
Brunch isn’t English, but then it probably isn’t particularly Scandinavian either. But that doesn’t stop Mathilde’s in Grasmere from providing their Northern European take on their early day servings.
Your options range from their sizeable Viking’s breakfast, to a more Norwegian choice of dill cured gravelax.
Homemade sourdough toast and delicious preserves offer a lighter option, but all of these can be washed down with a kick, with both bucks fizz and bloody marys on offer. And if you want something more traditional – a bacon sandwich or Skyr yoghurt can be yours – depending on which direction your taste buds and waistline are headed.
Mathilde’s adjoins the Heaton Cooper Studio and art shop, and the modern, light and spacious decor all make for a relaxing trip which is sure to get your creative juices flowing.
The Lingholm Kitchen
When you arrive at Lingholm and try to find a table, you might find it hard to believe this amazing canteen is only a few years old.
Lingholm has a proud history and inspired Beatrix Potter back in the day. The new kitchen has transformed what was previously a traditional tea room into a lively, vibrant space.
If you manage to find a table, you’re still likely to have to queue to order, but this will give you time to narrow down the menu choices. With the selection on offer, this is no bad thing. Brunch options are available all day and include the now-classic-of-the-genre, smashed avocado toast, lots of egg options, and breakfast sandwiches and well as their homemade smoky beans. A full breakfast is available for those who want it all, and lunchtime options are plentiful too.
When you head to the counter to order, an alluring display of homemade cakes, scones and treats might test your resolve or your meal choices.
While at Lingholm, you can explore the grounds and walled garden, or simply decide whether to eat in the main room, on the terrace or in the overflow greenhouse. If it’s busy, you won’t get a choice.
Kendal’s Comida is one of my favourite places to hang out. It’s got a modern Mediterranean vibe and always feels like where the cool people go.
The fact that the food is always exceptional only adds to the incentive to head into the south Lakes.
As the name suggests, Comida does food with a Spanish twist, and their brunch options are no different. This means you are lucky enough to be offered chorizo and paprika along with your eggs. What’s not to love?
They also serve my all time favourite breakfast choice of pan con tomato y jamon. It’s a simple choice, but really does pack a punch.
Food is served all day, and as the day turns into night the canteen vibe sublty changes to the bar scene, much like any good Mediterranean haunt.