I don't know if I *actually* know what "old school British" is all about, but the Pheasant Inn basically checks all of my imagined boxes. Think: wood paneling and a beautifully tended garden, and a boozy-smelling bar, and a formal living room ("drawing room"?).
The vintage prints on the wall are a hipster's wet dream: old topographical maps, and pen-lined hunting maps of the UK, not to mention a mounted bass with glassy eyes staring back at you after one too many gin and tonics. He, appropriately, used to call Bassenthwaite Lake - located just across the road from the Pheasant - home.
I had no idea whether this was a reservations-only type of spot, and due to a wedding or some other well attended event, I'm glad that we made dinner reservations. There is the pub area, but also a "Bistro" and a formal Dining Room at the Pheasant Inn; reservations are not as crucial for the former, but highly recommended for the latter. Opting to go whole hog (see, also: YOLO) we went for the formal option. I'd recommend this to all readers for the following reasons:
- amazing personalized service from all members of staff at the Pheasant
- a complimentary 'amuse bouche' and bread (black pudding-infused rolls!) with the table
- once you reserve, the table is yours for the night. It's a really charming place to make a night of it...have pre-drinks in the living room, sit at your table, enjoy the fell views
The food was delicious (I feel awful for not being able to remember specifics beyond truly enjoying my fish) and the service was seamless. For all the personalized attention and the whole "experience" the prices were entirely reasonable. We feel very lucky to have discovered it, somewhat haphazardly!
Yelp note: try to make it at the "golden hour"; not only a great time for cocktails, but amazing light for some pictures in the gardens and surrounding.
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