Surrounded by landscaped gardens, this Regency country house is just a stroll from the centre of Ambleside. Generous Anglo-French cooking is its forte, & the kitchen shows its worth with flexibly priced dinner menus: pan-fried chicken livers on parmesan mash with red onion gravy could be followed by a soup or sorbet, before the main event arrives (perhaps wild mallard braised with damson gin, served with juniper berry jus, red cabbage & Lyth Valley damson compote). As a finale, expect something sweet such as strawberry pavlova as well as an array of cheeses. Light lunches of soup & sandwiches are keenly priced, & there's an impressive wine list too. Rothay Manor is also renowned for its stupendous Lakeland afternoon tea – a mighty, help-yourself buffet of sweet & savoury delights; this is astonishing value at just £14, but you must book in advance.