Vicky's Top 5 cafés & cakes in The Lake District.
A bit about Vicky
No. 1 - Chester's by the River
One of the busiest out of town cafés and for good reason. Located dangerously close to Langdale and visited possibly too often … it's just so hard to resist! The main café at Chester's is a lovely bright and buzzy place with outdoor seating along the riverside which is idyllic in the Summer months. The menu in the café is equally vibrant, it's vegetarian but even the most carnivorous eaters seem to enjoy a meal here and not miss the meat too much! If you don't have time to enjoy a sit-down meal, then at the other end of the building past the beautiful gift shop is a bakery and takeaway counter. This is where I generally head as I can grab a slab of my favourite cake ... a toss up between the white chocolate and cranberry flapjack or sticky ginger and apple cake and a filter coffee that's always fresh and hot. I also love that all the takeaway packaging is plastic free and recyclable, makes a Chester's visit guilt free. (If only it wasn't for all the calories!)
No. 2 - The 2 Sisters Cafe
Plumgarths Retail Park - Crook Road
A deliciously rural feel, perfectly located for a last stop before heading home from a weekend in the Lakes. Managed by sisters Monika and Magda, this friendly duo serve up a lunch menu of hearty, rustic home cooking that suits this authentic farm to fork café. No delicate portions here, you will leave feeling stuffed! The cakes here are all made on site and are served up in huge delicious slabs that you think you'll never manage in one sitting (You will be impressed / disappointed with yourself as you stare at the crumbs on your empty plate just 20 minutes later). Wash this down with one of their super hot chocolates with all the extras and you are on to a winner! Once you've over indulged in the café, make sure you head in to the adjoining farm shop, you'll find lots of tasty things here from local producers including a fantastic artisanal gin selection and a meat counter with knowledgeable butchers on hand who will point you towards the perfect cut of meat for your next Sunday roast.
No. 3 - More? Bakery Cafe
This small bakery, in the middle of the popular Mill Yard in Staveley has just and handful of tables and seating but is worth a visit if you have been exploring this area of the Lakes. Service isn't speedy but everything that comes over the deli counter is worth the wait, the freshly baked pies and sausage rolls are fantastic and the Monties Revenge sourdough loaf HAS to get a mention as it's divine. However, my ultimate recommendation is the famous More? Muddie, completely unassuming if you aren't in the know but this chocolate brownie is something special, I can't go in without buying one, trust me it's amazing, they also do a gluten free version. I always come out of here with a takeaway coffee too, all the staff here make a mean cappuccino!
No. 4 - Homeground
Top of the list for brunch with the girls and a fantastic people watching place if you manage to get a window seat! The guys at Homeground are clearly passionate about great coffee as there's always a selection of exotic blends to choose from. The brunch menu is to die for, especially the 'Eggs Benny' but it might not be for you if your trying to avoid carbs - there's a lot of bread! You also may not have room for cake afterwards but you'd be missing out if you didn't get one to enjoy later on. My recommendation - Toffee apple blondie with custard icing … you're welcome!
No. 5 - The Old Post Office
A quaint little tea room that's relaxed, informal and as quirky as the opening hours! If you are walking or cycling in or through Troutbeck there is a good chance you will pass The Old Post Office and via Robin Lane this also makes for a wonderful walk from Ambleside with amazing views all the way down Lake Windermere. Alternatively walk from Windermere via Orrest Head is also great. . Regarded as the heart of the community by locals, it's also the village shop and operates a post office service two days a week. The tea room itself serves traditional teas, coffees and traybakes and cakes. I recommend a warm fruit scone with clotted cream and some of their beautiful homemade jam and a Farrer's No.1 filter coffee. Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are the most satisfying!
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