Welcome to Matthews Bistro


Matthew's Bistro opened its doors in 2001. Chef patron Matthew Colley is passionate about what he does and has built up a loyal following for his flavoursome fare.

Some of his dishes are so popular he wouldn't dare take them off the menu. Staples such as beef bourgignon and game pie are just what hungry walkers are looking for after a day on the fells.

Matthew describes his style as "retro classc" - a move back to the sort of food that was popular in the 1970s - but with the addition of his unique modern twist.

He has no time for the cult of celebrity chefs on ego trips. "I like to think I make the kind of food that people actually want to eat, rather than what the media might tell them to eat," he says. Many of his ingredients are sourced locally.

"I try to use the best of what Cumbria has to offer, and tha
t's an awful lot. We are in one of the best counties in England for artisan products."

There's a wide choice - from Galloway beef steaks in delicious sauces to free range Cumberland sausage made to his own recipe. Tasty fish dishes range from his impressive Fritto Misto to his renowned Bouillebaisse. There are plenty of vegetarian options too. And Matthew takes advantage of seasonal products by having a varied specials menu - such as pan seared loin of roe venison with a port and blackcurrant reduction.

Front of house is headed by Peter Brown - a Geordie lad with the biggest grin - who loves to look after his customers.

The atmosphere is unstuffy and friendly. The bistro is a favourite of couples, families and parties alike.

The early evening menu is the perfect way to sample his fare. This
value-for-money selection of dishes representing a cross-section of the menu is popular with people wanting to go on somewhere, such as a show or the cinema, or young families on a tight budget who prefer an early meal. Due to popular demand we have now introduced a mid-evening set menu which represents excellent value for money for those wishing to dine later. This is available from 7.00pm till closing time. However, they are very popular and booking is essential to avoid disappointment. We also have a Special’s Menu reflecting the best of local produce at is seasonal best and always have a prime Cumbrian Galloway steak on the menu.


matthews shop


matthews shop

Smallwood B&B