Penrith. Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall

One minute’s drive from junction 40 of the M6 brings you to Cranstons flagship food hall, the heart of this very well known family business which was established in 1914. Other food halls are located in Carlisle, Brampton and Orton Grange near Carlisle.  

Selling an extensive range of quality food and drink, the Penrith store stocks produce from more than 50 Cumbrian producers, with a meat, cheese and deli counter almost as long as Hadrian’s Wall. At the 2019 Cumbria Life Food and Drink Awards Cranstons received a special award for its Outstanding Contribution to Cumbria Food and Drink.

The business buys most of its beef, pork and lamb from farms within Cumbria, producing some 200 product lines including sausages, cured bacon, roast meat, pies, dry-aged beef, salads and sandwiches.

Its Cumberland sausage is an inveterate award winner (and the biggest seller in the business) but plenty of other products have won medals at the Q Guild of Butchers Smithfield Awards and the Great Taste Awards. 

Rare roast beef, Entertaining steak pie and Beef Wellington were three winners at the Great Taste Awards in 2021. Look out for the seasonal sales of Herdwick and Saltmarsh lamb and of Dexter beef as well. 

The fish counter here is run by Fyne Fish of Cockermouth (fresh sushi on Fridays) while a hot food counter - much loved by locals - serves a top notch hot meat butty and a series of daily specials. Those specials include the Cranstons Big Foot Cumberland Baguette which has developed something of a cult following. It’s only available on Thursdays and Fridays. 

Amongst the Cumbrian producers represented in the food hall are the likes of Mr Vikki’s pickles and sauces, Claire’s Handmade jams and chutneys, Country Flavour jams and marmalades, The Watermill (flour), Lakeland Mues (muesli), Cumberland Mustard, Hawkshead Relish jams and chutneys, Appleby Creamery cheese, Silver & Green olives, Saunders Chocolates, Lakes Distillery gin and Kin Toffee Vodka. Plus beers from Cumbrian Ales and Tractor Shed Brewery. 

Upstairs from the food hall is the attractive Café Oswald’s which serves breakfast, morning coffee, lunches and afternoon tea. As it’s so close to the M6, it’s a perfect spot for a break from driving. The Cranstons Full English - served all day - is to be recommended. 

Cranstons Cumbrian Food Hall, Ullswater Road, CA11 7EH: 01768 868680, www.cranstons.net Also food halls in Fisher Street, Carlisle; Front Street in Brampton and Orton Grange, about three miles west of Carlisle on the A595.

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