Civilised dining pub with a proper bar and other elegant rooms, a fine wine list, impressive food and friendly staff; stylish bedrooms
The good pub guide review
It's well known for its accomplished reinvention of pub dining, and the addition of equally desirable rooms, but the Punch Bowl gives equal care and attention to its alcohol provision, and will always have room for the discerning drinker. The public bar has rafters, a couple of eye-catching rugs on flagstones, bar stools by the slate-topped counter, Barngates Tag Lag and a couple of other local ales on handpump, plus the kind of extensive and well curated wine list any serious food venue should aspire to, 15 malt whiskies and a local damson gin (we're in the UK's damson heartland here). To the right are two linked carpeted and beamed rooms with well spaced country pine furniture of varying sizes (including a big refectory table), and walls that are painted in restrained neutral tones with an attractive assortment of prints; winter log fire, woodburning stove, lots of fresh flowers and daily papers. On the left, the light and airy restaurant area has comfortable high-backed leather dining chairs and a wooden floor; background music. Tables and seats on a terrace garlanded with honeysuckle are stepped into the hillside and overlook the pretty Lyth Valley; there are lovely walks from the doorstep. The nine bedrooms are beautifully designed and well equipped and breakfasts first class. The Punch Bowl invested in a state-of-the art anti-pathogen air-conditioning system shortly after Covid-19 struck.
The good pub guide food review
An award-winning menu served at gourmet level and utilising ingredients from the Punch Bowl's own farm and orchard is always evolving ' most recently to include extended vegan and vegetarian options. Dishes might include twice-baked lancashire cheese soufflé, Stornoway black pudding with crispy egg and bubble and squeak, ham hock terrine, pan-fried scallops, dry-aged Creedy Carver duck breast, crab risotto, sea bass with sauce vierge, cauliflower with baby beetroot, tunworth cheese and parmesan, rack of Cumbrian lamb, and puddings such as lemon tart with damson sorbet and chocolate and orange crémeux.