Thu 13 Aug 2009
Read the article here.
The Kings Head Hotel
THE closest description I can come across for Thirlspot is it’s near Keswick – but to me it is just a wee way out in the Lake District and sits nicely on its own with nothing crowding it in.
The Kings Head Hotel is a good looking pub surrounded by large fields keeping plenty of healthy looking Herdwicks.
Inside the hotel is a comfy bar with room for both drinkers and diners.
There is also a separate dining room which I guess is for evenings and even a little shop selling all sorts of foodie treats.
Early afternoon we appeared to be the only people eating.
David Green - Executive Chef
It sounds a bit perverse, but the sight of all the gorgeous lambs playing around in the fields, is also a reminder how good this meat is – and how in this country it is so free range meat.
You don’t need to tamper with it.
We started with toasted goats cheese salad of artichoke hearts and black olives (£5.95) and local black pudding on bubble and squeak with mustard sauce and topped with a poached egg (£6.95).
We also picked out rack of lamb with roasted vegetables and jus (£13.25) as well as smoked haddock with mash and a mustard sauce (£9.00 as it was not a full main course).
The cheese, artichokes and very good olives was always going to be a winner with me if it was done right because it is a combination of three foods I love to bits.
And this was done simply but so well.
The goats cheese had a hint of tartness but then came the mild creamy taste and texture.
Putting the subtle wonderful flavour of artichoke hearts (not ruined by being those horrible things in vinegar) and the far less subtle fat black olives all worked like the best of friends together – not one ingredient cancelled out the other.
A completely different beginning came from the black pudding – it was a great lunch time dish, but if you woke up with a sore head from the night before, this would be the perfect hangover dish.
Really good ingredients and the comfort of bubble and squeak were all put together so nicely.
The haddock on mash was another well crafted dish – a strong wholegrain mustard is capable of ruining everything with its bossy macho flavour.
But in this case it was very gentle on the delicious smoky fish surrounded by the sauce.
There is a bit of a theme here with yet another poached egg topping the fish.
To me a soft gently poached egg is real comfort food – and in this case, the egg golden liquid really flatters the smoked fish.
It may not have been classed as a main course, but after a first course, it was more than enough to silence most hungry stomachs. Rack of lamb is one of those things you eat out because it is not always something you are going to do at home.
It was thick pieces of tender full flavoured lamb and came with a delicious rich jus.
Root vegetables are not just for winter as this dish showed and, cooked here, they were still rich and juicy to eat.
You can understand why the Italians introduced us to serving a selection of roast vegetables as a dish in its own right.
This pub proves that by using top quality ingredients even the most simple dishes are always going to be good.
The service we received was also very classy – our waiter knew what he was doing and he was friendly without getting in the way.