Kysty, Ambleside, Cumbria: ‘A classy jewel’ – restaurant review | Grace Dent on restaurants


Grace Dent

‘I adore it when Michelin-starred chefs say they’re doing something “relaxed”, because they’re the least relaxed individuals ever’

Kysty is a restaurant in Ambleside, where the entire country and their dogs seem to be holidaying right now. This is reasonable: during an enthusiastically invasive PCR test in the back room of a Madeiran chemist earlier this month, it struck me that it might have been far easier to stay in Britain. In the Lakes, maybe, where, yes, it may well pelt with rain throughout August, but you can at least get there quickly without entering an MC Escher hellscape of contradictory pre-flight government websites.

You can also leave easily, too – after a nice scone and a look at Todd Crag – and without paying some private medical charlatan £70 for the “purchase code” for a “day two landing test”, which you post off and they sling in a hedge. We are fortunate that the British Isles are so beautiful and varied, because only the very determined are leaving on a jet plane right now. Ambleside is particularly charming, because it’s a hodge-podge of cosy cafes, country pubs, climbing walls and art galleries, as well as home to roughly 86 places where you can buy Romney’s mint cake and quick-lock anti-shock trekking poles to take home and use on Clapham Common.

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