Close to the Eden Valley and part of the huge Lowther Estate, the George and Dragon has been imaginatively revamped by Charlie Lowther, who also owns Askham Hall. The ground floor is a triumph of conviviality and authenticity. The wood-topped bar, wood-burning stoves, banquette seats strewn with kilim-covered cushions and the sightline that allows you to see all the way through to the slate-floored, duck egg blue panelled restaurant, create a delightful place in which to while away time. As for the food, almost all the produce comes from Askham Hall’s gardens and the Lowther Estate, and it’s just the sort of tasty, unfussy, locally sourced cooking one craves in the countryside. Talking of which, anyone staying in one of the inn’s 11 comfortable bedrooms should take advantage of its impressive sporting ties. As well as fishing on the idyllic River Eden or the Lowther, there’s stalking, led by the family’s splendid, kilted head keeper, Gregor Cattanach. Doubles from £100.
Name to Know: Head chef Ian Jackson, who uses produce from the Lowther Estate, creating modern British dishes with a classical influence. Ask him which dish is most seasonal.
See: Situated in the heart of the Cumbrian countryside, on the edge of the Lake District near Lake Ullswater, the surrounding mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife and history make this an idyllic place to visit.
Eat: Because much of the produce on the menus at the George and Dragon is grown and reared in the gardens and fields at the sister establishment Askham Hall, you won’t want to miss the delicious seasonal food.
Buy: Local handmade fudge from the world renowned ‘Toffee Shop’ in Penrith.
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