Review: The Pheasant in the Lake District
Hikes up rugged fells for majestic views revered the world over. Most are well-versed in the Lake District's unrivalled beauty.
.So for the purpose of this write-up I am going to start with a shepherd’s pie. The shepherd’s pie at The Pheasant Inn is a masterful piece of pastry. If there was a 'Pie Olympics' taking place right now, this crusty little beauty would be tasting gold. Succulent beef, dripping in gravy, topped off with the softest, creamiest cheesy mash. Amazing and it wasn’t even mine; two paltry mouthfuls my allowance.
I had plumped for the guinea fowl. Pan-fried and atop a black pudding it came with crispy potatoes and grain mustard sauce. A superb dish and one which ensured my pie eyes were not too green with envy.
Chipolata sausages wrapped in bacon with a mustard mayonnaise appear under the ‘While you decide’ section of the menu. Too tempting to resist and a portion far too generous to be considered a pre-starter To start I chose the beetroot infused salmon gravlax. Not usually a fish fan but I am partial to bit of beetroot and this crimson catch was light, fresh and tasty.
Somehow I made room for sticky toffee pudding at the end complemented by salted caramel sauce and banana ice cream. A tight fit but worth it.
The Pheasant is a charming 17th Century coaching inn nestled off the A66, just a short walk from Bassenthwaite Lake. Steeped in history the secluded building is a shrine to a bygone era but at no turn feels dated. The room was spacious, the king size bed almost swallowed me whole and the power shower could well have knocked a foot off my height.
Outside and the gardens are straight out of an old children’s novel. Delicate pathways guide you around gorgeous greenery; splashes of colour illuminating the shrubbery. Perfect for grabbing a book, a drink and losing an hour or two on a golden summer’s afternoon.
When you’re staying in the Lakes you’re never far away from something to do. Park up at the side of Bassenthwaite and wander down to the water’s edge or if you fancy travelling a bit further afield, the medieval market town of Cockermouth is six miles down the A66.
The Lakes Distillery is even closer, a five-minute drive away and certainly worth a look if you’re in the area. A one hour tour of the premises offers a first hand look at how The Lakes vodka, gin, whisky is distilled. Still not sold? Taster session at the end.
A stay at The Pheasant means a hearty breakfast come dawn. Cereal, fruit, toast and a full English cooked to perfection. Fighting fuel for the day ahead, whatever you may have planned.
If you’re fancying a bit of a dip but don’t want to go throwing yourself into the lake, visitors are entitled to use the acclaimed luxury spa at nearby Armathwaite Hall with its indoor 16-metre “infinity” pool, sauna, steam room and well-equipped gym.
Spa treatments cost extra but one look at the surroundings and temptation may well be prevail especially if you’ve been clocking up those hiking miles.
When you arrive at The Pheasant’s almost secretive location, you instantly know you are in for something special. When you begrudgingly hand back your room key, you know you will be back