Cumbria's scenery is matched by its gourmet offerings, says Andy Lynes

Nigella Lawson and Antony Worrall Thompson are fans of the sticky toffee pudding from Cartmel Village Shop, Parkgate House, The Square, Cartmel (015395 36280; sticky toffeepudding. co.uk).

Not only is the First Floor Café, Lakeland Limited, Alexandra Buildings, Station Precinct, Windermere (015394 88200, lakeland-limited.co.uk) housed in a modernist glass building, but it also has former Le Gavroche head chef Steve Doherty in the kitchens.

The Jumble Room, Langdale Road, Grasmere (015394 35188; thejumbleroom. co.uk), looks like a tea shop until you read the menu, which lists everything from sweet potato and coriander ravioli with Thai curry sauce to game pie.

Experimental chef Simon Rogan shares some of the secrets of his distinctive herb, root and flower-based cuisine during two-day residential cookery classes at L'Enclume, Cavendish Street, Cartmel (015395 36362; lenclume.co.uk).

With stunning views over Windermere and the Old Man of Coniston beyond, Linthwaite House, Crook Road, Windermere (015394 88600; linthwaite.com), could serve TV dinners and still be worth visiting. But chef Simon Bolsover is a serious talent and dishes such as pressed ham hock with saffron pickled vegetables deliver gutsy flavours.

Low Sizergh Barn, Low Sizergh Farm, Sizergh, Kendal (015395 60426; lowsizerghbarn.co.uk), is home to one of Britain's best farm shops. The shop won the national 2005 Retail Cheese Awards for its array of British artisan cheeses.

The refurbished Punch Bowl Inn in Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley (015395 68237; the-punchbowl. co.uk), has a modern menu including monkfish steamed in cider served with Cumbrian ham and gingered pak choi.

Sharrow Bay, Lake Ullswater, Penrith (01768 486301; sharrowbay.co.uk), is renowned for its service. Opened in 1948, it still serves its famous Icky Sticky Toffee Sponge.

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