Casterton, KIRKBY LONSDALE, LA6 2RX
Below the fell on the edge of the beautiful Lune Valley is this sleepy hamlet with its whitewashed 18th-century coaching inn. It's perfectly situated for exploring the Dales, the Trough of Bowland and the Cumbrian Lakes. The Wilson family and staff ensure a warm welcome in the bar and stylish oak-panelled dining room. Guest ales and beers from Theakston can be sampled while perusing the interesting menu which mixes home-grown seasonal produce from valley farms with favourite recipes from foreign fields: starters, for example, include panko-coated king prawns with carrot and mouli noodles; or black pepper smoked mackerel with creamed cheese and smoked salmon roulade. Follow that with tenderloin of pork with black truffle risotto; or pheasant breast wrapped in smoked bacon with onion stuffing. The excellent dessert choice ranges from old fashioned sticky toffee pudding, to brandy and apricot parfait. Food can be served on the lawn in fine weather.