Bistro at the Distillery

4.3
875 reviews
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£26 to £40
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British
Top tags:
  • Lunch
  • Worth the Drive
  • Special Occasions
Set in a former Victorian cattle parlour, the Bistro’s surroundings and inspirations are reassuringly solid, natural and rooted in the Lake District. And this is reflected in our food; honest, generous and full of flavour. Our team is passionate about what they do and our superb surroundings. Discover more about who we are and let us welcome you to The Bistro at the Distillery.

The Bistro specialises in 'best of British' cuisine, with local produce taking centre stage. Join us for a simple coffee and a slice of home-made cake, or go all out with brunch, lunch, a full afternoon tea or leisurely three-course supper. We operate a daily set menu which changes regularly and a sumptuous a la carte selection. Enjoy sweet treats galore with our Afternoon Tea, offered daily (Mon-Sat) between 3-5pm or a classic Sunday Roast to end the week.
What 875 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HP
Cumbria
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a lovely meal. Staff were very pleasant and helpful which made all the difference. Will be back soon!!!

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PK
Cumbria
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

The Bistro were very accommodating, allowing us in ahead of our booked slot when we were unable to book the tour we'd hoped for. The service was a little slow and there was a problem with the bill at the end but the staff were very friendly and happy to help. Food was lovely, a little pricey but not wildly so. We had children with us who they accommodated well with colouring and a good children's menu. I would certainly recommend.

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CH
Cumbria
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you I brought a party of 8 for lunch and every effort was made to make it a memorable occasion

Food was very good as usual and our waiter was professional charming offering us an excellent service.

I would certainly return again and recommend it kindest regards Christine of Ravenglass

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AM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

There is a lot of noise from scraping chairs on the floor.

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MT
Dorset
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Went for a distillery tour, bought items from the shop then booked afternoon tea. All of which were booked. So we spent money in this outlet and looked forward to our afternoon tea.
Even though we booked and arrived early, We felt that they couldn’t wait to get rid of us as they wanted to shut. Why take bookings if you don’t want to be open.
Wife doesn’t like butter so asked for an alternative spread, to be told they couldn’t help......how pathetic.
You can’t tell me that a professional kitchen doesn’t have spread or margarine
Everything about The Lakes Distillery looks a million dollars apart from the staffs attitude.....poor end to our holiday

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JS
Munich
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food as wonderful as ever. Service for main course was good, but fell away for the dessert. We had to chase waiter for this.

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g
1 review
Dined on 7 July 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Food very good but service very slow nearly an hour between starter abd main

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SC
Cumbria
3 reviews
Dined on 5 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The Bistro at the Distillery is one of my favourite places to go, both for the ambiance and the food. It always has a wide choice of dishes which will suit everyone.

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JB
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Lovely setting and surroundings but put off on arrival by the staffs rather indifferent attitude. Initial service was slow but once we actually managed to get our order taken the food arrived promptly and was very good. My husband described the front of house staff as being snobbish. Such a shame as we had greatly enjoyed our tour of the distillery up until then.

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DG
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 3 July 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 3

We were in a party of five adults the food was very good as were the surroundings, the only thing that let it down was the service which was very slow.

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BB
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went on the Distillery Tour and had lunch in the Bistro for my husband's 60th Birthday. Enjoyed the tour and had an excellent lunch. Definitely would recommend a visit. You won't be disappointed.

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AK
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our first visit to the Bistro and will be returning , the food quality and service was excellent ,all staff were very obliging and helpful at all times .

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PF
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely bistro in beautiful surroundings. We treated ourselves to a distillery tour before lunch and had Sunday lunch in the bistro. Food was fresh, well prepared and good value. There is a good, if limited wine list, and staff are attentive but discrete.
All in all, a very enjoyable afternoon.
Thank you

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NW
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

service was slow as a large group had just arrived. Even though when making the reservation the day before we asked to be seated outside they tried to put us inside. Chipped my tooth in a stone found in my salad or fishcake so that put us off slightly. But they did deduct the price of that meal of the bill. Nice place and food however was not up to par the day we visited.

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OT
Newcastle
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food, wonderful setting with the added bonus of the distillery tour and shop. Definitely worth a visit.

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b
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on 25 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We went here during a trip with my parents staying in Keswick so it was an easy drive to get here. The buildings are beautifully done, the ambience is really nice and the food was very good. We all had the fixed menu which offered lots of choice and was good value. The only disappointment was that they ran out of the whiskey panacotta early in the evening so we had to have a substitute dessert. The service was good but they likely need a 2nd server to help out as it got very busy.

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OT
London
1 review
Dined on 21 June 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

As a founder member we have eaten here many time since it opened but have found of late that although the food remains good, the service is becoming disappointing. We were sat at our table immediately and given menus and brought delicious home made bread, and then basically ignored for ages. Eventually we were asked if we would like to order drinks and then again left unattended for ages. We were there early (18:30) and the place wasn’t busy at that time, so no excuse there. Drinks were slow to come, and table water was not offered but had to be asked for. Starters were served pretty quickly, once ordered, but we then had a long wait for mains. When the plates were cleared we we asked if we would like to see the desert menu. It never came, until a different waiter cane to take our order, only to be told we were still waiting for the menu. By the time we had finished our meal the room had filled up and was extremely noisy, which is something that we have remarked on before. Some sound deadening furnishings are desperately needed here. All in all this venue has definitely lost its edge, which is unfortunate as it used to be a really enjoyable place to dine.

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JM
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A beautiful meal. Only scored down for value as the value was reasonable but not exceptionally cheap. However for the quality, very good and myself and my partner loved our meal. Would definitely visit again.

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DS
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 20 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good menu choice, well presented and tasty plates of food. Service was friendly and helpful. Will return when we are next in the area.

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JG
1 review
Dined on 18 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good choice on menu something for everyone.
Prices was very good
Staff welcoming and friendly service was excellent

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HM
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was lovely & staff were efficient , very clean

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OT
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 14 June 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

50 birthday treat. Fries over cooked. Meringue gooey

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WH
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 12 June 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

We have been to the Bistro often. On this occasion it would seem that they were coping with a coach party so the service was slower than usual. Otherwise a good experience.

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JD
Cumbria
4 reviews
Dined on 12 June 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good meal in pleasant surroundings with the usual good service

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KS
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 1 June 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very good food, delightful staff, good value for money! My only criticism would be the latte served with the mini desert to end our meal - not served in a latte glass, could have been a little hotter! I didn’t comment to staff at the time, feel sure it would have been reheated. Next time we go I will have a couple of scoops of luxury ice cream and forego the coffee! Hope to be back very soon!

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JR
1 review
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

Food good, service in parts was very good, but being asked if you were wanting coffees while eating your main course just so they could start cleaning up, wasn’t really professional, lack of experience with the waiter. Bar staff consistently coming over to ask about drinks they made too wasn’t really needed. I did ask to be moved to a quieter area as the noise was very loud on my arrival, and the staff accommodated my request. I was slightly disappointed as I have been here several times and never been dissatisfied before.

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SD
Oxford
4 reviews
Dined on 31 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely casual environment
Good wine list and cocktails
Delicious food and polite service

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M
Perthshire
1 review
Dined on 30 May 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Food and service were ok - it was a busy lunchtime and the staff serving appeared to be thin on the ground. On the face of it £21.95 for 3 courses was good value but the dishes were relatively simple and did not require much cooking skill so overall, whilst quite nice the value for money aspect was only really fair rather than good. That said, it is a nice dining environment and when viwed overall with the distillery tour - it was a decent experience and one that on balance I’d recommend.

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P
London
1 review
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Food was excellent. Staff superb. Venue great.,

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PB
1 review
Dined on 24 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Pleasant experience in a nice location, will definitely go again

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OT
London
5 reviews
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Lovely setting in The Lakes. Restaurant itself is a very pleasant space to while away a couple of hours. Staff attentive and tables not too close to each other. Food is good and good value too. The only criticism is that, like most middle market restaurants in the UK, the menu is a bit predictable. But would definitely go back nonetheless.

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TH
1 review
Dined on 20 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really nice evening, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, will defiantly return on our next trip to the lakes.

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B
Staffordshire
3 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great location and in a superbly renovated set of buildings this is definitely not a place to miss. The food is top quality and our service could not have been better. So much so that we are back again tonight which is probably the best recommendation I could give.

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OT
Cumbria
3 reviews
Dined on 15 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Requested table was made available for us. Very friendly badly staff. Super evening.

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IM
1 review
Dined on 11 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We felt the Bistro was a bit cramped and the food was OK but to serve Halibut with Chips, please!

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P
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food, nice atmosphere, good value, great choice.

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JW
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 10 May 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The waiters went above and beyond for my friends birthday. Great food! Only comment is we had to buy bread for the anglers plate which seemed odd it didn’t come with it otherwise you are just eating fish, otherwise great!

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WH
Cumbria
2 reviews
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have dined at the Bistro a number of times and enjoyed the meals. My daughter joined us on this occasion and remarked that the food in Cumbria is of a higher standard than in the South of the country. She visited from Surrey. The staff were very helpful and pleasant.

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MM
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very much enjoyed our afternoon tea. Tea pot was renewed without asking. Selection of goodies was very good and service was éfficient and friendly

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JD
1 review
Dined on 9 May 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very welcoming, friendly staff, no hurrying, we got a nice table (room to stack away the walking sticks of one of us), food was beautifully presented and was cooked exactly right, gorgeous wine (at an affordable price) so next time we are in the Lakes we will have lunch again at the Distillery. And... we could enjoy a bottle of wine between the two of us, because the X4/X5 bus took us there and back again from Penruddock.

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