The Malabar, Cumbria
Have you ever been to Cumbria? Nestled between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, you’ll find The Malabar, one of the most quaint and individual B&Bs I have ever stayed at.
Owners Fiona and Graham clearly take pride in everything they do. Inspired by their travels through India, the interiors of this bed and breakfast give a nod to their time there, from the printed napkins and tablecloths at breakfast, to the rattan chairs in the living room, and the plush furnishings in each of the six bedrooms (each features a jewel-coloured rolltop bath). The property seamlessly manages to marry modern chic with Indian individuality.
My parents escape here several times a year, (a testament to how wonderful both the area and The Malabar are) and a couple of months ago, my sister, Oliver, and I decided to join them over a weekend.
After a hectic journey up to Oxenholme (I missed my original train), we finally arrived at the beautiful Malabar before collapsing for the evening.
Breakfast options the following morning were hearty and featured a classic menu with an Indian twist: choose between the ‘Full Cumbrian’ (featuring all the usual suspects you’d expect), chilli scrambled eggs on toast with lashings of butter (this was my favourite dish), and porridge with toppings such as cinnamon and jaggery; all washed down with delicate cups of Indian chai. If you’re a fan of Dishoom’s breakfast, I can promise that this is easily ten times tastier.
Following breakfast, we donned our walking shoes, and set out for a hike across the Howgill Fells. It was an incredibly windy day, and I have to admit that I didn’t make it all the way to the top of the peak…but we finished our walk by cosying up at The Three Hares in nearby Sedbergh, a casual coffee shop serving up a range of soups and toasties alongside specialty coffee.
This was followed by a stroll around the quaint village of Dent, before heading back to The Malabar for even more feasting. All guests can expect a complimentary afternoon tea upon arrival, and as we’d arrived so late the previous day, we were served this on Saturday afternoon: expect an array of homemade treats, including fresh scones, berry and almond tarts, and finger sandwiches. The afternoon was spent binge-watching Killing Eve before heading to the Black Swan in Ravenstonedale for a traditional British dinner before our final evening at The Malabar.
A short and sweet stay, but one that made me want to return to this part of Cumbria as soon as possible. I’ve never stayed in a B&B that has as much attention to detail as The Malabar, and I will be back soon if only for those chilli scrambled eggs…