’Why don’t we open a café and sell a few cakes?’ said Andy and Chrissy Hill to each other in 1996 and with those few words a local legend was born. Much loved by many, the family owned restaurant was once described by the Good Food Guide as the ‘ultimate in personal hospitality’.

‘For cooking packed with heart and soul - and stacked with generous eccentricity - head to this colourful jumble of a place,’ said the guide again in its 2020 edition. ‘Such a lovely atmosphere here, it almost sings,’ a diner once told the couple.

Two smallish dining rooms (upstairs and down) have large paintings of cows, photographs of jazz musicians and books to read while in the ladies and gents, album covers on the wall may detain you longer than anticipated.

Food itself is a gastronomic tour of the world, with main courses that can range from Urfa chilli roast chicken with date and pistachio couscous; fillet of hake, baked in miso, with giant black tiger prawns in a fragrant Sinhalese coconut and lemongrass curry; Herdwick lamb loin in rose harissa and humus; porcini crusted Aberdeen Angus sirloin or Bhaja fish tacos, with Jumble Room dirty fries.

‘We take the very best ingredients, cook them with love and serve them with pride,’ say the couple, and there’ll be thousands of people who’ve eaten here over the years who’ll testify to that. 

The Jumble Room, Langdale Road, Grasmere LA22 9SU: 015394 35188, www.thejumbleroom.co.uk  Check website for the opening times. The Hills also own a luxurious B&B called Randy Pike which is located between Ambleside and Hawkshead (www.randypike.co.uk). 

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