New team for renowned Lake District foodie destination

Bringing a fresh injection of energy and creativity to the 3AA Rosette gastronomic experience at The Cottage in the Wood in Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick are Head Chef Ben Wilkinson and Restaurant Manager Monika Zurawska. The pair have stepped up to become Directors in the business alongside the owners Kath and Liam Berney.

The new management set-up at the restaurant with rooms heralds a bright future, with the four Directors working together to continue to ‘raise the bar’ on offering an exciting and informal dining experience.

Kath and Liam Berney, owners of The Cottage in the Wood, said of the strategic move; “We felt it was the right time for us to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business to enable the next generation to bring their own dynamism and ideas to ‘The Cottage’. Ben and Monika are an ambitious and creative team who have a fresh perspective on the industry and where it’s going next. As Chef Director Ben brings distinctive flavour combinations that come from his understanding of sense of place and a knowledge of ingredients.  Restaurant Director Monika, has a natural rapport with guests, supported by a striking level of professionalism. Both have impeccable credentials; having gained experience in some of the sectors leading restaurants including Michelin starred Midsummer House and Holbeck Ghyll.”

Ben Wilkinson, Head Chef commented, “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are delighted that Liam and Kath are supporting us to take this next step in our careers. As Head Chef I’m looking forward to building on the fantastic achievements of Rich Collingwood and further developing the reputation of The Cottage in the Wood as a foodie destination to come to be delighted and surprised. I’d like people to come here to enjoy something they can’t get anywhere else.”

Monika Zurawska Restaurant Director says of the plans for the future, “I want people to come here to enjoy an amazing meal in a relaxed and welcoming ambience. We have an incredibly talented and knowledgeable team who love to engage with our guests. It’s an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of one of Cumbria’s most rewarding dining experiences.”

As well as the restaurant at The Cottage in the Wood, there are nine delightful bedrooms with garden, mountain and spectacular forest views. It has a well-established foodie reputation, most recently winning Cumbria Tourism’s Taste Cumbria Award in 2016, but is equally popular with walkers, nature-lovers and adventure seekers.

PHOTO: Top, Monika Zurawska and Ben Wilkinson: Bottom, Liam Berney and Kath Berney