The Punch Bowl Inn, Lake District – Review
By Katherine Busby
I am a naturally anxious person. But as we pull up to The Punch Bowl in Crosthwaite, I am a wreck. I’m worrying about the review (I am a people pleaser – what if I don’t like it) and I’m also worrying the boyfriend won’t like it. Unlike me, he is more than happy to voice any criticism.
However, as soon as we arrive my anxieties completely wash away… and that’s not something I can say very often! The hotel is an amazing little gem nestling between Kendal and Bowness. It is simply beautiful and one of the most relaxing places I have visited in a long time.
We are meant to stay for a night and end up staying two… and dining there a second night as well. Why is it so good? Where do I start? It’s a great location. Easy to get to and it’s also very easy to access the Lakes from. It’s also so beautiful, inside and out.
“The most picturesque, uninterrupted view”
Our room was how I want our home to look… one day. The Farrow and Ball paint in soft greens and creams and the beautiful linens and beamed ceilings are only surpassed by the most picturesque, uninterrupted view from our bed out across rolling hills and pastures.
Have you seen the episode of The Vicar of Dibley where their stained glass window gets replaced with plain glass as the view is more beautiful than any stained glass could be? Well, it was a bit like that. We pick a Bank Holiday to visit so, of course, the weekend comes with rain – and lots of it. But we do still venture out to the surrounding towns and even manage a walk – where I fall over – twice.
It turns out I am more of an inside person, than an outside one. So we retreat to our beautiful room where I soak my bruised ego (and bottom) in the roll top bath whilst taking in the view.
“A well-selected, balanced menu”
When we go down for dinner the whole place is buzzing with regulars and first time visitors like us. The staff, led by the wonderful Lorraine, couldn’t have been more attentive and helpful. They treat everyone like they are their most special guests. When we sit down for dinner I can honestly say between us we would eat everything on the menu! It was a well selected, balanced menu of regionally-sourced, seasonal dishes all with an exciting or unusual edge. The menu reads well, but so do many. The food has a lot to live up to – and boy did it!
Highlights from the menu include a starter of Seared Loch Fyne scallops, roast cauliflower, parma ham, caper and a golden raisin puree (£9.95). Main dishes include amazing steaks, venison, a lamb dish with a little shepherd’s pie. Plus, my favourite, a roast cod with mash, pancetta, braised lettuce, peas and sweetcorn puree (£14.95).
We end the meal with a toffee soufflé (served with banana and lime ice cream) which was just dreamy. A perfect end to a great stay and one I will look to be repeating – as soon as I burn off the calories from this trip.
The Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite, Lyth Valley, Cumbria, LA8 8HR