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Thursday, 08 September 2016

The Good Food Guide, Good Pub Guide and Cumbria

The Good Food Guide 2017 and the Good Pub Guide 2017 have just been published and once again they confirm the yawning gulf that exists between south/mid Cumbria and the north of the county (including the city of Carlisle) when it comes to inclusion in these two well known publications.

Of the 22 restaurants, pubs and cafés listed in the Cumbria section of the Good Food Guide only one place - Farlam Hall near Brampton - is located north of a line that stretches from Cockermouth to Culgaith near Penrith. Farlam Hall (top picture) celebrates its 40th consecutive year in the food lover’s guide book.

It’s a similar story when it comes to the Good Pub Guide which names The Watermill at Ings as its Own-Brew Pub of the Year 2017. Of the 34 main entries for Cumbria only three lie to the north of the A66 Penrith-Keswick-Cockermouth road although a number of pubs in this part of the county do make the GPG’s ‘Also Worth a Visit’ section.

They include The Old Crown at Hesket Newmarket, Golden Fleece at Ruleholme, Wheatsheaf at Wetheral, Plough at Wreay (last three all near Carlisle) and The Kings Head in Carlisle, the only pub listed for the city.

Some places, of course, feature in both guides, familiar names like The Drunken Duck near Hawkshead, The Pheasant Inn at Bassenthwaite (new entry for 2017 in the GFG), The Punch Bowl Inn at Crosthwaite, the Sun Inn at Kirkby Lonsdale and the George and Dragon at Clifton near Penrith, Cumbria Dining Pub of the Year in the GPG.

Charles Lowther, joint owner of the George and Dragon also has Askham Hall near Penrith, another new entry in the GFG. Two other new entries are the Three Hares Café in Sedbergh and The Forest Side at Grasmere (pictured). The latter also receives the GFG’s Editors’ Award for Best New Entry while Mrs Miller’s at the Hazel Dene Garden Centre, Culgaith near Penrith is a regional winner, Local Restaurant Award.

But the greatest achievement is L’Enclume at Cartmel (pictured) maintaining its number one place in the Good Food Guide’s list of top 50 restaurants in the UK, the fourth year running that Simon Rogan’s restaurant has claimed this coveted spot. Two more of his restaurants - Fera at Claridges in London and The French at the Midland Hotel in Manchester - come in at number 15 and 18 respectively in the same top 50 list. Rogan & Company in Cartmel is in the Good Food Guide too.

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