1 Michelin Star Chefs: Ryan Blackburn, chef owner, The Old Stamp House

The Staff Canteen

Ryan Blackburn is the chef and owner of The Old Stamp House in Ambleside, Cumbria.

Located in a 19th century house previously occupied by romantic poet William Wordsworth - in the basement, below a Greggs bakery - the restaurant opened in 2014.

The Old Stamp House 

Old Stamp House 2

Church St, Ambleside LA22 0BU

Telephone: 015394 32775

Website: https://www.oldstamphouse.com/

Reservations: https://www.oldstamphouse.com/resevations

Monday: Closed

Tuesday: 6-9pm

Wednesday: 12:30-2pm, 6-9pm

Thursday: 12:30-2pm, 6-9pm

Friday: 12:30-2pm, 6-9pm

Saturday: 12:30-2pm, 6-9pm

Sunday: Closed

Career to date

Ryan Blackburn was born in Great Langdale, a six-mile drive from The Old Stamp House. The third descendant in his family to work in hospitality - after his grandfather and his father - his mission is to showcase the best of what his region of Cumbria has to offer.

Prior to launching The Old Stamp House with his brother Craig, chef owner Ryan Blackburn worked at the Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel in Windermere, restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh and at Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter. 

Upon visiting The Old Stamp House The Times critic  Tony Turnbull described Ryan Blackburn "as a man to watch," further stating that "he understands how to cook but more importantly how to eat, how to play different flavours and textures against each other."

The Old Stamp House 

Located at the heart of the Lake District National Park, William Wordsworth used the building to run his stamp distribution business - supplying the whole of Cumbria.  

What the guides say


Michelin star


AA 2 Rosettes 2


Untitled 2

The small restaurant combines traditional and modern features with low ceilings, with white walls bearing modern paintings. Set across two floors, 30 people can dine in one sitting, eight for private dining. 

The food at The Old Stamp House features lots of organic game and foraged ingredients, offering both an a la carte and a tasting menu. 

Most popular on the menu are local cheeses and Herdwick hogget, with dishes such as potted shrimps with cauliflower, curry and mead sauce, Cumbrian gingerbread with panna cotta and ruhbarb, smoked Furness wood pigeon with beetroot, celeriac puree and pickled cherries, and Alston Moor red grouse with Scottish girolles and truffle jus. 

Describing his vision for the restaurant, the chef said: "I want my business to be part of the community using local suppliers and craftsmen, retaining spend within the local economy. This place is a special and unique, moulded over thousands of years by the earth and by people. Our history and industry, including the quarries, farms and ports deserve to be recognized, preserved and protected, whilst allowing for continued, sustainable growth."

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 16th October 2019

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Ryan Blackburn, chef owner, The Old Stamp House