Hotel Review: The Punch Bowl Inn at Crosthwaite in the Lake District
September seems to me, the perfect time for a UK getaway; although the summer sun is no longer out to play, we’re blessed with clear blue skies and sun kissed auburn leaves. With Mother Nature on our side, my boyfriend, Rhys, and I ventured up to the Lake District for a long weekend. Our destination? Crosthwaithe, a small chocolate box village, 8 miles outside of Windermere.
The Punch Bowl Inn is the village’s only hotel, restaurant and pub, so there’s lots of pressure to be of a high standard. And they are. The venue is welcoming and warm with bags of character; upon arrival, all guests are offered afternoon tea by the fire (sitting by the fire is not compulsory, but why wouldn’t you!?).
Our charming room, complete with a spongy, king-size bed, overlooked acres and acres of rolling hills. The interior is exactly what comes to mind when you think of a classic British countryside hotel; big wooden beams and 50 shades of cream. If the view outside wasn’t as enticing, you’d be forgiven for nesting in bed for the duration of your stay.
As well as offering nine homely rooms, The Punch Bowl Inn has a wonderful kitchen which serves high-end British grub. We dined at the hotel on our first night and would have happily returned on the second and third if we didn’t have pre-made plans. The chefs use fresh, locally-sourced food, which makes such a difference. The lamb is Cumbrian, the shrimps are sourced from Morecambe Bay and the damsons used in puddings are grown in their garden.
The highlight of Rhys’ meal was the Twice Baked Cheese Soufflé, made with Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese. Unsurprisingly, it’s one of the restaurant’s best sellers. The whipped and fluffy soufflé was creamy and worked extremely well with the tangy-red onion chutney. If you’re more sweet than savoury, you’ll be pleased to know they also offer a raspberry soufflé with equally good reviews!
I particularly enjoyed the pan-fried salmon with a pine nut crust, drizzled with a red wine salsa reduction. Yes-red wine and fish! Weird on paper but delicious on a plate. Served with turnip crisps and parsnip mash, it was the ultimate autumnal dish.
Good food isn’t all this restaurant offers, but fine wine too. We shared a bottle of Pouilly Fume; a light, mineral white with flavours of crisp green apple and lime. If white isn’t your tipple, don’t fret… The Punch Bowl Inn have an extensive drinks menu with a range of wines for every budget.
The only slight culinary disappointment was the size of the breakfast where guests are served tiny portions, but that’s just me being picky, and probably rather gluttonous!
In short, there isn’t much about this hotel that isn’t perfect. I left the Lake District brainstorming reasons to relocate there for six months; my most credible motive you ask? A book. The topic is currently undecided but if it means I get to return to this hotel for a much longer spell, it’s happening!
Address: Punch Bowl Inn Crosthwaite Lyth Valley, Kendal LA8 8HR
Phone: 015395 68237