Crosthwaite. The Punch Bowl Inn and Restaurant

‘Tucked away in the sleepy village of Crosthwaite, the Punch Bowl is one of Cumbria’s great treasures.’ So said the travel section of The Times of this 300 year old inn, a main entry in the 2021 editions of the Good Pub Guide and Good Hotel Guide and the Good Food Guide 2020 (there’s no 2021 edition). 

It’s also Cumbria Dining Pub of the Year - as it was in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020 - in the Good Pub Guide which talks of the Punch Bowl’s ‘accomplished reinvention of pub dining’.

Downstairs in the bar, restaurant and two lounges, ancient and modern keep happy company: beams and wood burning stoves, subdued paint colours, country prints on the wall, slate on the bar room floor (recycled from the old dining room), rugs, leather armchairs, chalkboards and a long chunk of Brathay Black slate as the bar counter. 

The real star here is the two AA Rosette restaurant with its low beamed ceiling, a sweep of burnished oak floor, a rug here and there and high-backed, comfortable leather seats. 

‘An award-winning menu served at gourmet level,’ is the verdict of the Good Pub Guide while the Good Food Guide observes that the food is ‘leagues ahead of your average pub offering’. 

'The Punch Bowl at Home’ also offers a three course, weekly menu for two people, sent all over the country.

The Punch Bowl Inn and Restaurant, Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley LA8 8HR: 015395 68237, www.the-punchbowl.co.uk There are nine bedrooms. Crosthwaite is just off the A5074, south east of Bowness-on-Windermere. 

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