Cumbrian cuisine at The Wild Boar Inn, Gilpin Valley

08 January 2015

Want to rediscover British regional cuisine? Head to the Wild Boar Inn in the Gilpin Valley, with locally sourced produce, seasonal ales and exquisite Lakeland countryside

The International reputation of British cuisine, once a gastronomic joke worldwide, has been dramatically overhauled. 

Inspired by the likes of Delia, Hugh, Nigella, Jamie, Heston, Nigel and Gordon, and programmes such as The Great British Bake Off, Ready Steady Cook, Masterchef and Saturday Kitchen, our passion for, and appreciation of, good food and cooking has become a national obsession.

Try some of Mary Berry's recipes

Part of the story has been a rediscovery of the best of British regional fare; perhaps venture to the Lake District to learn about the art of Cumbrian cookery and to savour the best local food and drink.

The Wild Boar Inn

Head for The Wild Boar Inn, which lies in 72 acres of private woodland in the Gilpin Valley, just four miles from the town of Bowness-on-Windermere. 

This former coaching inn has an open kitchen, where you can see the chef at work on a modern British menu that utilises locally sourced produce. 

The inn has its own micro-brewery where you could learn about the production of seasonal ales including its special cask bitter, Mad Pig Ale, as well as sampling products which range from pale ale to dark porter. 

If whisky is more to your taste, The Wild Boar has over 100 varieties and you can indulge in a few nips on a special whisky-tasting evening.

Holy smokes

In a smokehouse workshop you’ll uncover the facts about this traditional method of flavouring, cooking and preserving food, and discover the distinct differences between hot and cold smoking. 

At Lucy Cooks, a cookery school near Kendal, you could see a chef demonstrate how to create a seasonal Cumbrian meal and discover the historic influences of the rum and spice trades on local dishes. It goes without saying that lunch here is a real treat. A typical menu might include baked lemons filled with Morecambe Bay shrimp, a wild boar casserole, and perhaps a tempting Grasmere gingerbread crumble bread and butter pudding.

Alternatively, have a go at making a whisky and marmalade bread and butter pudding

Walk up an appetite

What with the included hearty breakfasts, various lunches and three-course evening meals, you’ll want to stretch your legs in the exquisite Lakeland countryside so beloved by John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. 

Perhaps follow in Alfred Wainwright’s footsteps and seek out the scenic highpoints on long walks, or hop on a bicycle in imitation of that great cycling aficionado Harold Briercliffe. 

You could also visit Wordsworth’s home, Dove Cottage, and take a boat across Lake Windermere, England’s largest natural lake.

Find out about Saga's walking holidays

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.