Three Cumbrian restaurants have been awarded a prestigious Michelin Star for the first time.

The Cottage in the Wood at Whinlatter, the Old Stamphouse in Ambleside and Askham Hall near Penrith join the ranks of the world's finest culinary talents.

Cumbria now has seven kitchens that have a total of eight stars.

Simon Rogan's L'Enclume in Cartmel retained its two stars, while Rogan & Co, Hrishi at the Gilpin Hotel at Windermere and Forest Side at Grasmere all kept their single stars.

Ben Wilkinson, chef director at The Cottage in the Wood, last weekend hosted a special pop-up restaurant at Cockermouth's Taste Food festival which is organised by Allerdale Borough Council in association with our sister magazine Cumbria Life and our publisher Newsquest.

Ben joined the restaurant with rooms, which opened in 2002, 18 months ago.

He said: "It’s fantastic to get this recognition from The Michelin Guide. The whole team at The Cottage in the Wood works so hard and this award is an amazing achievement for everyone.

"I’ve been a chef for over 20 years and I’ve dreamed of getting a star every day. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I can’t want to get back into the kitchen to get cooking as a Michelin starred chef."

The Michelin judges earlier announced that the Dog and Gun at gastro pub at Skelton had retained its Bib Gourmand award, which denotes food judged to be of good quality and good value by inspectors.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “This is absolutely amazing news for the county.

"These latest announcements by the team at the Michelin Guide continue to demonstrate just how much choice our visitors and residents have when it comes to luxury dining, with Cumbria’s tally of stars almost doubling overnight.

"As such excellence in food and drink continues to rise from strength to strength, it further cements The Lake District, Cumbria’s well-earned reputation as being among the very best destinations for culinary excellence as well as for adventure, culture and relaxation.

“We know it’s not easy running a restaurant to such continually high standards and the whole team at Cumbria Tourism send heartfelt congratulations to all our local winners who feature in the 2020 edition of the famed Michelin Guide.”