October 20, 2018

Our verdict – The Plough Inn, Lupton, Cumbria

Ok, you got us. The Plough Inn, Lupton, isn’t actually in Yorkshire. It’s a fair cop. Hands up on that one.

However, it’s really not that far from the Yorkshire Dales and when the hospitality and the food is as good as this, it’s well worth the short drive along the A65 or the up the M6.

Allow me to convince you further…

After being checked in nice and efficiently with the minimum of fuss – booking the time of our evening meal in the process – we were shown to our room, which was as beautifully decorated as it was palatial. There was ample space for not only a super king size bed, dresser and a sofa but also enough spare room to swing a whole family of cats. A record player was another lovely touch with a solid selection of vinyl to enjoy, including Rumours by Fleetwood Mac and Graceland by Paul Simon. Bona fide classics both.

The theme continued in the elegantly styled bathroom that featured ‘his ‘n hers’ sinks, a roomy shower unit and a luxuriously large free standing bath. No need to argue about who has the plug end with this beauty.

Having made the most of the amenities and feeling suitably refreshed after our drive, we headed down to the restaurant, where again high quality decor was in evidence, helping to create a delightfully cosy rustic ambience.

In terms of the menu, what stood out immediately was not only the wealth of delicious-sounding dishes on offer but also the generous number of gluten-free options, something that unfortunately can’t be said of all restaurants.

Having carefully deliberated over the extensive selection, we opted to start with the smoked salmon mousse ballantine with beetroot, dill creme fraiche & pumpernickel, and the chargrilled squid with roasted red pepper relish, rocket & balsamic salad. Both were stellar introductions to the Plough Inn’s culinary credentials, with the squid, so easy to overcook, proving to be an excellent indicator of the high level of quality that was to follow with our mains.

Smoked salmon mousse ballantine with beetroot, dill creme fraiche & pumpernickel

After yet more lengthy deliberations, we finally plumped for the 28 day dry aged 8oz sirloin steak served with rocket & shallot salad, garlic & herb butter and chips, which turned out to be amongst the finest we’ve had, and, from the Specials Board, the assiette of lamb, which came with an equally agreeable accompaniment of fresh veg and pearl barley.

The steak was ordered rare and it did not disappoint. Given the location of the Plough Inn, nestled as it is within Cumbria and so close to both Lancashire and Yorkshire, the quality of the meat should have come as no surprise. It didn’t.

Assiette of lamb

The standard did not relent with the lamb either, with the individual constituent parts combining to produce one of the finest meals this reviewer has had the pleasure of eating. Simply delicious.

Even after such hearty fair we couldn’t resist the dessert menu and both the peach and raspberry crumble and the three scoops of top notch locally-made ice cream (including the wonderfully named Thunder & Lightening, which turned out to contain cinder toffee), washed down with coffee liqueurs, rounded off proceedings in the manner in which they’d begun. Absolutely flawless all-round.

After a dreamless sleep in the aforementioned super king size bed, the following morning’s breakfast of a full English and fried egg with chorizo from Yorkshire no less, helped set us up nicely for the short trip back home with plans for our next visit already being discussed.

Yorkshire has more than its fair share of wonderful hotels and restaurants but on this occasion a little foray to sample the wares and the wonderful hospitality on offer at the Plough Inn is completely forgivable.