Food and drink from The Lakes to buy this Christmas. Buy local, support local

Introduction

Introduction

There’s never been a better - or more important - time to buy local than this Christmas. And if there’s one thing that the Lake District and Cumbria can really boast about - along with the beauty of its landscape - it’s the wealth of independent shops, producers and makers that you find in every corner of the county. If it’s food and drink you’re after, you’re certainly spoilt for choice: from cheese, chutneys, coffee, jams and cakes to beers, whisky, vodka, meat, fish and festive food, The Lakes is the perfect place to shop. Take a look at the places below for some seriously tasty treats. 

Saunders Chocolates, Crofton, Thursby

Saunders Chocolates, Crofton, Thursby

Treat a chocolate lover this Christmas by giving them The Works - 36 chocolates and truffles, handmade by this well known Cumbrian chocolate producer, and then packaged in four separate boxes. The Works is one of a number of gifts boxes that Saunders Chocolates offer, so plenty of choice for the one you want to surprise. Peach and Saffron, Apricot and Ginger, Coconut and Mixed Spice, Darkest Rum Truffle and Tahitian Vanilla are five flavours, the ‘raw material’ sourced from Belgian chocolate makers of over 100 years standing.

www.saunderschocolates.co.uk

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

Mr Vikki’s

Mr Vikki’s

If you’re looking for a hot date this Christmas, try one of Mr Vikki’s distinctive range of pickles, chutneys, jams or sauces. A self-confessed ‘chilli-head’, Adam Marks has been putting fire into the belly of thousands of food fans over 15 years, picking up countless Great Taste Awards in the process. Old Delhi Chutney and HHH Madras, for instance, won two stars each at this year’s awards. ‘We make fresh, delicious and complex tasting products that not only have a serious kick to them but also deliver on flavour,’ he says.

www.mrvikkis.co.uk

Eden Valley and the East

Bowness Bay Brewing

Bowness Bay Brewing

Celebrate Christmas and the new ‘steamer’ on Windermere with a glass of Swift Best, named after the MV Swift which came into service - with Windermere Lake Cruises - a few weeks ago. Swan Blonde, Swan Black, Swan Gold, Fell Walker, Lakeland Blonde, Swan Free, Raven Red and Steamer IPA are all from the same brewery, the latter an American-style IPA and a gold award winner, in two categories, at the Society of Independent Brewers Awards (north). Buy online (free local delivery) or from Booths, Cranstons, Lakeland Artisan etc.

www.bownessbaybrewing.co.uk

Kendal and the South

Three Hares Deli, Sedbergh

Three Hares Deli, Sedbergh

Expect a ‘selection of the finest artisan and farm reared produce’ from northern England at this deli, formerly run by owners Nina Matsunaga and James Ratcliffe as a bakery and bistro. The couple, who also have Sedbergh’s Black Bull Inn, stock a range of meat, cheeses, sourdough breads, charcuterie, foraged ingredients, craft beers, organic wines, homemade meals and more. Cumbrian names include St James and Thornby Moor Dairy cheese, Mansergh Hall pork, Queen-Fryers drinks, Carvetii coffee, Shed 1 Distillery gins and Laura’s Loom wool blankets.

www.threeharesdeli.co.uk

Eden Valley and the East

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, Grasmere

Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread, Grasmere

Add some spice to Christmas with this famous Lake District food whose ‘unique intoxicating flavour tastes like nothing else on earth’. First produced for locals and early Lakeland tourists in 1854 by a cook called Sarah Nelson, the gingerbread won the Makers and Producers Award at the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019. Check out the range of Christmas hampers (most produce is Cumbrian) and don’t forget Cumberland Rum Butter, delicious on Christmas puddings or warm mince pies. Buy online or at the shop in Grasmere.

www.grasmeregingerbread.co.uk

Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston

Eva’s Organics Apple Juice

Eva’s Organics Apple Juice

This is what the Danes might call ‘hygge’: feet up by the fireside and a bottled of mulled Eva’s Organics apple juice within easy reach. Great Taste Award winners in 2020 for three juices - Apple and Raspberry, Apple and Rhubarb and Apple and Ginger (all organic) - this business grew out of a home delivery fruit and vegetable box scheme, started in 2000 by Debbie and Mike Simpson. It’s their son, Robert, who turns surplus apples from 600 trees into ‘the freshest tasting product possible’. Buy online or check website for outlets.

www.evasorganics.co.uk

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

Tebay Services, Farmshop and Kitchen, Tebay

Tebay Services, Farmshop and Kitchen, Tebay

Celebrate Christmas and the 50th anniversary of this beautiful stretch of the M6 by visiting one of the best farmshops in Britain. The food and drink of some 70 Cumbrian producers are stocked and there’s a traditional butchery counter here too, selling beef and lamb from the owner’s farm. The privately owned services were Specialist Retailer or Supplier of the Year at the Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards 2020, praised for ‘putting Cumbria on the map’. The farmshops are both north and southbound.

www.tebayservices.com 

Eden Valley and the East

Cumbrian Ales

Cumbrian Ales

Get a taste of what one travel writer on The Guardian newspaper described as ‘the best beer in the universe’: Loweswater Gold, a past Champion Golden Ale of Britain. It’s one of a number of ales produced by Cumbrian Ales along with the likes of Esthwaite Bitter, Langdale, Buttermere Beauty and Grasmoor Dark Ale. You can buy the beers separately or as a mixed case, online, at numerous retailers in Cumbria or at the brewery’s ‘home pub’, the Kirkstile Inn at Loweswater near Cockermouth.

www.cumbrianales.com

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes

The Toffee Shop, Penrith

The Toffee Shop, Penrith

Join the musicians, film stars, royalty and politicians who’ve all beaten a path to this shop over the years and come away with one of its trademark boxes of toffee or fudge. Buy online and that same distinctive box - white, with gold edging and black lettering - comes through the post. The fudge is hand made in small batches from butter, sugar and milk and comes in three flavours: butter, chocolate and mint. The butter or treacle toffee is made with sugar, butter and syrup or black treacle. It’s a great present for Christmas.

www.thetoffeeshop.co.uk 

Eden Valley and the East

Higginsons of Grange

Higginsons of Grange

As ever, heaps of people will be ordering free-range turkeys from this former Best Butchers in Britain where the ‘finest festive food’ includes free range geese and cockerels, speciality pies, three bird roasts, pintade farcie, Cumbrian beef, free range pork, whole ducks, festive cheeseboards and Christmas boxes. New this year are an All the Trimmings Pack and a Higgies Breakfast Pack. Look out too for the Christmas click and collect service, coming soon. Buy at the shop in Grange-over-Sands.

www.higginsonsofgrange.co.uk

Kendal and the South

Simon Rogan’s Festive Hampers, Cartmel

Simon Rogan’s Festive Hampers, Cartmel

Simon Rogan's luxury hampers have been updated to include some of the chef’s favourite new foods and products from this year. Choose from the Super Chef’s Christmas Hamper for fellow foodies, Brew Time hamper for fine tea-lovers or the Simon Rogan Extra Special Christmas Hamper for the ultimate luxury gift. Simon Rogan runs two restaurants in Cartmel: L’Enclume (two Michelin stars) and Rogan & Co (one star). Buy online (nationwide delivery) or from his Cartmel shop.

www.simonrogan.co.uk/shop/hampers

Kendal and the South

Hawkshead Relish, Hawkshead

Hawkshead Relish, Hawkshead

A great foodie book for Christmas and one that celebrates 21 years since Mark and Maria Whitehead set up this well known business. Embellish with Relish is inspired by the couple’s family, their travel and the range of 120 different relishes, pickles, jams, ketchups and preserves which are produced in the Lake District. Between them they have won over 70 Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food, including two stars each for four products at this year’s awards. Buy online, at the shop in Hawkshead or in many other places.

www.hawksheadrelish.com

Grasmere, Hawkshead and Coniston

Cartmel Village Shop, Cartmel

Cartmel Village Shop, Cartmel

Celebrate both Christmas and the 30th anniversary of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding by treating yourself from the range of ‘yummy puddings, crumbles and sauces’ that this famous food name produces. Sticky Figgy Pudding is made for the festive season but there’s also sticky banana, sticky ginger, sticky chocolate and sticky toffee apple puddings, lemon drizzle sponge and Christmas Pud. Buy online, at the Cartmel Village Shop (where there’s a great choice of other food and drink as well) and other fine food retailers.

www.cartmelvillageshop.co.uk  

Kendal and the South

Kin Toffee Vodka

Kin Toffee Vodka

Looking for something new this Christmas from the people behind Kin Toffee Vodka? What about trying Kin Toffee Apple Vodka, ‘an inspired blend of our award winning toffee vodka with rosy, zingy apple flavours’. Drink it straight or pour it over ice with lemony mixers. Or simply add to your bubbles. If it’s just a stocking filler or a secret Santa present you’re after, look no further than a 50ml bottle of Kin Toffee Vodka (inspired by the ski slopes of France and created near the fells of Cumbria) and a branded shot glass. A perfect winter warmer.

www.kinvodka.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

Cranstons at Carlisle, Brampton, Orton Grange

Cranstons at Carlisle, Brampton, Orton Grange

Check out Cranstons huge range of Christmas food/drink at one of these food halls in and around Carlisle. The choice includes the new beef Wellington, launched this Christmas, hog roast garlands, chicken cushions, Christmas chuckling, traditional pork pies, Christmas meat boxes and the Eden Luxury Crate, ‘a Cumbrian food lovers delight’. Customers can either go into the shops or order first for later collection (details about that service on Cranstons website from November 2).

www.cranstons.net  

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast. 

Lakeland Artisan, Windermere, Bowness, Keswick and more

Lakeland Artisan, Windermere, Bowness, Keswick and more

Boozy baubles, mulled fruit gin, spiced fruit rum liqueur and Lakeland hampers. Four Christmas treats from Lakeland Artisan, winners of nine Great Taste Awards in 2020, including two stars each for six products. Buy online or at the shops in Keswick (Cumbrian Gifts), Windermere (Lakeland Artisan) or Bowness (Lakeland Gifts). Also at three pop up shops - until December 24 - in Carlisle, Kendal and Lancaster. Other Cumbrian produced food and drink is sold in the shops too.

www.lakelandartisan.co.uk

Windermere, Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere

Claire’s Handmade

Claire’s Handmade

Boxing Day Chutney, made with festive favourites cranberries and cinnamon, joins Celebratory Christmas Chutney, Figgy Pudding Chutney with Armagnac, Cranberry and Orange Sauce, Christmas Conserve with Ruby Port, and Christmas Marmalade with Whisky. Claire, featured in Good Housekeeping earlier this year, sells her products online (where you can build your own gift hamper) and at independent retailers in The Lakes.

www.claireshandmade.com

Carlisle, Hadrian’s Wall and Solway Coast

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite Lake

The Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite Lake

Sharing plenty of festive cheer this Christmas, The Lakes’ extensive range of gifts takes in spirit-filled crackers, beautifully presented whisky, gin, and vodka gift boxes (70cl) and gift packs (5cl), whisky stones, glassware and, of course, The Lakes Gin, The Lakes Single Malt Whiskymaker’s Editions Colheita and - for the ultimate present - The Quatrefoil Collection. Buy online or visit the distillery’s shop at Bassenthwaite Lake near Keswick. The whisky, gin and vodka is sold in many other outlets in Cumbria and beyond.

www.lakesdistillery.com

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes 

Ginger Bakers, near Kendal

Ginger Bakers, near Kendal

If you love cake and cosy then Ginger Bakers Luxury Brandy and Orange Mince Pies or Westmorland Pepper Fruit Cake should do the trick this Christmas. The pepper cake was ‘highly commended’ by judges at this year’s Great British Food Awards, one more accolade to add to the 15 Great Taste Awards Lisa Smith’s business has won for its cakes, tarts, loaf cakes and traybakes since 2006. Check out its Christmas range or give someone a real treat: a three, six or 12 months subscription to the Ginger Bakers Cake Club.

www.gingerbakers.co.uk

Kendal and the South

Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith

Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Penrith

There’s all sorts of wonderful festive fare at Cranstons flagship food hall in Penrith. Christmas pies and meat boxes, the new beef Wellington, launched this Christmas, free range geese, three bird roasts, hog roast garlands, Christmas cushions, wild venison, the Eden Luxury Crate, a 'Cumbrian food lovers delight’ in a chunky wooden crate, and a lot more. Cranstons dry cured streaky bacon and the firm’s tomahawk steak were both two star winners at this year’s Great Taste Awards. 

www.cranstons.net  

Eden Valley and the East

Carvetii Coffee Roasters, Threlkeld

Carvetii Coffee Roasters, Threlkeld

What better Christmas present for a coffee lover than Carvetii’s Latitude Espresso blend or the limited edition Guji Uraga Gomoro? Even a coffee subscription? Both made the shortlist of the Great British Food Awards 2020, a great accolade for the business. ‘Freshly roasted speciality coffee’ is the main side to Carvetii which offers a range of teas and hot chocolates, brewing equipment, grinders, reusable cups and Espresso machines as well. You can also click and collect from the roasters in Threlkeld or visit and buy on site.

www.carvetiicoffee.co.uk

Northern Lakes, Keswick and Western Lakes 

Appleby Creamery

Appleby Creamery

Hootenanny may be the name of a New Year’s Eve BBC music programme but it’s also one of the stars of Appleby Creamery’s range of cheeses, and cheese is a big part of many people’s Christmas. The creamery produces cheeses made with cow’s, goat’s and ewe’s milk, Eden Valley Brie one of the most popular. That’s made with milk from Ayrshire cows, as is Black Dub Blue. Look out too for Eden Chieftain, Eden Smokie and the wonderfully named Nanny McBrie. Or give someone a gift of a subscription to the firm’s Artisan Cheese Lovers’ Club.

www.applebycreamery.co.uk 

Eden Valley and the East

Shed 1 Distillery, Ulverston

Shed 1 Distillery, Ulverston

Talk about Christmas cheers. Shed 1’s Festive Bramble Gin Elixir is one of Woman & Home’s Best Christmas Spirits for 2020. ’Christmas in a glass. A wonderful way to create cocktails,’ says the magazine. The elixir - shortlisted in the Great British Food Awards 2020 - is one of a number of drinks produced by Zoe and Andy Arnold-Bennett at their craft gin distillery. Festive TippleCuckold’s Revenge (Great Taste Awards two stars) and Fancy Frolic are three others. Check out the website for hampers, marmalades and gift vouchers too.

www.shed1distillery.com  

Kendal and the South

Stay connected

Keep up to date with all the latest news from the LAKE DISTRICT travel guide.

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.