Just under a year ago, my husband competed in the Grizedale Forest Triathlon, a gruelling day-long team event, involving hill running, mountain biking and canoeing. The night before, we had booked into a room at The Crown, purely because it was in close proximity to the event. Our stay was enjoyable but very short, and for his birthday, Tim suggested a return visit, this time with baby but without the race.
The Crown at High Newton is in the Lake District, 15 miles from Kendal (home of Kendal Mint Cake), and 2 miles from Cartmel (home of the Sticky Toffee Pudding company). High Newton itself is a quiet little village; The Crown is the hub of social activity, but it is well-placed for exploring the South Lakes.
There are 8 rooms, and ours was decorated tastefully and to a high standard. We were given a family room and borrowed a travel cot for Ben. All the usual amenities were provided, but there weren’t any special extras, which would have been nice. The most important part of any hotel room for me is the bed and the bathroom, and I have to say that both were excellent. Despite being woken several times by the baby (he had a cold), I had no trouble getting back to sleep because the bed was so beautifully comfortable. Bliss.
We ate one evening meal in the restaurant, which was warm, cosy and relaxed. The numbers of tables was small, perhaps only seating 30, so it felt like we had a lot of space around us.
The menu had some lovely specials, all using seasonal, local produce, which was excellent. I could have happily eaten any of the specials, which were priced at around £18 for a main course. Another section of the menu listed the regular mains, which were all pub classics, priced around £12: fish and chips, nut roast, steak pie. I thought this was a bit of a shame: it would have been nice to see some middle ground, and we chose not to have starters as we had chosen the more expensive mains.
I chose the guinea fowl, which was served with potatoes, seasonal vegetables and black pudding bon bons. I have to confess to a real weakness to black pudding. The food was excellent, and the portion size was ideal – we all had space for dessert. We had sticky toffee pudding, which I’m fairly sure was the Cartmel variety.
It’s a nice place, although perhaps a bit confused. There’s also a sense that no-one quite knows, during the day, anyway, exactly what is going on: we had to ask about arrangements for breakfast and dinner, although both were very good. There’s also no local information in the rooms, which is a shame as there are some lovely places close to the pub which otherwise you might miss. With a bit of attention to detail, it could be lovely.