The owners of Cumbria’s historic Askham Hall are celebrating today, Wednesday 17 June, after scooping the prestigious Taste Cumbria Award at the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2015.
The accolade was revealed at a glittering ceremony held at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel last night, to mark the very best of Cumbria’s tourism industry. The tightly-fought category for Taste Cumbria celebrates “a taste experience” which combines creative use of local produce, first-class customer service and a commitment to having a positive effect on the environment.
Owned by the Lowther family since the 1800s, 13th century Askham Hall near Penrith, opened its doors last year. The restaurant is headed up by Cumbrian raised Head Chef, Richard Swale, who has previously worked with the equally renowned John Burton Race and Anthony Demetre. The team also includes Consultant Chef Steven Doherty – the UK’s first ever chef to head up a British 3 starred Michelin restaurant – and ‘Maître de Maison’ Nico Chièze.
Askham’s menus are prepared using an abundance of fresh produce from the hall’s extensive kitchen garden, vegetable gardens and orchards. Owner Charles Lowther himself has a passion for livestock and keeps a herd of pedigree beef shorthorn cattle, rare breed pigs, meat goats, sheep, ducks and chickens.
Charles Lowther, says, “It is fantastic to given this award, just over 12 months after we fully opened Askham Hall. Having grown up at Askham, it really is close to my heart and its restoration was the culmination of six years of hard work. The whole team is genuinely excited to have been recognised for our high-quality food, service and unpretentious style.”
Head Chef, Richard Swale, adds, “We as a team at Askham Hall are thrilled to have won this prestigious award. The competition has been tough, reflecting the incredibly high standard of food and restaurants in Cumbria.”
It’s doubly good news, as Askham Hall’s sister establishment, the George & Dragon at Clifton, won the same award (Taste Cumbria) in both 2011 and 2013, as well as Taste England Silver in 2012.
As a Cumbria Tourism Award winner, Askham Hall will now go forward for potential selection in next year’s national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.