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George and Dragon – Clifton, Cumbria

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George and Dragon – Clifton, Cumbria

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Close to the Eden Valley and part of the huge Lowther estate, the George and Dragon has been imaginatively revamped by Charles Lowther and his family, who also own Askham Hall. The ground floor is a triumph of conviviality and authenticity. The wood-topped bar, wood-burning stoves, banquette seats strewn with kelim-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 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 estate’s splendid, kilted head keeper, Gregor Cattenach. Doubles from £95.

tip

Do: Cycle around the Lakes and Dales Loop, a 190-mile circuit of the most scenic landscapes in Cumbria and the Yorkshire Dales.

Eat: The famous George and Dragon twice-baked cheese soufflé.

Buy: Buy some of the delicious and local Abbott Lodge Jersey ice cream



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