Nestled amidst the rugged and timeless beauty of the Lake District is The Forest Side, a restaurant with rooms that offers Michelin-starred dining in a rich, historic setting. Built in 1853 as a gentleman’s residence and hunting lodge, the romantic gothic property sits on the edge of sprawling woodland and lies just a stone's-throw away from the village of Grasmere – the home of William Wordsworth and, in his estimation, ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.
Adding to its growing list of accolades, the Forest Side has now taken the number nine spot in Square Meal’s annual list of the UK’s Top 100 Restaurants. Winners were chosen through a process of in-house, critic-led opinion and diner votes, reflecting the expert opinion of the UK’s leading independent restaurant guide as well as the daily experiences of restaurant-goers.
With a background in cooking under the likes of Marcus Wareing and Andrew Fairlie, Head Chef Paul Leonard is inspired by the natural and rugged landscape. He is celebrated for his loving use of local ingredients, not least the Forest Side's own kitchen garden, home to a bounty of forageable plants, shoots and stems.
Square Meal has particularly applauded Paul Leonard for “translating the Cumbrian landscape into a series of intriguing tasting menus” and offering an impressive vegetarian menu which ensures that “eating here is accessible for everyone.”
General Manager of Forest Side Alasdair Elwick has remarked that “these honours are testament to Paul, his amazing team and the incredible local suppliers who play such a key role in our menu creation. We are all absolutely delighted.”
Marking the return of its popular ‘Food February’, The Forest Side will be building on its success by collaborating with some of the nation’s most talented chefs every Monday of the week in February 2023. A fusion of work between Paul Leonard and his guest, each unique menu will be available to Forest Side guests as part of an overnight package.
Visit the Forest Side’s website now to book your stay in this jewel of the English countryside.