Lucy’s of Ambleside

Bistro, Modern European·

SquareMeal Review of Lucy’s of Ambleside

Lucy’s has been around, in one form or another for 20-odd years, & now offers the delightful deli, the main restaurant, bistro & cooking courses. Found on a quiet side-street in tourist-heavy Ambleside, the main eatery charms in a quirky 80s sort of way: twinkly lights and candles offsetting bare boards and junk-shop furniture. Food is rustic and tasty. ‘McGinty’s slice’ involves a circle of savoury dough bread with sundried tomatoes, olives and herbs, grilled with goat’s cheese and balsamic syrup, or dive into ‘SS terrine’ (salmon and scallops combined, served with mixed leaves). Mains are substantial – and the puns worse: ‘seventies chick’ is chicken supreme wrapped in bacon, with sauteed potatoes, spinach & wild mushroom sauce, while ‘lamb rumpy pumpy’ delivers Lakeland lamb with sweet potato mash, Jerusalem artichokes and rosemary jus. Lucy’s has also built a reputation on the pudding front with over 30 chalked up on a board, all made in house: clotted cream rice pudding, Westmorland toffee apple crumble or Jamie’s wicked chocolate tart (yep, a pukka recipe donated by the great geezer himself).

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Bistro, Modern European
Fun, Quirky


Church Street, Ambleside, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0BU

01539 432288 01539 432288


Opening Times

Mon 17:30-22:30
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun 17:30-22:30


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4 Reviews 


17 June 2022  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
Lucy’s of Ambleside

i could not believe the previous reviews of this restaurant on your site. My husband and I have both travelled extensively worldwide and we loved this restaurant. There was none of the pomposity and subservience of so many good restaurants, but a relaxed, friendly atmosphere created by Lucy and the staff. They seemed to really care whether we enjoyed our food and we certainly did. We ate there two consequitive nights. In four meals we sampled chicken, venison, lamb and steak and every meal was cooked and presented superbly. The two desserts I had were 'to die for'. Additionally for me, with a recent diagnosis of Coeliac Disease, virtually every dish on offer was naturally or could be cooked 'gluten free' (even the desserts). To us this restaurant was the perfect combination of wonderful hospitality and great food. It made our holiday memorable. 


12 February 2022  
Food & Drink 1.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 1
Value 1
Really poor…

So disappointed with this place, so many restaurants get the basics badly wrong, good service costs nothing and can make a bad restaurant half-decent, the staff here although friendly enough, were not at all skilled in basics of hospitality, after ordering the £30 bottle of Red, to have it plonked onto the table already open raised a few eyebrows for a start! It would surprise me if there was a qualified chef working here, the starter, antipasti, was straight out of the packet crap and the mains: Venison - overcooked, fish & chips - undercooked and the rib-eye - overcooked and more like a minute-steak than a prime cut of rib-eye, and as for dessert, we'll never know because we gave up waiting for a waiter/ waitress to take our order after 25-minutes...A good restaurant manager and a qualified chef could really improve things here, but until then, save your money and go elsewhere! 

Galloping gourmand

19 September 2021  
Food & Drink 2.5
Service 1.5
Atmosphere 1
Value 1
Overrated and overpriced

On this, our second visit to Ambleside in July, we decided to book here as we had read good reviews on trip advisor. After waiting for almost 20 minutes outside in the heat, we were all herded in and led to our tables. Drinks took a while to arrive at the table and all the waiters and waitresses were running around almost in a state of confusion before our drinks order was taken, probably because there was not enough of them to serve the needs of a full restaurant. We could hardly understand what the waiter (who was actually a nice chap) was saying because he seemed to be quite shy and nervous. We both had the sharing board to start which looked rather uninspiring and unceremoniously dumped in small white bowls on what looked like a small cricket bat! Overpriced ! for what was actually on the plate. We then both had the venison, which was beautifully cooked pink, was very tasty and well presented, unlike the first dish and was the only saving grace of the evening. We decided to opt out of a dessert as the restaurant was beginning to empty, ready for the qeue of people already beginning to wait outside. We were almost ignored by the waiters because they obviously had too much to do to be worried about the needs of us mere diners! An elderly lady, who I presume is the manager briefly spoke to us but was not as nice toward her waiters, which made us feel uncomfortable. Overpriced for what is actually on the plate and not a very welcoming atmosphere, rather a hectic one. A different experience for all the wrong reasons. We will not be returning.


26 May 2011  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 0.5
Atmosphere 0.5
Value 0.5
5 Thumbs Down for the most overrated restaurant in Cumbria! I bought into the hype and went straight to Lucy's on my 1st night in the Lake District, and my was I disappointed!!! The service was so horrible that I actually left feeling unhappy; the food looked like something out of a supermarket take-away bag… and I have no doubt that the drab salad leaves were exactly that! The dessert was nothing like the glorious pudding I'd anticipated, and the cost for all my dismay was way, way too high!! I eat out a lot (twice a week of late) as I travel quite a bit with my job, so I've learnt to be very accommodating of different eateries and regional tastes, but heavens!!! Lucy's is flailing on all counts! The hostess was outrightly rude, the waitresses depressingly dull, and the duck no better than a "2 dine for £10? supermarket special! Plus what is WITH the menu??! I'm only 27 and I was struggling to read it! It's neither cute nor cool… get a graphic designer, or go to a professional printers, that is just poor! I imagine that Lucy (and oh how I'd love to meet her and tell her to her face what I make of her establishment) thinks it's very clever to name drop guests on her menu, but I think her time would be better spent actually preparing the menu items! My deepest sympathies go out to anyone who actually paid to attend her cooking classes! Wow… my displeasure runs deep, but I'll stop here, with 1 final comment on hygiene: my table was sticky and dirty and despite my request to have it cleaned, it remained so! I've never felt so uncomfortable at even a local kebab shop, it was horrid!! All in all: Lucy's On a Plate = Deep Dissatisfaction On a Plate! (…and in the décor, and in the service… and in the whole squalid affair!!)
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