A holiday just isn’t complete without enjoying great food and drink while you’re there. We’ve compiled a list of the best food stores in the Lake District, including farm shops and butchers where you can stock up on supplies to take back to your holiday cottage. Make sure to pick up some of the region’s local delicacies, including the Cumberland sausage, sticky toffee pudding and gingerbread biscuits.
Grasmere Gingerbread Shop
Best for: Incredible gingerbread made from a top-secret 19th-century recipe.
The Grasmere Gingerbread Shop was established by Victorian cook Sarah Nelson in 1854. The reputation of her delicious gingerbread quickly gained popularity and today the Ambleside shop’s famous clientele includes Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. This tiny shop was Sarah Nelson’s Church Cottage home and remains almost untouched to this day.
Sarah Nelson’s original gingerbread recipe is hand-written on parchment and safely stored away in a secure bank safe in the Lake District. The only person alive today who knows the recipe is Andrew Hunter, a partner in the business, who mixes and bakes the gingerbread fresh every day.
Low Sizergh Barn Farm Shop
Location: Low Sizergh
Best for: Fresh farm produce.
The family-run Barn Farm Shop & Café in the village of Low Sizergh, Kendal, provides fresh milk, meat and cheese products from locally-reared animals. Freshly-grown and handpicked vegetables, as well as free-range eggs from nearby farms, are also available. It’s a nice change from the overly-packaged foods you’ll find at standard supermarkets.
It also has a tea room that serves up traditional English breakfasts in the morning. Head over before midday to enjoy local bacon and Cumberland sausages with all the expected trimmings!
Cartmel Village Shop
Best for: Sampling some of the best sticky toffee pudding in the world.
Home of the sticky toffee pudding, Cartmel Village Shop serves up delicious sticky toffee treats, all made in Cumbria using natural ingredients. The owners began baking their sweet treats in the back of the village shop kitchen over 20 years ago. Now you can find their products in supermarkets and department stores across the country, including Waitrose and Harvey Nichols.
Inside the Cartmel village shop, you’ll find a big selection of local produce, including cheeses, yoghurts and chocolates. If you’re planning on cooking a delicious meal at your holiday cottage, stock up on all your tasty essentials here.
Best for: Picking up essentials for a tasty dinner.
If you’ll be staying in the lakeside town of Windermere, Booths Supermarket is an upmarket store providing a big selection of regional produce. It’s located right next to the Windermere train station, so if you’ll be travelling over by train it’s a good place to pop into and pick up essentials before you reach your cottage.
It has a good selection of wines and cheeses, as well as fresh meat and fish. You’ll also find a cafe and bakery on-site, offering hot drinks and a tasty assortment of sweet treats.
Plumgarths Farm Shop
Best for: Stocking up on essentials and enjoying an afternoon tea.
Plumgarths Farm Shop offers a one-stop-shop for the best local produce. From meat, dressings, preserves, ice-creams, real ales, bread, baked goods, fruit and vegetables, all items stocked are from local and passionate small-scale producers.
Next door to Plumgarths Farm Shop is the popular Two Sisters Café, serving hearty breakfasts, light lunches and opulent afternoon teas. The sister team are passionate about baking and creating a welcoming environment to enjoy their home-cooked food. The café is simple in style with lots of light and a wood burner for colder days.
Best for: Picking up a good bottle of wine for a chilled night in.
After a busy day of travelling over to your cottage, you might be reaching for the wine glass. If you’re particular about your wines and spirits, head over to Hotwines where you’ll find a huge selection of regional and international wines, liqueurs and spirits.
The knowledgeable staff at the shop in Grange-over-Sands are always happy to help you find the right wine to suit your preferences. You’ve even got the option to try before you buy! Hotwines also has its own wine bar where you can sit and enjoy a refreshing glass in the comfortable wine snug.
Dales Traditional Butchers
Location: Kirkby Lonsdale
Best for: High-quality Cumbrian meats.
Dales Traditional Butchers have been supplying quality, locally reared meats for over 100 years in Kirkby Lonsdale. Established by Herbert Dale in 1906, the produce comes straight from local farms who supply only the highest quality meats, raised on Cumbrian and Lancastrian land.
The produce ranges from traditional meats, pies and puddings to fine cheeses and fresh vegetables. Staff are friendly and experienced and their award-winning pies are all produced in-house to traditional recipes, using only the best locally sourced ingredients.
Best for: Grabbing a few essentials on the way to your cottage.
Considered to be one of the most popular service stations in the UK, Tebay Services offers more than just a hot cup of coffee and a quick sandwich. Located just off the M6 in Cumbria, if you’ll be driving over to your cottage, there’s a good chance you’ll be going past it.
Tebay Services offers a farm shop, butchery, deli and a cafe. Inside, you’ll find a collection of produce from over 70 producers in Cumbria and the surrounding areas. Make sure to try the Eden Valley Brie from the nearby Appleby Creamery.