In a pretty conservation village, this handsome, multi-gabled Victorian inn is proudly run by enterprising owner Louise Dinnes. There are friendly bars, a lounge warmed by an open fire and tranquil riverside gardens below Wild Boar Fell and the headwaters of the River Eden where you might spot a red squirrel or two. An acclaimed real ale line-up features regulars from the Black Sheep brewery and rotating local guests. Meals may be eaten in both bar areas, the lounge or in either of the two beautifully decorated restaurants. As with the beers, reliance on local produce is key, which is evident in the names of some of the dishes. There’s a wealth of experience in the kitchen, so maybe try roe deer tartare, pear and hazelnut and bitter chocolate; saddle of rabbit, beetroot and sage, sauce of piccalilli, smoked ham and mustard croquette; and baked cod, chorizo, red pepper and Saffron bouillabaisse sauce. Chocolate mousse, blackberry, pistachios and Kendal mint cake is one way to end a meal. On a memorable day in 2008 HRH Prince Charles opened the Black Swan’s on-site village store where groceries, stationery and locally-made gifts, crafts and organic soaps and toiletries – as used in the guest rooms – are on sale. A beer festival is held in the garden in the summer. In such a lovely area of the country it is certainly worth stopping over in one of the individually designed bedrooms, which have been awarded four AA gold stars.