Bistro at the Distillery

4.3
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923 reviews
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£26 to £40
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British
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 923 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
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food great cocktails. Would go again. Xx

C
Yorkshire
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A rare gem. Often in the lakes you have plenty of excellent expensive restaurants or touristy fast food. Finally we have a high quality bistro. Well done for getting it right.

EM
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely lunch - food was so tasty, well presented and the lemon posset with lavender cream was a real treat.
Have visited a few times now and never been disappointed.
Good service with friendly staff.
Always a positive experience, thank you

JG
Shropshire
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The cuisine was excellent and the service first class

LT
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was lovely and great service. we really enjoyed it together a friendly relaxed evening.

JJ
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We are at the bistro after doing the distillery tour (which I would also highly recommend). The cocktails were amazing (I can recommend the Gin Sparkle) as was the food. The lamb was the most tender lamb I think I have ever had. Staff were also super friendly and were able to tell us more about the history of the distillery. Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!

R
1 review
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Three visits in a week, all wonderful! Can’t wait to visit again.

PO
Cumbria
14 reviews
Dined on 12 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal

RT
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 11 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Been a few times - food was a little mediocre this time though

PT
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 9 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a meal for four with our friends who were visiting from Lincolnshire. It was their 25th Wedding Anniversary and the meal was much enjoyed by all of us. Particularly pleased with the range of fish dishes as one of the party could not eat meat. Cocktails great and service top notch. Thank you for a lovely evening.

HS
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 8 September 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

The food was nice, however there wasn’t enough staff working therefore the service was quite poor.

B
Staffordshire
4 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favourite eating places. So when we had to decide where to celebrate our 44th wedding anniversary this was our first and only choice.
It meant travelling 165 miles and an over night stay but we'll worth it.
The staff are so welcoming and attentive and the food is always excellent.

CD
1 review
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely lunch, selected three course menu. Food was cooked beautifully. With only 4 stars? Just a little disappointed with the sticky toffee pudding sauce.

OT
Edinburgh
6 reviews
Dined on 5 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best gluten free high tea food I've seen or tried anywhere. The "normal" is pretty good too.

SJ
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The only downside is the noise level of other customers because there is nothing to absorb sound all the surfaces are hard so it is echoes. The service is excellent and so is the food, as a family we go there quite a lot. We take guests there too.

AR
Cumbria
2 reviews
Dined on 29 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always a good experience. The set menu as ever very tasty and good value. The staff very attentive but not overly so. My third visit and won’t be my last.

LT
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 27 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was lovely, staff very helpful, nice little belated Mother’s Day treat!

LR
1 review
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely food, great service at a fairly reasonable price.
Will definitely call back

JR
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food not as tasty as we’ve had before here! Service as usual very good but let down a little by the food

K
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, served by friendly staff, in a beautiful location - with a shop full of award winning gin, vodka and whisky. What's not to like?

DB
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We visited the bistro for the first time for Sunday lunch, the food was excellent. One of our party was unable to eat dairy products and the staff bent over backwards to accommodate the situation. Well done to all concerned as your service was excellent.

GC
1 review
Dined on 15 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 2

The food was good but I feel overpriced from what we paid at similar local restaurants. The service was lovely and friendly and attentive. The area where we ate had 2 stacks of high chairs next to a till area where there were napkins piled up and the cutlery ready for changing the tables but unfortunately there was also a rag and a cleaning spray. Although I could appreciate having a couple of high chairs at the ready it felt like we were in a storage/woking area and I don't think many of us would leave cleaning sprays in our own dining rooms let alone in an expensive restaurant.

AS
Yosemite
2 reviews
Dined on 14 August 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

We have eaten at the Bistro a few times and this was probably our poorest experience. To start with the positives, the food was very good, well prepared and a great balance of flavours and composition. There was nothing to fault. The ambiance was a bit dissapointing, it was a Wednesday evening but in August we had hoped for more than one other table occupied. On our previous visits it has been busy and felt much better. There was a function in the function room so staff were tied up there during course changes but that did not really affect our service. More noticable was the lack of supervision of what was going on. We were placed by a service station and one female member of staff spent almost the whole evening there (or at least the over two hours we were there) looking bored apart from when she was periodically being chatted up by one of the other members of staff. She took one order for desert from us and got that wrong. Also there was a lot of noise created by other staff members clearing the unused table (they had all be set for dinner) and getting them ready presumably for lunch. It very much gave the impression of we were in the way and please get out to let us finish. The Bistro markets itself as a bit special but apart from the chef it was not very special on this occasion. Would I recommend to a friend, yes but with proviso they do lunch or pick a busy evening perhaps Friday or Saturday

CW
Manchester
2 reviews
Dined on 13 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had the set lunch menu 21.95 for 3 courses excellent value

OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Fun atmosphere. Fantastic staff.

BP
1 review
Dined on 12 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Afternoon tea for 4, arrived earlier than booked, and before 3pm (start time for afternoon teas) - no problem, our waitress was very helpful and checked before seating us saying no issue we can have our table and order our tea’s. During service staff asked if everything was ok, and replenished jam and cream when requested. Couldn’t fault the service. Food was tasty, well prepared and well presented - they even put some cakes we couldn’t eat into a box to take back with us. Nicely finished our day out to the distillery. Can’t wait to return when the new ‘end of tour’ centre and distillery extension is completed.

MN
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent and varied menu, nicely presented and tasty food. Excellent drinks choice, pleasant environment, attentive and pleasant staff

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on 8 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely meal with the family to celebrate a birthday. Monkfish and Halibut where excellent.

D
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 7 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

We do body several times a year and find usually find the food good
Last week we both felt the food was a bit lack lustre, we had chicken with corn pancake, not cooked enough raw in the middle.
In general we always enjoyed our food, but as said this time not up to usual standard.
It's will not effect our future to visit.
Ciao

GB
1 review
Dined on 6 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can not fault it! The staff are amazing, particularly Stephen and the young lad!

W
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 5 August 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The plate advertised as Cumberland sausage was not actually Cumberland sausage at all, but some sort of herb like Lincolnshire sausage. I was dissapointed as I would not have ordered it if I had known, otherwise nice food and service

JR
Liverpool
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Starters were beautiful. Was disappointed with the vegetarian main but the seafood main was outstanding. Lovely atmosphere

P
London
3 reviews
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great venue. Food fantastic. Staff brilliant. Will be back

CK
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

We waited an hour for our main course to arrive and when it did, it wasn’t very tasty, the meat was cold and the roast potatoes were burn’t and tough.
The staff were pleasant and apologetic but this was not was expected from this restaurant from previous visits
A very disappointing meal

JS
Munich
3 reviews
Dined on 4 August 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We love coming here, because the food is wonderful. However, the kitchen and bar are increasingly slow. The waiters are attentive and accurate, but the food and drinks do not come out quick enough.

B
Norfolk
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Unfortunately, unbeknown to us, the day we booked lunch was also the date of a gin festival. The gin festival meant the atmosphere was fantastic and there were lots of drinks to try but it was very busy and the restaurant was heaving. This meant that we sat in the bar area rather than the restaurant itself and the service was very slow. There wasn't a lot on the menu for vegetarians but the staff were very accommodating.

RM
Cumbria
1 review
Dined on 29 July 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Enjoyed the food. The service was S-L-O-W. This is not the place for slick attention, but the waiters were more interested in gossiping than getting on with their job.

My cheese soufflé was absolutely delicious. All the food was very good. It was just that the chairs began to feel rather hard.

The venue is bright and cheerful and has a pleasant feel. we will go again.

The staff in the shop were a credit to the place.

AS
Cumbria
4 reviews
Dined on 28 July 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Whilst the customer service was outstanding thanks to our waiter, Matthew Banks, the desert options were very disappointing. Both my husband and daughter wanted whisky truffles, however there weren't any due to the weather? They had gin truffles instead which had melted and were served in a gift box. Not a good way to present a desert.

TG
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous evening at the Bistro, we went after completing the distillery tour. The food was excellent and we had very good service from each person that served us. We were the last to be seated so the last to be served we did have a little bit of a wait, however the service staff kept us inform. It did not spoil our evening at all.

LN
Yorkshire
1 review
Dined on 26 July 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food very good - halibut in particular. Service was very slow. We waited about 15 mins for drinks to be served. We were brought water but no glasses. Our bill had 5 drinks added that were from another table. That added £50 to the bill so I'm glad I checked.
I questioned the slow service and they said they apologised but had a full house. However, surely they should be able to cope with this on a Friday, and we saw several empty tables.

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