After a lovely few days in The Lakes with the family, I wanted to stop off for one more family-friendly, quality lunch on the way (sort of) back home. A restaurant I'd certainly heard of in the past but never visited was The Punch Bowl Inn in Crosswaithe, a long time holder of two AA rosettes as well as entries in both the Michelin and Good Food guides. Normally when a restaurant appears in all three major guides, it's a pretty good indicator a quality meal awaits, and so it was with a decent amount of expectation that I rocked up for lunch with my wife and two young children, on a slightly drizzly Thursday in June.
The place wasn't difficult to find with the help of our trusty sat-nav, and there's a sizeable (albeit sloping) car park on site. Inside, the pub itself is very tidy as you'd expect and offers a quaint mix of timber tables and chairs, white walls and stone floors; a thoroughly pleasant combination. The welcome on arrival was warm enough and we were shown to our table in one of the dining rooms to peruse the menus; it was clear from the off by the way that this is a perfectly child friendly venue too.
On offer at lunch is a full adult carte menu and also a three course children's menu which was good to see. There's a substantial wine list too and plenty of drinks choice as you'd expect for a decent sized pub; I enjoyed a couple of perfectly drinkable Hendricks and tonics with my meal whilst my wife and children had no issue with their orange and apple juices. There was a minor mix up at the start of our meal with the wrong drinks being delivered, but this was swiftly rectified with minimal fuss.
Lunch began with some decent bread rolls with butter, and these were served to the kids too which is always nice to see. For my starter, I opted for well established on the menu cheese souffle which was well made and suitably delicious. My wife enjoyed a zingy and well balanced tomato salad with goats cheese, while both kids happily tucked into a children's portion of fish and chips which was delivered with the starters without any fuss.
For my main, I had the roasted pork belly, complete with cream potato, baby leeks, apple and a mustard sauce. This was a nice if not especially memorable main course and it didn't eat brilliantly as an overall plate of food. My wife had the adult haddock and chips which were perfectly tasty also.
Of course, there was little chance of us leaving without dessert and this presented some more enjoyable plates. My lemon tart with a beautifully smooth damson sorbet was nothing complicated but delicious nonetheless. My daughter was very happy with her fruit salad from the children's menu, and my young son thought his strawberry ice cream was delicious. My wife was feeling a bit under the weather so didn't partake of dessert on this occasion, but everything sweet we ate was very tasty.
And that as they say was pretty much that. Overall, the food here was of a good standard and everything I'd expected really based on the awards the restaurant holds. Service throughout was good too; we were well looked after. I suppose I'd sum up by saying this is clearly a pub that knows how to deliver good food consistently; I'd have no issue visiting again in future and I'm sure I'd receive another accomplished meal.
|Ratings||Michelin Guide||AA Guide||Good Food Guide|
|At time of review||2|