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Over the last 20 years the Lake District has become a major attraction for gourmets from all over the world. The area is full of culinary delights whether it is the local artisan baker or the Michelin starred restaurants. All of which contribute to the taste of Cumbria. Few similar sized counties, if any, can boast of so many top notch restaurants, great pubs in great locations, lovely tea rooms and cafés, award winning food and drink producers and such a large range of food and farm shops to savour. Holker's Food Hall Underlying much of this success is the quality of a lot of our local produce. A major plus is that so much of the food is home grown or, in the case of beef and lamb and sheep reared in Cumbria. In fact the mighty Cumberland sausage recently joined the ranks of those foods – like Cornish clotted cream and Parma ham – that are protected by the European Union. Damson trees are plentiful in the Lyth and Winster valleys, south of Lake Windermere, so look out for the fruit in sorts of different products like jam, jelly, chutney, pickles, wine, beer, gin, syrups, vinegars, cake, bread, chocolate, ice cream, sorbets, cheese, pies, pickled damsons and more. Sticky toffee pudding is something you’ll see on plenty of menus and it’s also sold in specialist food and farm shops, along with artisan breads, local cheeses, bacon, sausages, butter, mustard, Cumbrian-made cake and much more. Cumbria is also getting a reputation for the quality of its locally produced beers. Most of them have distinct personalities and tastes, but all are brewed lovingly by people who recognise the importance and the joy of drinking real ale. Many of the local microbreweries encourage visitors so keep a look out for them and for the chance to see how proper beer is produced. Gilpin Hotel & Lake House The Lake District also has more than its fair share of café and tea shops and in recognition of them and of the great British’s public’s love of a cuppa, ‘Tea Trail Cumbria’ offers lovers of the outdoors a wonderful collection of rural tea shops. Ask in your Tourist Information Office for more details. If you want to know more about the restaurants, pubs, inns, food and farm shops, food and drink producers, tea rooms and cafés, and cookery and baking courses books like the Dymond Guide to Food and Drink in The Lake District, Cumbria is a good starting point. [space height=”0″]