A great believer in exploring the off beat, non-touristy things hidden inside every city.
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Published September 3rd 2017
Mountain and river view whilst you eat
So, we set out back for London after a week's sojourn at Lake District, Cumbria. We left our Lodge around 11am after the girls bid a fond farewell to Florence and Duke, the mother-son donkey duo, who were delighted to be hand fed carrots by our two, every day during our stay. (Never before had we purchased so many carrots during our grocery shop!) We decided to do a lunch stop roughly 2 hours later, in whatever pub that would appear on the horizon then. So, 1pm found us in the little village of Pooley Bridge at the Crown Inn.
Owned by the Thwaites group, Crown Inn is located alongside the very bridge itself which gives the village its name. Seeing as it was peak of the lunch hour when we arrived, the restaurant was quite crowded, but the very friendly staff managed to find us a table without much ado. There were some very interesting looking books and board games that people could choose from whilst waiting for the food to arrive. (I had barely started doing a crossword along with my younger daughter when the food arrived- so, fast service - check! )
Looking at the scenic view that the outside tables offered - the river, the bridge and the launches leisurely cruising across Lake Ullswater - we were tempted to go out and see if there was place. Fortunately, we decided against it because a few minutes later there was a cloud burst and those outside had to beat a hasty retreat indoors. We ordered a main each and that's what you can see in the picture.
Whilst mine is the gammon steak, I personally felt that the best mains were the glazed lamb shank with puy lentils (yes, the black coloured stuff) with chorizo, spinach and potatoes (13-year olds do have hearty appetites!) Here's a better look!
Hubby went in for the roast chicken with garlic and herb butter and salad while our 9-year old was gently 'guided' by her mother (read: yours truly) to choose something from the kid's menu (going by past experience of her wanting something from the grown-up menu and eating barely a quarter of it!) I was pleasantly taken aback by the generous portions (the chicken especially was supposed to be half chicken according to the menu!) and the reasonable prices. Our mains ranged from £11.50 to £15.00. As for taste, as I said, having sampled all the fare at the table a little, I think the lamb shank was done to perfection. My gammon, which was quite tasty, unfortunately came sans pineapple relish as they'd run out of it by then. The roast chicken was wholesome but really was what it said it was - a roast chicken and was, on retrospect a trifle bland (oh, well you ask for it, you get it!).
Once done, we walked back through the fields to our car park. With farming being the main industry in these places, it is not unusual to see that many of these car parks are really fields belonging to local farmers. One of the signs in particular about dog fouling, tickled my two daughters. I reproduce it here!
All in all, Crown Inn is definitely a pit stop worth considering if you are in the area. It is also worth booking a cruise on the Ullswater (as Pooley Bridge is one of the boarding points) and making a day of it.