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Monday, 21 April 2014

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Café Ambio, Lakeland Motor Museum, Backbarrow

WHAT better place to spend a Father’s Day treat than the café attached to the Lakeland Motor Museum?

We were on our way back from Grange to the Barrow area and had always fancied checking out the highly-rated Café Ambio. We weren’t disappointed.

Its setting is ideal. The fact the café is attached to the motor museum means there is plenty of parking.

And its riverside location means there are tables lining the water outside with lovely views towards a weir.

A heron was perched on a post by the riverbank, waiting for its own late morning snack while swallows swooped over the water.

But yet another cloudy June day meant we were more inclined to sit inside for our food and drink.

The café, with its high ceiling, wooden beams, and glazed riverside frontage is a light and airy place.

The furnishings include high-backed chairs, either red or brown, at light-coloured wooden tables, with the occasional more armchair-style seating.

We were there for a coffee and snack, but the main menu (prices around £6), in particular the Sunday roast special of beef with Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings (£6.95), meant we took a mental note to return for something more substantial another day.

The children went for the chocolate option of indulgent hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream (£2.25), with respective cake options of chocolate cream pie with cherries on top (£1.95) and a huge round piece of shortbread (£1.50).

My wife and I both went for the carrot cake topped with strawberries (£1.95) and respective drinks of chofee (a mix of coffee and chocolate, £2.25) and cappuccino (£2.15).

It all looked delicious.

The carrot cake was light and succulent, the chocolate cream pie was suitably rich, and the shortbread was well received, not too biscuity, not too cakey – just right.

The drinks all hit the spot, and were in medium-sized mugs, not the giant cups that can be overfacing in some cafes.

We all declared ourselves delighted with our first visit to Café Ambio.

And as we strolled by the river before continuing on our way back to Barrow, we all agreed it would be a great place to return, and ideal for meeting up halfway with friends and relatives in other parts of Cumbria and North Lancashire.

JONATHAN LEE

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