Sunday, 12 September 2010

Chesters By The River, Skelwith Bridge

Chesters sits in a picturesque location by the river Brathay in Skelwith Bridge, at the mouth of the stunning Langdale valley. Operated by the same family as The Drunken Duck Inn, Chesters is named after the roguish white English Bull Terrier who ruled the roost at the pub in the eighties.

Serving breakfast, lunch, drinks and legendary home made cakes throughout the day it makes a naughty but extremely nice stop-off at any time.

They make and bake everything on the premises, including all the jams, chutneys, breads, cakes and pastries, using traditional recipes and natural, good quality, seasonal ingredients. In the summer you can relax on the decked terrace looking out over the water, or in the colder months sit inside by the roaring fire.

We dropped by for an indulgent breakfast before a walk in the Langdale valley and, as it was sunny morning, we sat outside. We were the first to arrive, but by the time we were ready to leave there wasn't a free table. This charming cafe is clearly a honeypot for those who know a good cake when they see one, and I can definitely see why.

Dave's American pancakes with maple syrup looked amazing; 3 very thick and fluffy pancakes adorned with blackcurrant compote, cream and a shot of syrup. They made for the perfect sweet holiday breakfast treat.

I had the potato scone with bacon and poached egg, the portion was slightly more modest but lovely all the same and clearly made with good quality produce.

I am by no means a connoisseur, but the coffee was really good too. We each had a latte which was nicely milky and not too strong, with the bonus of being served in huge cups.

There is marvellous array of very tempting cakes on display behind the counter. You will find classic favorites such as flapjack, brownies, lemon meringue pie, carrot cake and chocolate cake alongside the likes of tiffin, raspberry oat and nut slice, banana and walnut loaf with toffee sauce, apricot and almond puff pastry pie and lemon and blueberry baby bundt. Or there is the option of a freshly baked scone with homemade raspberry jam & whipped cream, it's apparently the same scone recipe they used for the first batch almost 26 years ago.

After breakfast we couldn't do the slabs of cakes justice, but we'll definitely be back to sample the baking soon.

Chesters By The River
Skelwith Bridge, Nr Ambleside, Cumbria LA22 9NJ


  1. I used to travel to the shop next door (which was then Touchstone Interiors) where I used to look after the graphic design and Point of Sale. Every trip I used to nip next door and buy a slice of Tiffen cake for my hour long journey back to Carlisle where I lived. To this day I have not tasted a better Tiffin cake anywhere on my travels. The girls in the shop used to always laugh as they saw me sneek off to indulge in my cake joy. Paul Smith - Graphic Designer, Carlisle.

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