There’s been a fresh lick of paint for this traditional local, and its façade now shines. Behind lies a hugely comfortable and very individual pub. Step into a stylish series of candlelit rooms, aglow with rug-strewn floors, cream and red walls, some rather grand paintings, polished period furniture, merry log fires, old stone fireplaces, dogs and booted walkers. The central bar heaves with hand pumps dispensing Cumbrian microbrewery ales (including Dent Aviator), hand-pressed juices from Witherslack, and heaps of wines by the glass. Bag a seat by the fire and settle in for supper; the changing menu announces a crowd-pleasing mix of traditional and modern pub dishes, much prepared from fresh local produce. Start with home cured dill salmon gravlax, follow with steak and ale pie or homemade bubble and squeak cake, end with sticky toffee pudding. It’s super civilised yet nicely laid-back, so stay the night. Upstairs are six refurbished bedrooms with old brass beds, period furnishings, crisp linen, slate-tiled bathrooms, a couple of claw-foot baths, and peaceful country views. After continental breakfast, explore the southern Lakes.