Hidden Treasures🌱 Chesters By the River, Vegetarian Café

Hidden in the footpaths and windy lanes of the Lake District is Chesters By The River, a quirky and modern vegetarian restaurant/café, which welcomes dogs too with the only rule that once they start to outnumber people (and this has happened) that no more will be let in. 

The last time I did a Hidden Treasures post was around my birthday in March on V Revolution, a vegan junk food place in Manchester's Norther Quarter that is equally as amazing as this place- only Chesters offers up a larger menu, whole counters of cakes and more nutritious food.

When I'm at home with the fam we go into the Lake District a lot, and with me being vegetarian for almost a year now (craaaazy!) we decided to head to Chesters for some lunch before heading to Ambleside Park, my favourite childhood place. 

It was such a nice day so we sat outside which was lovely for a few minutes before a family of wasps decided they wanted our drinks. So we moved inside to order at the counter, where there were huge bowls filled with noodle salads and other gorgeous foods. 

There was the option to eat in or take-away if you don't feel like sitting inside, where they have a garden seating section just for take-away orders.

My sisters and I all chose different pizzas to eat in. I had sun-blushed tomato with goats cheese and red onion marmalade and my sisters had a margarita so we swapped pieces and I can vouch that they were amazing! Kind of how Elizabeth Gilbert describes Italian pizza in Eat Pray Love.

All of the pizzas are cooked in a stone oven for all to see which really crisped them around the edges and made them taste so much more authentic than a regular shop bought pizza. My stepdad had some kind of egg dish and my mum had a sandwich with pad thai noodle salad on the side.

To share we got two decent sized bowls of home made chips (which were the BEST chips I've ever had, no lie) to split!

Aside from the wasps this was a really nice eating experience which is all you can ask for when choosing to eat away from the comforts of home. Chesters was so clean, had a high chair for Alfie my nephew and the waitresses/waiters were so friendly.

As the name suggests, this little place is by the river so the decking around the building shows a gorgeous view of the river and forest that leads into Ambleside, fully prepared for English showers with happy yellow parasols above the tables. 

I'm sitting there thinking CLEARLY this place is one of the most Instagrammable places ever- light up letters, white tiles, marble bathrooms, colourful tasty food and a view (hence so many photos!).

On the side of the café, just past the take-away area is a shop filled with awesome gifts and books all organised in colour sections. If you're holidaying in the Lakes there's plenty of mugs branded with your favourite fells and if you live in the Lakes and don't need souvenirs there are cookbooks, colouring books, art prints, homeware from terrariums to tin desk lamps. 

I swear I'd set up camp in that shop if I could!

After eating and snooping around, I grabbed a filter coffee from the take-away counter and asked if they had soy milk. They didn't but they had Oatly Frothing milk (basically a milk made from oats, no animal product) and it was SO GOOD. I need to get my hands on it so if anybody knows where to buy it, let me know!

For meals, the food wasn't too pricey. The chips were a little pricey at £4 a bowl and the coffee was small for £2.40 but I'd SO much rather give money to small businesses who really work hard on everything than large copy franchises. Honestly I couldn't have made the food better in my dreams and I'd go again and again, especially if the weather was as lovely! 

I'd love to see more vegetarian café's like this that really prove vegetarian food to be not bland or boring but colourful, tasty, interesting and nutritious. 

Do you ever eat vegetarian or would you consider it? Let me know if you visit Chesters!

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