Carlisle-born food critic Grace Dent: 'I'm the proudest Cumbrian you'll meet within the M25'

Carlisle-born food critic Grace Dent has told ITV Border of the sense of pride she feels for Cumbria and its flourishing fine dining scene.

The 49-year-old was speaking as she launched her latest business venture, a luxury hotel in Essex powered by an electric car.

However, the author said she is very keen to bring the new idea up to Cumbria.

She said: "When I was a little girl I spent a lot of time on holiday in Silloth.

Grace Dent says she would love to bring her new hotel concept to Cumbria. Credit: Hyundai

"When I was looking into doing this hotel, I kept thinking about the entire luxury of being able to bring one of these cars so that you could power everything when you got there.

"The wonderful thing about Cumbria is that it is remote. The side of a hill in Caldbeck, that's where I would like to bring this hotel, absolutely definitely."

Carlisle roots

The broadcaster has fond memories of being raised in Currock, a deprived area of Carlisle.

She said: "When I grew up there, I didn't actually think that we were living in any level of poverty because I didn't know anything different."

Dent was full of praise praise for local charity The Rock Youth Project, which provides activities for young people in the area.

She said: "To get away and see the other side of life and to see how much money there is washing around in the rest of Britain, and then to realise that 20, 30, 40 years later, Currock is still in a place that needs a lot of help.

"I thoroughly support everything they (The Rock Youth Project) do. I'm involved.

"But honestly, the heavy lifting is down to some incredible figures down at that youth centre."

Representing Cumbria down south

As a food critic for The Guardian, Dent is delighted to see that Cumbria is now home to several Michelin star restaurants.

She said: "Suddenly over the last few years it feels like Cumbria is having its moment.

"It really gives me such a kick that we've got so many Michelin star restaurants because they are the finest places in the country.

"These are incredible world class restaurants."

Usually based in London, Dent enjoys spending a lot of time in Keswick with her family.

When in the capital though, she wastes no time educating Londoners about exactly where she comes from.

She said: "When people ask me about Cumbria, they become really lit up with the idea of the Lake District.

"And I tried to explain to them that the Lakes are lovely, don't get me wrong, one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. But there's so much more to Cumbria.

"I almost don't want to tell them. I love West Cumbria, I love the coastline, the unspoilt beauty and the honesty of the people."

And Dent insists she is determined to return to her home county when she retires. She said: "I'm always looking for my dream home in Carlisle. You haven't seen the last of me!"