Our quarterly e-magazine follows the seasons to showcase the best of Cumbrian food, drink, gifts and crafts. We feature stories about our members and highlight products and gift ideas available online or through the Made in Cumbria shop.
This Spring, we explore what our top food and drink producers have in store for us and find out what’s inspiring our celebrated artists and craftspeople.
Spring is the time Cumbria bursts into life and with its clear mountain streams and lush green landscape, the region provides the perfect ingredients for producing outstanding food and drink.
The high standard of Cumbrian food and drink is championed by celebrity chefs and food aficionados the world over and for good reason – nowhere else can inspire the artisan or brewer to produce such a range of great tasting, top quality food and drink quite like Cumbria. It’s a reflection of our unique heritage – and yours to enjoy. Bon Appetit!
A Cumbrian Spring also supplies fresh inspiration and an abundance of natural materials for our talented community of craftspeople and artists. It’s a time of intense creativity and joy that enables them to produce works that can truly lift the spirits of anyone who appreciates the breathtaking scenery and diversity of Cumbria.
From the Romantic Movement to the modern day the region has been the source of inspiration for craftspeople and designers including many Made in Cumbria members.
Sally Moon is a well- known radio presenter in the North West of England, who comes from an artistic family, including a sister who was at art college with John Lennon! But she also designs and makes beautiful jewellery inspired by the Cumbrian countryside.
Her individually designed pieces are made in glass; ceramic or semi-precious stones are driven by her love of colour and texture. Some are ‘one-off’ designs, others are limited editions and are sold at selected Galleries in Cumbria and through her website. Sally loves to find new and interesting media to work with and is developing woven textiles and wall hangings.
“My designs are a reflection of Cumbria’s rich tapestry of colours and textures.” SALLY MOON – JEWELLERY DESIGNER
Andrew Kay is an award-winning sculptor whose work can be seen throughout the world. From his studio set in the wild hills near Kirkby Lonsdale, Andrew creates sculptures that attract widespread acclaim. Drawing from the natural world for inspiration, his life-size sculptures capture the powerful anatomy and essence of wild animals using deceptively simple form and structure.
Andrew graduated from Leeds with a BA Hons in design in 1992. He then toured Scandinavia extensively on a travel scholarship. From this experience he acquired a respect of the pure, clean design ethos that is so apparent in Scandinavian design.
“I create sculptures that try to capture the essence of the wildlife native to Cumbria.” ANDREW KAY – SCULPTOR
In the 10th Century Norse invaders introduced a breed of hardy sheep that has become something of a Cumbrian icon. The Herdwick is indispensable to the county and their wool has been a feature of hand-woven and dyed textiles in Cumbria for centuries.
Cable and Blake design and produce a wide range of Herdwick fabrics made from wool, sourced from local farms and woven on traditional hand looms. “We have a Book of Bloom and a Book of Thought which showcase our fabrics,” says Rachel Cable. We combine traditional skills and methods to develop this undervalued wool into a high quality, bespoke fabric. Our unique designs and prints bring a modern twist to the Lake District heritage, as well as bringing value to the local community. We have collaborated with a number of local producers to create our range of products.”
“We combine traditional skills and methods to develop this undervalued wool into a high quality, bespoke fabric.” RACHEL CABLE – FABRIC DESIGNER & UPHOLSTERER
MJ Cabinetmakers based at Braithwaite, near Keswick believe the beauty of a piece of furniture begins with design and inspiration to be followed by skilled craftsmanship. Matt Jardine and his team aim to create furniture that is functional as well as beautiful. Contemporary design is married with traditional methods of production, to create furniture that will stand the test of time.
Timber is sourced locally, so they work mainly with Cumbrian hardwoods like Ash, Oak, Elm, Sycamore and Cherry. Matt Jardin says “My love for wood began early in my childhood. I always dreamed of one-day designing and making furniture. In early 2000, I took the first step to fulfilling my dream when I established MJ Cabinetmakers. Dedication to strong design and quality has helped to build our reputation. A piece of furniture should be beautiful as well as functional. This is always the priority when beginning a new piece”.
“My love for wood began early in my childhood. I always dreamed of one day designing and making furniture.” MATT JARDIN – MASTER CABINET MAKER
Cumbria’s awe-inspiring landscape conjures scents and fragrances that seem to encapsulate the uniqueness of the county. Capturing the magic of a fresh Cumbrian Spring Morning or dreamy sunset, Lakeland Fragrances have created a range of attractive hand-made perfumes that reflect the nature of a land blessed by outstanding pastoral beauty.
The hand-blended natural skincare products of Pure Lakes have also been inspired by Cumbria’s remarkable unspoilt countryside. Only the purest plant oils and ingredients are used in their preparations, all designed to pamper your body and soothe your soul.
“Only the purest ingredients are used in our natural skincare preparations.” SANDRA BLACKBURN – SKINCARE SPECIALIST
Capturing the essence of Cumbria’s breathtaking lakes and fells is also the passion of Lake District Landscape photographer, Mark Hewitt. His eye for detail has enabled him to build a collection of remarkable, almost dreamlike scenes only an ancient landscape can provide.
His prints are available to purchase directly or from the Made in Cumbria shop, giving you the opportunity to own a moment of timeless magic to cherish and admire.”
“The breathtaking landscapes of Cumbria are a photographer’s dream.” MARK HEWITT
With its clear mountain springs and lush green landscape Cumbria provides the key ingredients for producing outstanding food and drink.
The link between the region and artisan food producers has existed for centuries. From the traditional Cumberland Sausage, which now has protected status, to the modern More Muddees, an award-winning chocolate fix made using traditional baking techniques and local produce from More the Artisan Bakery.
The loving relationship between land and producer is crucial for a great tasting product. The high standard of Cumbrian food and drink is nationally renowned and is championed by film stars and celebrity chefs alike. Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding and Cream of Cumbria are among Rick Stein’s Food Heroes, and Grasmere Gingerbread can boast visits from Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.
Unsurprisingly, the area has a host of pickles, relishes, chutneys, sauces and mustards to add additional flavour and interest to a platter. Mr Vikki’s is a small bespoke multiple award-winning Indian Chilli Pickle, Chutney and Sauce producer in Cumbria who is dedicated to using fresh natural ingredients.
All recipes are unique and made by Adam Marks, an award-winning chef in the lakes turned crazy Chillihead and artisan sauce maker. “Everything I make is made by myself. I make Mr Vikki’s in small batches from fresh ingredients and freshly milled spices, I don’t compromise on quality, using fresh chopped ginger, garlic and various types of fresh chillies”.
“Every product is made from fresh ingredients and freshly milled spices.” ADAM MARKS – AWARD-WINNING CHEF
One of the recent success stories in Cumbrian is the brewing and spirits industry and, with the abundant supply of fresh water, it’s another example of using the local environment to create an outstanding product. At the last count there were 43 breweries with several more due to open!
Mark Perkins from Bowness Bay Brewing“The English Lake District is a landscape like no other. It’s these awesome, majestic, rugged, strong and beautiful surroundings that inspire our hand-crafted beers. It’s not only our home, it’s the very essence of what we create – using the famous Lake District water to produce the freshest beer you’ll taste”.
“It’s the awesome surroundings that inspire our hand-crafted beers.” MARK PERKINS – MASTER BREWER
Set in the backdrop of the beautiful Cumbrian hills and mountains and in an area of breathtaking beauty next to Bassenthwaite Lake, England’s largest distillery, Lakes Distillery produces the awarding winning The One, which is the one and only British Isles blended whisky. The distillery is also the winner of The World’s Best Vodka Award 2019.
“The pure waters drawn from the Lake District fells are the very essence of our award-winning spirits.”
You don’t have to be a coffee aficionado to enjoy the enthusiasm for the beverage which is sweeping across the county. Cumbria’s vibrant café culture is fuelling the taste for speciality coffees and teas, from specialist blenders including Rinaldo’s Speciality Coffee & Tea and John Watt & Son.
These independent family-run businesses outshine all the major chains and brands for their passion for quality, range, ethical sourcing and value. Customers can’t help being seduced by the rich aromas and tastes they can provide. Visit their cafés to try before you buy – every customer is guaranteed a warm welcome.
“Quality and freshness is the key to a superior product and makes our teas and coffees taste sensational!” RINALDO COLOMBI – MASTER BLENDER
This appetizer is just a small taste of what Cumbria has to offer for lovers of fine food and drink. Come and visit and you’ll experience the inspirational and fertile landscape that has been endowed by a rich heritage.
This is the time of year that brings colour and life to the county; flowers add a splash of pigment and visitors ‘wandering lonely as a cloud’ can sample a range of fare that is the envy of other regions. Should you stumble upon a Made in Cumbria producer then your heart will fill with pleasure as you’ll discover award-winning meat and cheeses, celebrated jams, crafted ales and the best of the region’s food and drink. We’re tempted, are you?
“Fabulous food and drink that is the envy of other regions.”
Set your taste buds tingling as you browse through our tempting selection of Made in Cumbria hampers offering you an enticing mix of classic Cumbrian food and drink you know and love, and some others you might not have come across, with flavours of Cumbria to suit every taste, all locally sourced and lovingly produced.
So why not lend your support and buy from Made in Cumbria members? Choose from our selection of tempting range or contact our Made in Cumbria shop to ask them to make up something unique and special for you.