The UK has previously been branded as a country famous for drinking tea, however in the last decade it seems like we have transitioned from avid tea sippers who enjoy an occasional cup of coffee to a nation of seasoned coffee connoisseurs. The trend for coffee in the UK shows no sign of slowing down with its vast amount of international coffee chains, intermingled with a considerable amount of independent coffee shops, offering so many choices. I have grown a passion in recent years for coffee, and I am always on the lookout for exceptional coffee spots in the area. In this blog I have outlined five of my favourite coffee places in Cumbria (in no particular order).
First up there is The New Bookshop in Cockermouth, which is nestled in the back of the local bookshop. This really is a hidden gem with a lovely warming ambience, great coffee and a chocolate cake infused with Jennings beer, so moist, it’s to die for! Secondly, the beautifully designed Chalet Tearooms in Portinscale, Keswick offers a stylish and contemporary social space with its wooden open plan alpine style – it’s almost cosmopolitan due to the changing faces of tourists that flock there. Along with excellent coffee, The Chalet offers quality rustic food and you can’t leave without trying one of their delicious homemade scones with jam and clotted cream. The perfect stop for a well-earned break.
The Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere might not be your typical go-to place for a coffee and it does come with a heftier price tag. However, if you want a coffee experience that you will never forget, I highly recommend visiting this opulent Victorian Mansion and grounds, that date back to the 1800’s. Personally, I like nothing more than dropping by the hotel lounge for a coffee in the bay window. Served with today’s fresh shortbread and a selection of newspapers. Peace. The fourth place on my list is Chester’s by the River at Skelwith Bridge in Ambleside, which is certainly a family favourite for us. This is a café that has got every element right – it has amazing breads, salads and most of all its coffee. Chester’s perfect location by the river, and short pushchair friendly walk to the nearby waterfall, makes it a regular family outing that we could never get tired of.
Last but not least we have Treeby and Bolton in the picturesque market town of Keswick. Being local to the area, Keswick is somewhere we’d usually stay away from due to its relentless tourist bustle. However, having two kids under 3 years old means Keswick has become a frequently visited place for us due to its superb walk through the charming town centre as well as its pushchair friendly walks through vibrant Fitz Park and down to the lakeside. After trying all their coffee’s several times over (I became obsessed with coffee immediately after having our first child and those long sleepless nights!), Treeby and Bolton Café soon became one of our favourites. Although often busy, it’s tucked nicely away, and if you get a spare few minutes, the gallery upstairs is certainly worth checking out too.