Slates – Cafe / Restaurant – Elterwater

Convenient vegan-friendly cafe / restaurant for those exploring Elterwater and the nearby Langdale valleys.

Cuisine: Burger, pizza, pie, vegan breakfast. Some lighter options and cakes too.
Opening Hours: 10am-7pm Weds, Thurs, Sun, 10am-9pm Fri & Sat
Location: Maple Tree Corner, Elterwater, LA22 9HP
Date Visited: Oct 2020
Price Range: £6-10
Contact:  01539 437755
Charging: TBC

Elterwater is a lovely little village nestled off the beaten track near the Langdale Valleys and the lake which gives it its name – Elter Water. For drinkers there’s a traditional British pub, the Britannia Inn, and the fancier Eltermere Inn up the road. But neither of those have vegan options on their menu yet. As a result, Stiles is a welcome source of food and drink for hungry vegans in the area.

There’s a reasonable selection for a cafe which doesn’t specifically cater for veggies and vegans. They have included a vegan burger and a vegan pizza, a vegan ‘full breakfast’ and a pie. The staff were very friendly (despite being rushed off their feet and wrestling with a broken coffee machine when we visited). We’re sure they’d help alternative pizza toppings if the one on their menu isn’t to your taste.

We had the Falafel Burger and the Spicy Potato and Cauliflower Pie. The burger was fine but nothing to write home about. The pie was very tasty and excellent value for money. It was made even better by the two chutneys that accompanied it, which were excellent. We also both noticed that their salad dressing was particularly good – not something that usually merits attention at restaurants, so that was a nice surprise.

For those just wanting coffee and a cake there are two cake options, a flapjack and an apricot, orange and almond shortcake slice, which sounds fantastic but we haven’t tried yet. The Elterwater area is a favourite of ours for walking, so we’ll take the opportunity next time we’re there.

Also, Slates gets kudos for not charging extra for plant-based milks, unlike some of the explicitly veggie / vegan restaurants in the Lake District.

Gluten free options are clearly labelled on the menu and the pizzas are available with gluten free bases if required.

The menu makes it clears that all pizzas are cooked in the same oven in case this is a problem for people. They don’t have a separate one for vegan pizzas. Again, credit to them for thinking of this and making it clear on the menu.

Overall, Slates has a good offering for vegans, and we’re certainly tempted to stop there every time we drive past – which can be fairly often when we’re staying in the Langdales.

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