Gastropub and Inn with charming decor, located within the Lake District serving hearty food
I am now not a stranger to The Punch Bowl in Crosthwaite however, this was a special visit in the circumstances it was and the fact that this meal was followed by a stay over at the Inn itself. The food on this occasion included old classics such as the cheese soufflé and the sirloin steak with wonderful garlic butter as the sauce, which was actually a welcome change from my usual vat of béarnaise sauce to accompany any steak that I have.
The black pudding with egg and chutney was very pleasant and even though the pork crackling ‘straw’ was too hard in places to enjoy, it was well done and the presentation of the potato rösti with celeriac and apple and slow cooked egg was bordering on 1 Michelin starred quality. The steak tartare was also prepared with a slow cooked egg which I thought was a very good touch as well and although a touch more gherkin, capers and shallots to filet steak seemed to be in the mix, I still enjoyed the overall result a lot.
The lovely touch with the chips here was the fact that they are cooked in beef dripping as a pleasant change for a hint of a more savoury flavour and the vanilla Panna cotta with honeycomb was a belter of a dessert – perfect consistency with the Panna cotta and lovely elements coming together to boost the interest of a classic.
It’s worth mentioning as well that the rooms here are utterly delightful. It doesn’t affect the food grade given, however, ever since seeing this pub for the first time years ago, I have always wanted to stay. I can now confirm that the gorgeously deep bath, rain shower, goose down pillows and wonderful grade mattresses and general rustic luxury design in the rooms here added to a superb stay with very good service.
Food Grade: 78%
I have been here twice before; once for a special evening Birthday meal and the other for a lovely lunch and this third occasion was for an early dinner which simply did not dissapoint in any way. The signature cheese soufflé was in full, cooked force on this occasion with its very creamy and lovely Lancashire cheese and all other dishes were very well done. I was very impressed with the presentation too which, frankly wouldn’t have been out of place in many 1 Michelin starred venues I have eaten in and the supporting Rioja was nice and light and paired up very well with all our dishes.
The style and care taken over the design of the food was obvious and flavours wise, it was all quite impressive as well, no question. The highlights for me were the croquette bbq pork with apple gel and the almond ice cream, the latter really being superb, cutting through the zingy strawberry soufflé nicely and a treat on its own.
This is frankly one of the nicest and most picturesque gatro pubs I have been to in the whole of the UK and for all round quality I think you will be hard pressed to find many other places much better. It is also a B & B and frankly its charm makes me wish to be able to have the excuse to stay over one day simply to enjoy it on that count alone. A true gem in Cumbria.
Food Grade: 78%
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