Main Street, KESWICK, CA12 5HZ
One of Thwaites' Inns of Character, on the corner of a pedestrian-only street leading to Keswick's busy market square, this friendly 18th-century coaching inn combines modern amenities with charming reminders of its past. In the 19th century, when it was known as Keswick Lodge, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Ruskin, Shelley and other literary titans either met or passed through here, as the plaque on an outside wall testifies. By its very nature the Lake District attracts outdoor types, so today's inn is understandably popular with walkers, climbers, sailors and cyclists. That dogs are permitted in the bar, and in some of the bedrooms, will please their owners (and probably Buster too). In the bar the real ales to remind you of your location are Wainwright and Lancaster Bomber; also on tap are representatives from the Thwaites brewery's seasonal range, Kingstone Press cider and 12 wines by the glass. The kitchen's careful sourcing of ingredients ensures sustainability as well as quality, all the way from sandwiches on fresh crusty bread to dishes such as steak and ale pie. Among the starters are salt and pepper calamari with lemon and garlic mayonnaise; and home-cured gravad lax with pink grapefruit and rocket salad. Sharing platters come in butcher's, fishmonger's and vegetable antipasti varieties; from the grill come sirloin, rib-eye and rump steaks, pork chops, gammon steaks and burgers. For those with a sweet tooth, baked vanilla cheesecake, seasonal berries and basil sugar; and lemon posset are tempting options. Beer and food pairing options are marked on the menu.