Askham, near Penrith. The Queen’s Head

Anyone familiar with Askham Hall (hotel), a few minutes walk away, and the George & Dragon pub at nearby Clifton will sense the same mix of informality, quirkiness and love of countryside when they step through the doors of this 17th century inn.

One of ’25 cosy pubs for winter walkers’ in The Daily Telegraph in early 2022, the Queen’s Head offers four beers on handpump (those from Tirril and Cumbrian Legendary might be two) and ‘super-posh pub grub’, made with produce that’s reared, foraged and grown in its kitchen gardens and on the wider Lowther Estate. Hot beds, affectionately called ‘homebuilt wonders’, allow the Queen’s Head to extend the growing season by three months a year. 

A ‘Posh pub grubbers’ menu is offered Wednesday to Sunday evenings (check times on website) while a light bites menu is available Mondays and Tuesdays 13-19.00, and Wednesdays to Saturdays 13-14.45. Sunday lunch is served too. 

As for the food itself, ‘think earthy truffle with creamy artichoke; deep-flavoured seasonal game and home-reared saddleback pork; hand-dived scallops and local lobster; brassicas, herby pestos, berries and orchard fruits,’ say the Lowther family owners of the pub.

The changing menu might include dishes such as scallop and squid ink ravioli and crispy squid; Askham Saddleback pork; Lowther estate roe deer; Whinfell partridge; grilled halibut with crab and mussel bisque; and salt baked celeriac, wild mushroom and lentil casserole. An AA Rosette for the quality of the food here was awarded in early 2022.

The Queen’s Head, Askham, Penrith CA10 2PF: 01931 712350, www.queensheadaskham.co.uk The pub has six bedrooms.

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