The Old Stamp House is the passion project of two brothers, Ryan and Craig Blackburn. With Ryan in the kitchen and Craig heading up the dining room, the duo has proved a formidable pairing, having won the restaurant a Michelin star in 2019 (an accolade it has retained since).
Provenance is king here, with the kitchen designing menus around seasonal, local produce from week to week, to ensure guests are getting the very best ingredients on their plates. Diners are presented with tasting menus, both at lunch and dinner, which represent really good value for money. Lunch will set you back £45, while at dinner time it’s £75 for seven courses.
While menus of course fluctuate with the seasons, you can expect a Cumbrian spin on contemporary British dishes. The seafood course might bring hand dived scallops with cauliflower, potted shrimps, and a spiced mead velouté, while ‘The Fells’ section could include braised shoulder of hogget with peas; scrumpet with mint and anchovy; tartare of loin and a good old fashioned ‘tattie pot’.
Sweets are combinations such as bee pollen with apple marigolds and strawberries with sweet cicely; or raspberries with caramelised with and a gingerbread tart.
The accompanying wine list is far-reaching and features bottles from both Old and New World wineries. Fizz starts from around the £35 mark, while designated drivers and abstainers are catered for with a dedicated non-alcoholic menu. Here you might find a raspberry and ginger long drink or an elderflower spritz which combines elderflower, cucumber, mint, alcohol free wine and soda.
Having once been voted The Best Restaurant in The World (beating France for the top spot), The Old Stamp house is understandably busy. This means getting your booking made in advance is almost essential. If you’re planning on visiting, try to do some forward-planning to ensure you secure a seat.