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Teaming Up With The Lakes Distillery

The Lakes Distillery opened in December 2014 on its idyllic rural site near Bassenthwaite. They produce their own fabulous Lakes malt, Lakes gin and Lakes vodka all on one site. Using water that flows from Sprinkling Tarn, through Keswick, Bassenthwaite past the distillery and then onto the Irish sea. The distillery is based at a refurbished model farm. The main barn houses the mash house and still house, with unique stills carefully designed to produce the spirits on a small artisan scale. An old cattle shed has been converted into... Read More


The Lake District Pound

The Lake District Pound (LD£) is our region’s new local currency – designed to celebrate everything you love about this place, and help keep our region special.   We will be accepting the Lake District pound in our shops when it launches. £1, £5, £10 and £20 Lake District notes will be exchanged one for one with sterling, but can only be spent in participating businesses that are locally owned, trade locally and were either founded in, or unique to the area. Lake District Pounds can be spent, respent, or... Read More


What’s New For 2018?

We had a fantastic 2017 here at Friars. After a busy Easter we invested heavily designing our new look website. This was followed by our first Christmas at our new online warehouse, which saw record Christmas sales. Our two stores in Keswick and Ambleside continued to be packed with shoppers looking for ‘something different’. All in all we have had a great year, with the business going from strength to strength and we are forever grateful to our fabulous customers. What’s new for 2018 you ask. Currently our new gin,... Read More


We Have Moved!

After 6 years we have now out grown our current address and have moved our online business to a new warehouse. We have moved into what used to be the ‘cars of the stars’ motor museum situated in the picturesque town of Keswick. So we are not going far! Plus it gives us a lot more room, which we are very excited about!   The Batmobile and Trotter Independent Trading Co. car have been replaced by chocolate games controllers and gin truffles! There is however one relic from its museum... Read More


Celebrating Our 90th Birthday

Ye Olde Friars has now been trading for 90 years! Founded in 1927 by William Long as ‘The Gift House’ gift shop it soon change its name (1929) to the more recognisable ‘Ye Olde Friars’. It has adapted over the years from a café come chocolate shop to a specialist luxury chocolate shop. The business has been in the Webster family since day one and currently has four family members working in the business. One of the most significant changes came in the late 80’s to early 90s when Gina... Read More


Interview With Our Longest Serving Staff Member

Angela Davison started working for us 20 years ago on the shop floor in our Keswick store. She is now a key member of the senior management team, if there is anything that Angela doesn’t know about chocolate then it is not worth knowing. What is your first memory of Friars? It was actually before I worked in the Keswick store. I was about 21 and was in the shop with my friend, we walked past a ceiling high set of shelves full of shortbread. I swear we didn’t touch... Read More


A591 Opening On 13th May, Yay!

Finally after months of waiting the A591 linking our Keswick and Ambleside stores is finally going to be re-opened on the 13th of May. The road has been closed since December due to damage caused by storm Desmond. Although the flooding in the Lake District didn’t directly damage our premises, it has had a huge impact on businesses in the area through flood damage and lack of footfall. It is estimated that the shutting of the road that links North and South Lakeland costs the local economy £0.5m every day... Read More