In addition to the restuarant at the main White Cross Bay reception area (5 minutes leisurely walk from the lodge),
there are bar meals and entertainment provided. We've not eaten in the restaurant ourselves, but one or two of our guests have commented that the service wasn't what they had expected.
The bar meals, however, have always been fine - although a bit pricey!
(Take away food also available!)
The Sun Hotel This is the nearest pub/hotel to the site. It's about 15 minutes walk away in Troutbeck Bridge (3 or 4 minutes in a car).
There is a short cut through the back of the park along a private road...which isn't strictly allowed but will save you
several minutes if you want to take the risk of being chased by an angry landowner with a twelve-bore shot gun!
We've always enjoyed going there a lot in the past, but it's recently been extensively refurbished
and may, in consequence, have lost some of its 'atmosphere' - although Mandy and Louise enjoyed the meal they had there!
As from 2015 the restaurant has been rebrabded as 'Pedros', with Tapas style menus. Nice and handy if you're in the mood for Tapas! Tel: 01539 443274
Here is just a selction of places recommended by ourselves or by guests:
Queens Head at Troutbeck
(tel: 01539 432174). This at the far end of the village as you drive from here and has often been
recommended to us as somewhere with very special, local fare - but quite expensive.
The Magic Wok in Windermere. "We would recommend using the Magic Wok. We had a meal for five, which was
gorgeous and fed eight of us." (The O'Sullivans)
2, Crescent Road. Tel: 01539 488668 or 01539 488669
Jintana Thai Restaurant in Bowness. Our Son and his girlfriend have
eaten here and told us it was good (High praise, indeed!)
Lake Road (up the hill a couple of hundred yards from the Tesco mini rdbt on the right).
Tel: 01539 445002
Royal Oak in Bowness. We've often been here for
good, honest "pub" food. No thrills and fancies, but perfectly good for a reasonably cheap family meal.
Brantfell Road. No more than one hundred yards from the town centre - up past the Beatrix Potter shop on the left.
Tel: 015394 43970
Bodegar SolBar in Bowness. There is a bar downstairs and Tapas restaurant upstairs.
We like eating Tapas and have enjoyed the times when we've eaten here. You can't book a table, however. So when
Bowness is busy (often!), you either have to wait in the noisy bar downstairs for a table or come back later. We even tried offering
them a deposit of £20 once, but they still wouldn't take a booking...so we went somewhere else. Shame! Because the Tapas is very good.
Ash Street. In the town centre, just a few yards along from the Beatrix Potter shop.
Tel: 01539 446825
Lucy's in Ambleside and Bowness. This is something of an
'up and coming' local franchise, with many 'Lucy' this-and-thats all over the place.
In Bowness, there is a 'Lucy's Restaurant' in Ash Street (town centre). In 2009 it served Tapas, but
doesn't under longer. We went in there when we couldn't be bothered to wait at the Bodega Solbar, so were a bit
surprised to find no Tapas on the menu. It's now a more sophisticated à la carte restaurant. The goat's cheese
starter was sublime (am now trying out different recipes for it), and the Mushroom Stroganoff a perfect complement.
Be warned, though, we spent over £50 for three - including drinks.
Tel: 01539 442793
In Ambleside there is a Lucy4 wine bar and bistro. You'll find images of the Devil everywhere!
And when you finally twig that "Lucy4" is a play on "Lucifer", everything will make sense. Now this place DOES
serve Tapas - so if it's Tapas you want, Lucy4 in Ambleside is our top tip! It's in St. Mary's Lane, but you'd be best
to call for directions as it's a bit complicated to explain!!
Tel: 01539 432288
There's also another Lucy's Restaurant in Ambleside, but we've not been there - we need to save
up a bit before doing so!
Church Street. Tel: 01539 431191
Mela Indian Restaurant in Bowness. On another occasion when we couldn't be bothered to wait for a table at the Bodega Solbar (maybe
if enough people complain, they'll start to take bookings), we went to the this Indian restuarant just along the road.
Actually, it was a great choice as we love Indian food - probably a lot more than Spanish food. We were lucky to get the very last table,
but it was right next to the door and people kept coming in and out all the time (bit cold as it was winter time). I suspect
these were all people who hadn't been able to get a table at the Bodega! But they couldn't get a table here either,
and everyone was told to "come back in half an hour".
The food was great and the service was very friendly. Definitely one of our top recommendations! They also do take away, by the way. Ash Street. (In case you'd not yet realised, this is the little road in the town centre with all the restuarants
in it - and the Beatrix Potter shop, of course!) Tel: 01539 445777
FISH AND CHIP SHOPS
Vinegar Jones in Bowness. Been here many times when we've wanted a quick takeaway with the children - or, more often, with our own parents, who are rather partial to fish 'n chips!
It's on the main street going towards the lake, just fifty yards or so beyond Tesco on the left.
The Walnut Chip Shop in Ambleside. Recommended by the O'Sullivans - sorry! not exactly sure where it is.
We ourselves rarely have fish 'n chips any longer, which is a great shame. This is due to environmental concerns
about the sustainability of fish stocks and we feel it's important to know that the fish we eat have come from
sustainable sources as verified, for example, by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
It would feel neglectful not to have mentioned this, but it's certainly not to try and spoil your enjoyment of what
reamins a great British tradition!
Where do we start and stop? Here are some places to look out for
while you're out and about that we've been to ourselves or have been given a review by
guests who've stayed at the lodge:
Heidi's Cafe in Red Lion Square, Grasmere. "Great cakes, tea and coffee"
Rydal Mount Tea Shop."The scones and the chocolate brownie are excellent". Rydal Mount and Hall is to the right of the main road from Ambleside to Grasmere (about a mile north of Ambleside).
You can park free of charge in the road by the side of the church - although a donation to the church
honesty box is expected. This is good place to walk from, and the tea shop is very welcome at the end.
If you are simply visiting Rydal Hall, then you can use their own car park.
Baldrys in Grasmere. "Has lovely cakes and lunches - also gluten-free bread and scones."
The Priest Hole in Ambleside. This is just to the right off the main road as you walk towards the lake
through the town centre. We always go there because we can sit outside with the dogs (under shelter if it's wet)
and the service is very friendly.
The Potting Shed at 'The Grasmere Garden Village' in Grasmere. This is located right next to the main car park in the
centre of the village (opposite the church on the left as you come in). This is very handy if you've been out
walking and are in need of refreshment at the end. The only problem is that you'll probably end up buying
things from the garden centre as well.
The Apple Pie Coffee Shop in Ambleside. "Very Cosy" according to Mandy and Louise.
Renoir's in Windermere. At the bottom of the town towards Bowness on the right. One of Jeanne's favourites because
"it feels French" she says (the name is a give away). Nice light snacks and scrummy cakes.
Booth's Coffee Shop in Windermere. This is part of the Booth's supermarket, which is on the pricey side
but great for good quality food and drink whilst you're on holiday. The coffee shop itself is reasonably-priced
(as coffee shop's go) and we can't normally resist the hot chocolate - though remember to ask for it without cream
and marshmallow if you're watching your weight!!
Royalty Cinema in Bowness.
Lake Road (up the hill about quarter of a mile from the mini-rdbt by Tesco
on the left). Tel: 01539 443364
Zeffirellis in Ambleside.
Four screens and Jazz Bar. (NB there are two different buildings - we think.)
Compston Road. Tel: 01539 433845
Fellinis in Ambleside.
Digital studio cinema and vergetarian restaurant. Live recordings and satellite links to theatre, opera and ballet at other venues such as
the Royal Opera House.
Church St. Tel: 01539 432487
Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.
Drama, Dance, Music, Lectures, Comedy, Opera, Exhibitions and Festivals. Has a very good
Lakeside. CA12 5DJ Tel: 01768 774411
The Old Laundry Theatre in Bowness.
Crag Brow (right next to the mini rdbt at the centre of the town). Tel:01539 488444 (x 223)
The Forum at Barrow-in-Furness
Dance, Comedy, Theatre, Music and Musical Theatre.
28, Duke Street. LA14 1HH. Tel:01229 820000
The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendall.
A diverse range of cultural, artistic and musical events.
Highgate. LA9 4HE Tel: 01539 725133
For live events (music, karaoke etc.) at various local pubs, hotels and bars, please see local newspapers such as
the Westmoorland Gazette.
Entertainment information in the White Cross Bay bar is given at reception.