Short break - Wild Boar Inn, Windermere
- Credit: Archant
A 17th century inn that has its own smokehouse and microbrewery.
The Wild Boar at Crook, near Windermere is thought to date back as far as the 17th century and has its own smokehouse and microbrewery. But it was not always an inn. The earliest records show it to have been owned by a family of basket makers and the area to the right of the bar was once the barn.
The name comes from a local legend involving a chap called Sir Richard de Gilpin who, in the 12th century, rode out like Westmorland’s answer to Don Quixote to slay a particularly ferocious boar. He succeeded but at some personal cost.
Today, there is a boar’s head mounted above one of the fireplaces and there are photographs of a similar beast being prepared in the hotel’s kitchen. A distant relative of the original, perhaps.
As soon as you walk through the main door there is a buzz about the Boar, popular with a wide range of people, from families and wedding parties to lovers of interesting, locally-sourced dishes.
The low beamed dining room is particularly impressive, combining the ancient and the modern. There’s an open grill area where you can watch your dinner being cooked, a large section of natural rock protrudes from one wall reminding you of the local geology and there is the ancient wooden carcass of a room lost in the distant past as the place has been extended.
The menu is extensive with some original dishes such as a starter of Cumbrian crab cannelloni. There are also some delicious salads, but steak is the star of the show. They take quality beef and place it in a Himalayan salt chamber, whatever that is. Other cuts are gently cold smoked on the premises. With 28-days of hanging, this is a carnivore’s dream. Our bedroom was large with an opulence that has come from the drawing board of an interior designer. Crystal wall lamps add a twinkle along with bedside lights that seem to flow from the ceiling on silk and end with large glass baubles.
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The bathroom is equally impressive and almost as big with a free-standing copper bath and a his-and-hers sink unit that looks like it came from a French château.
The Wild Boar team has recently celebrated being awarded five stars by the AA – Emma on reception deserves he own star for her friendly service – and they were nominated for The Loo of the Year Awards. Apparently, their toilets are part of a twinning campaign to fund sanitation in Third World countries. What’s more, there’s a waterfall in the gents!
Wild Boar Inn, Crook Road, Windermere LA23 3NF. Web: englishlakes.co.uk/the-wild-boar. Tel: 03334141307