A BBC presenter has hailed a South Lakeland village as a ‘thimbleful of diamonds’.
Radio Two Breakfast Show host Chris Evans was said to have caught ‘Cartmel fever’ as news broke that L’Enclume had been voted Britain’s best restaurant.
The DJ ‘raved’ about the cluster of food-and-drink-oriented businesses in the pretty Lakes village, inc-luding Cartmel Village Shop – home of Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding.
Shop owner Jean Johns said: “It’s wonderful to hear Chris champion Cartmel and all its great businesses and produce.
“We sent him a hamper full of goodies and we’ll always make sure there’s a hot pork pie and Sticky Toffee Pudding ready for him when he next visits”
The hot topic continued on Thursday when the hamper of pork pies, sticky toffee pudding, sticky toffee sauce, ginger pudding and sticky toffee chocolates was delivered to the team live on air.
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“We had people coming in to the shop saying they had been listening to the radio and could they try one of our hot pies,” said Jean.
Renowned chef Simon Rogan’s Michelin-starred L’Enclume was ranked as the country’s best restaurant for a second year in the Good Food Guide, scoring a faultless ten out of ten score along with Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck Restaurant.
Cartmel is also home to Mr Rogan’s second restau-rant Rogan & Co, his pub The Pig and Whistle and his nearby farm.
In the village there is also Martin Gott’s Cartmel Cheeses and Unsworth’s Yard Brewery.
Simon Johns, general manager at Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, said: “Cartmel is doing very well. I think it all started with Sticky Toffee Pudding and then a few years ago Simon Rogan came, and he’s been a great asset “There’s now quite a bit of momentum for ‘foodie’ businesses.”
Mr Johns, who also owns the Los Angeles-based The English Pudding Comp-any selling sticky toffee puddings across the USA, said it was only 20 years ago that shops were closing in Cart-mel – but that had all changed.
“People come from far afield now, some even by helicopter!” he told the Gazette.