A handsomely renovated, rambling stone building, the Punchbowl sits back off the road from Kendal to nowhere, overseeing the stunningly lush Lyth Valley. Inside, it’s been given the full Farrow & Ball treatment, complete with slate floors, chalkboards & all the familiar gastropub kit– but there’s nothing ubiquitous about the food. The kitchen scrupulously sources local ingredients, bringing to the table braised wood pigeon with a casserole of lentils & root vegetables, ahead of sea bass with parmentier potatoes, spinach, wild mushrooms & a red wine sauce. To finish, prune soufflé with prune & Armagnac ice cream is astonishingly good. The Punchbowl is a classy, well-oiled set-up, but it hasn’t lost its warm, welcoming heart or its locally brewed ales. Should you wish to make a weekend of it, there are nine individually decorated bedrooms upstairs.