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First ever Michelin star for boutique Lake District restaurant

Plate from The Cottage in the Wood Taste Cumbria Menu

Announced on Monday 7 October The Cottage in the Wood has received the much-coveted accolade of a Michelin Star for its dining experience and menu created by Head Chef Ben Wilkinson. At the ceremony held in London’s The Hurlingham Club, the finest culinary talent assembled to celebrate the outstanding quality of food across the UK and the unveiling of the Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2020.

At the gourmet retreat nested among the trees of Whinlatter mountain forest, delicious food served in a warm ambience has been delighting diners since The Cottage in the Wood opened in 2002.

Ben Wilkinson Chef Director at The Cottage in The Wood

With Ben Wilkinson joining as Head Chef 18 months ago, the restaurant has been going from strength to strength, retaining its 3 AA Rosettes and now, with this prestigious Michelin Star status. Ben Wilkinson is passionate about creating tasty food without fuss or fads and showcasing the quality of produce found in plenty in Cumbria. His innate understanding of flavour combinations has been developed through working in top restaurants across the UK including Windows at London Hilton, Midsummer House, Holbeck Ghyll and Rampsbeck Hotel in the Lake District. One of the criteria used by the Michelin Guide inspectors, alongside harmony of flavour and personality of the chef on the plate, is the consistency of the experience over time, and this is something that the team at The Cottage have achieved in abundance.

Plate from The Cottage in the Wood Taste Cumbria Menu

Ben Wilkinson Chef Director The Cottage in the Wood, says “It’s fantastic to get this recognition from The Michelin Guide. The whole team at The Cottage in the Wood works so hard and this award is an amazing achievement for everyone. I’ve been a Chef for over 20 years and I’ve dreamed of getting a star every day. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I can’t want to get back into the kitchen to get cooking as a Michelin starred chef.”

Responsible for creating the relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with impeccable service, is Restaurant Manager Monika Zurawska, who alongside Ben Wilkinson, stepped up in June 2018 to become Co-Director in the business alongside owners Kath and Liam Berney.

Gill Haigh, Managing Director Cumbria Tourism says, “Cumbria’s growing reputation as a foodie destination is further enhanced by this announcement, firmly placing us on the international stage not only for our stunning landscape, but for our culinary delights. I’m over the moon for the team at The Cottage in the Wood who are passionate about creating an exceptional experience for each and every guest.”

As well as the 36 cover restaurant, The Cottage in the Wood, offers nine delightful bedrooms with garden, mountain and spectacular forest views. The six-course Taste Cumbria menu is £70 with wine pairings from £45, it is available in the evenings Tuesday – Saturday. The restaurant is open for lunches Thursday to Saturdary offering a superb £30 three-course menu. To book a meal or a room at The Cottage in the Wood www.thecottageinthewood.co.uk or call 017687 78409.

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