Chesters by the River

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 10 reviews )

Skelwith Bridge, Near Ambleside, Skelwith Bridge, England, LA22 9NJ

Cafe at Skelwith Bridge turned vegetarian Easter 2016. Serves pizzas, soups, salads, snacks and a wide variety of cakes, of which some are either vegan or could possibly be made vegan. Also has a gift shop on site (non-food). Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-5:00pm.

Categories: Pizza, International, Take-out

10 Reviews

First Review by lblackno1

Vegan delights - Edit

Amazing potato scones & chickpea & sweet potato pasties! Delish coffee! And fab location!

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Worth the D Tour - Edit

Definitely not our planned journey home but thanks to Happy Cow a great find and our first visit will not be our last. Outdoor seating and take away available.

Pros: Good choice of food including vegan options , Friendly staff despite being very busy , Fantastic setting, Dog and cycle friendly

Cons: Not all Vegan but use to be omnivorous so step in

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Possibly my favourite place on earth - Edit

Chester's by the River is just heaven. The food here really is fabulous and as a regular visitor, the folks in the kitchen achieve unrivalled consistency with their frequently-changing menu. I've never been disappointed by a meal here, and coffees with oat milk are simply perfection.

Pros: Lots of vegan breakfast and lunch options, Sublime, vegan jam dougnuts, Excellent coffee

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Taste buds heaven - Edit

So pleased to see this popular restaurant is now vegetarian with a huge choice of vegan and gluten free options. We had a huge sharing plate of salads with an undescribable palate of flavours. They also serve that elusive vegan and gf cake, a delicious marmalade frangipane. What a treat. If you are anywhere close to this area make a detour and enjoy some of the best food in the Lakes.
And of course the scenery is outstanding sitting by the river in full force.

Pros: lots of choice. very helpful staff

Cons: I guess it's going to be too busy in the summer

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Too good to be true. - Edit

Anyone hiking in the Langdale area, or just touring the Lakes must include this gem on their route. The first thing to hit you is the location. Wow. In the trees, by a river, view of the arched bridge. Its a picture postcard, or to be more up to date, a CGI film fantasy.
Next comes the food. an amazing display of breakfasts, snacks, salads, pies, pizzas, and cakes. Veggie and vegan, all the stuff we had was delicious. The staff are friendly, the atmosphere is warm and relaxed, muddy boots and dogs are OK, and they do take-away.
Got to hand it to the owners. Not only did they make the decision to go vegetarian, but the whole operation is planet friendly and fully sustainable. No plastic or polystyrene around here. I understand that the breakfast service took a while to establish as non-veggies expected bacon, but that is all in the past and the place is busy and enjoyed and appreciated by all. Go there now.

Pros: Ace food, Take-away too, Superb location.

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Amazing Food - Edit

Me and my mother came here for lunch today and it was amazing! It's located in a really nice place and is very beautiful and relaxing. It was quite crowded when we went and there was only one space left for our car, although there are lots of tables inside and outside, but we did on a bank holiday.

Almost everything on the menu is vegan or can be made vegan which is great.

I had the sweet potato and pine nut samosa which came with tabbouleh and avocado and salad leaves with a really nice dressing, and then we also ordered a side of biryani rice salad which was also very tasty.

I then got a vegan chocolate and peanut butter cake afterwards which was delicious and quite a big slice.

The prices were perhaps a little dear for lunch but the food is very high quality and looks amazing so you get what you pay for, mains about £8-10, side salads are £4 and the cakes ranged from around £4 as well.

Another negative was that there are only 4 or 5 toilets for everyone which isn't very many considering it was very busy and the queue got pretty big.

Overall my experience was great and I definitely recommend it and will come back

Pros: Delicious food, good range of vegan options, lovely place

Cons: gets busy, not enough toilets

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lovely place for hikers! - Edit

my partner and i took a hike from ambleside to skelwith bridge with the intention of having lunch at chesters and then hiking back.
the place was packed, so we probably should have booked a table but we got lucky and still fround a place to sit. but if you don't, the food is also available as take away an they even have a little space outside reserved just for eating their take away.
almost everything on the menu is vegan or can be made vegan.
we opted for a salad, two pizzas and after a while also had tea and cake there.
the food was very good and innovative.
after lunch we spent a while at the lovely shop of theirs which offers books, accessories, all things dog related, decorational objects and souvenirs.

Pros: very good food, gorgeous shop, perfect for hiking

Cons: could have more vegan cake options

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Vegan Options & Really Delicious - Edit

Chesters looks very inviting from the front, with plenty of outdoor seating, for the warmer weather, but on our visit it was freezing and although there was a ten minute wait for a table, it was definitely worth it. There is a large shop, which sells wines and beers, trinkets, ornaments, stationery and there is even a very tempting takeaway, with a huge display of cakes.

The menu has plenty vegan options, with many cakes, all clearly labelled, even wines by the glass or bottle.

I chose the butternut squash and chickpea kebabs, with chips and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. When the dish arrived, I was so happy, the dish looked spectacular on the plate and the chips looked perfect too.
I loved my lunch, every single thing about it, the cashew dressing was delicious, especially when you dunked the kebab or the gorgeous chips in it. The salad was tossed in a tasty dressing, with the crunch of pomegranate and the dish was sprinkled with sumac, I was totally impressed, although I was far too full for cake, maybe next trip.

I had read reviews on Tripadvisor about Chesters By The River, how customers of old, were not happy with it now being vegetarian, but the place was packed with customers of all age groups, so they must be doing something right and the food is the reason why, it is wonderful.

I cannot wait to return and try some of their other vegan options.

Pros: Vegan options, Vegan cakes, Vegan wines

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Good first time - BAD second time! - Edit

My husband, dog and I have been visiting the Lake District and staying in Coniston. I found this place on happy cow and we decided to give it a go. It's so cute!! Dog friendly and vegetarian with lots of vegan options. We shared a vegan chocolate torte and a vegan scone. Apparently they have oat milk for their coffee and tea. There's also a nice gift shop with a ton of veggie and vegan cook books and lots of other nice gift things. Staff were very friendly and made a fuss of our little dog. We might go back for some of their vegan stone baked pizzas. They stop serving food at 3pm apparently, although it is my understanding cake is on offer until closing time. We visited on a week day and still had to wait to be seated but it was worth it.

UPDATE: We returned today, a few days after our initial visit, and ordered two vegan pizzas that looked so good on our first visit. We waited to be seated again but were excited for a yummy lunch. Once we ordered we waited at least 25 mins before the waiter comes over and tells us we can't have pizza any more due to a problem with the oven and said we could order something else or get a refund. Since it was a 15 min drive back to our holiday accommodation we decided to order something else. My husband ordered a dhaal with a flatbread and I ordered a butternut squash and chickpea kebab. We assumed our order would remain in the same place in the queue of orders, but everyone else was receiving their food and we still had nothing. After nearly an hour after initially placing our order our food came, we were offered an extra tea each on the house. This was especially welcomed since I had paid more for my pizza than the thing I ordered so I basically overpaid by £1 (decided it wasn't worth the fuss at the time). My husbands portion was a fair size - dhaal, two small flatbreads and a cauliflower curry, but mine was two small chickpea sausages and the same side salad my husband got, AND it tasted very bland. I was SO disappointed because our first trip was so good and I had such high expectations. Finally, they forgot our side of chips and we had to ask for it and they gave us the horrible end bits whilst everyone else got big fluffy chips. No one checked back on us, as a long term waitress I know when you have messed up someones order you should be checking back multiple times. So we had no one to even tell our order wasn't any good. We ate and left with a sour taste in our mouths!

If you make the trip, go for cake and tea!

Updated from previous review on 2016-11-25

Pros: Dog Friendly, Vegan Cake & Oat milk, Pretty location

Cons: Service could be better, Needs tastier & larger lunch meals

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Beautiful setting and great cakes! - Edit

Went here with my family not knowing that it had all become veggie. We were a party of veggies, vegans and an omnivore. There was a great selection of salads, soups, pizzas, cakes etc. many of which were vegan or could be made vegan upon request. And all of which was delicious!

Really friendly staff and a stunning location with loads of walks nearby. We sat on a table overlooking the river. We will definitely be back!

Pros: Large selection of savoury food, 2-3 vegan cakes, loads of veggie cakes, Beautiful setting

Cons: Very popular so busy!

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