Cow Brow, LUPTON, Kirkby Lonsdale, LA6 1PJ
Below Farleton Knott, a hill from which locals once warned of Scottish unrest, stands this apparently simple roadside pub. Any notion of simplicity, however, is quickly dispelled on entering this stylish 1760s inn. Oak beams, leather sofas, colourful rugs and antique furniture impart a farmhouse feel. Brathay slate tops the bar, where Lakeland brewers such as Tirril and Bowness Bay augment Kirkby Lonsdale's own Monumental ale; more than a dozen wines are served by the glass. Polished oak floors lead into the restaurant, where open fires and wood-burning stoves do a sterling job when needed. Food is served from noon through to 9pm, with quality and local provenance the keynotes. Home-made pork pie and piccalilli; or sharing platters (fisherman's; the ploughman's; and baked camembert) kick things off maybe, then continue with free-range pork belly, parsnip purée, red cabbage, crackling, creamy mash and red wine gravy; or wild boar and damson sausages, caramelised onion mash, green beans and red wine sauce. Puddings will tempt too, vanilla crème brûlée, juniper berry biscotti and gin and tonic sorbet; and chilled chocolate fondant, honeycomb and peanut butter ice cream.