Excellent food and hospitality in the southern Lakes
At a glance
AA Pick of the Pubs
Hawkshead has impressive literary links – William Wordsworth attended the local grammar school, and Beatrix Potter lived just up the road. The 17th-century Queen’s Head on the village’s main street is a stone’s throw from Esthwaite Water and surrounded by fells and forests. Behind the pub’s flower-bedecked exterior, low oak-beamed ceilings, wood-panelled walls, slate floors and welcoming fires create a relaxed, traditional setting. Ales include Cumbria Way and Robinsons Double Hop, and nearly a dozen wines are served by the glass. Local suppliers are proudly listed on the menu, which brims with their fresh, quality ingredients. At lunchtime, stone-baked pizzas and sandwiches such as rump steak and blue cheese or fish fingers with tartare sauce refuel the ramblers. In the evening you might start with garden pea and mint risotto or sauteed wild mushrooms with fried duck egg, white truffle oil and sour dough; and continue with pan-seared duck breast with sweet potato puree, tenderstem broccoli, baby carrots, radish and a white wine reduction. Dark chocolate torte with chocolate and hazelnut ice cream and sweetened beetroot could be your desserts.