The Old Stamp House

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of The Old Stamp House

Silver Award

Local lad Ryan Blackburn was one of Square Meal’s UK Rising Stars when he was cooking at The Cottage in the Wood near Keswick, but he’s now teamed up with his brother to open this new gaff in touristy Ambleside – a foodie destination on the up, we suspect. Poet William Wordsworth once used the building as his study, when he also held the post of Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland (hence the name), but it’s now gaining a reputation for what one visitor called “contemporary London-quality dishes with a Lakeland twist”. Expect emphatically seasonal cooking, with big contrasts, local sourced ingredients and wild pickings from the surrounding terrain: West Coast scallops with pig’s head, sea herbs and pickled cockles might precede Herdwick hogget with Stock Ghyll garlic, charred leeks and wood blewits or Whitehaven turbot accompanied by smoked potato, Cumbrian air-dried ham and asparagus. Desserts also have a seasonal English tang – as in strawberries with lemon curd, gingerbread and elderflower. “Friendly knowledgeable service” adds to the congenial mood in the stone-walled, flag-floored dining room. Overall, this is a place with “excellent prospects”.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cool, Fine dining, Luxury
One Michelin star
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Celebrations, Dates, Romantic
Food Hygiene Rating


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.


Does The Old Stamp House have a Michelin star?

Yes, The Old Stamp House has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0

Can you book a table at The Old Stamp House?

Yes, The Old Stamp House is extremely popular, so we recommend booking well in advance of your visit to secure a table. If you'd like to be kept updated on any cancellations you can email the team to be added to their list of people to contact for last minute bookings.

Helpful? 0

What's the menu like at The Old Stamp House?

The menu at The Old Stamp house is focused around seasonal British produce. The team run tasting menus at both lunch and dinner, which are priced at £35 and £75 respectively.

Helpful? 0


Church Street, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0BU

01539 432775 01539 432775


Opening Times

Wed-Sat 12.30-2pm Tues-Sat 6-9pm


Share your thoughts with other diners

Write a review

1 Review 

Karen W

21 March 2018  
Everything is impeccable! From the ambience to the food to the service!
Book a table

Call The Old Stamp House to make a booking on:

01539 432775 01539 432775

Visit their website

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

Other restaurants we like near The Old Stamp House

Check availability