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The Churchmouse at Barbon, Three Hares and Zeffirellis make Cumbria Family Business Awards

We are spoilt for choice in Cumbria for places to eat and drink; from warm and welcoming cafes where you can kick off your boots by the fire, to high dining experiences where the regions best produce is showcased. The judges had some extremely tough decisions to come up with their finalists for this category, you can learn more about them here…


The Churchmouse at Barbon. Where do we start? Village store, purveyors of award-winning Cheese Wedding Cakes, café with outside terrace, outside catering, private venue hire, speciality cheese counter, off licence and a Friday Night Bistro all rolled into one. Husband and wife team, John and Jules Natlacen head up this family friendly business in the quaint village of Barbon, Cumbria.

“We are the heart of the village” says Jules. “The villagers feel like our family and we want to look after them and make them feel they have a place to socialise, talk, relax and unwind as well as do their shopping”

After running Churchmouse Cheeses in Kirkby Lonsdale for 12 years, they stumbled upon Barbon Stores which was up for sale and in a very sorry state. In 3 years, the village store has been transformed by the pair in to a vibrant, busy, welcoming destination for the villagers, cyclists, walkers, families and the like.


Three Hares is a family run Café, Bistro & Bakery set in the stunning town of Sedbergh, in the Cumbrian part of the Yorkshire Dales. The name Three Hares come from the symbol, which appears throughout the UK, Europe and Asia and reflects James & Nina’s background and influences in the menu. James’ upbringing in the local area brings local produce, wild & game where as Nina’s German upbringing with Japanese parents adds a different twist. The food is true ‘Field to Fork’, ‘Nose to Tail’ which stays as true to the seasons as possible, and as local as quality they require dictates. The bakery side provides Sourdoughs, Pastries & Savouries, Lunch traditional Soups, Sandwiches and their famous ‘Drovers Platter’ alongside delights like Venison Curry & Kidneys on Sourdough. The evening is a creative fine dining experience of their own influences, together with a real passion for sourcing the best produce.

A legend in the Lakes: that’s Zeffirellis, the family owned business that’s transformed life in Ambleside, for residents and tourists, for nearly 40 years. Five cinema screens, two restaurants, a daytime café, a wine bar, live jazz, and now an elegant country-house hotel. All this in one small town from one dynamic family and their adopted-family of dedicated staff. It’s known throughout the world as “Zeffs”, the envy of multi-plex cinema-goers for its comfortable seats and stunning range of latest mainstream movies, art-house films, and theatre-on-the-screen. Famous, too, for being a vegetarian restaurant where many of the diners don’t even realise there’s no meat on the menu. They love the pizza, and the fine-dining dishes at Fellinis, the “movie and a meal” deal, and they love the atmosphere. It’s always busy and always buzzing. And next up: their own jazz festival later this year.

GOOD LUCK to all these fabulous finalists! Excited to find out who the winner is on the big night of Cumbria Family Business Awards 2017! #CFBA2017 #WeAreCumbria

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