Nestled in the Lake District Countryside, The Brown Horse Inn is an old 1850s coaching house which has been transformed into a charming bed and breakfast. Found in Winster, nearby Bowness-on-Windermere, the Cumbrian hotel and restaurant is busting with character between it's charming white walls. As well as the bar, restaurant and leafy pub garden, The Brown House Inn offers nine bedrooms which have been tastefully refurbished in keeping with the traditional features of the historic inn.
After a few days in The Lakes and a day bike riding along Windermere and up to Wray Castle, we arrived at The Brown Horse to glorious sunshine. Having enjoyed a couple of drinks in the picturesque garden, we checked into our en suite room overlooking the rolling hills. We stayed in room four, a double room which included a full breakfast for £110 a night (since it was a Monday evening). Prices start at £89 for midweek low season and go up to £120 for Summer weekends.
The rooms have a charming feel, with vintage style crockery and homely touches. The bathroom was huge, with marble walls and a gorgeous embossed shower door with gold effect finishes. Accommodation includes free use of the nearby Low Wood Spa and Leisure Club too, with a discount on treatments during your stay.
Through to the restaurant the original features have been brought back to life, with exposed beams on show. It had a fairly dark colour scheme with wooden furniture, old fashioned ornaments and candlesticks dotted about. I imagine it would look beautiful over Christmas with the fire roaring.
As we scanned the dishes on offer, we enjoyed a gin from their extensive gin menu. I went for the Earl Grey London Gin garnished with a lavender bag and lemon twist, whilst Alice enjoyed the watermelon gin cooler on offer.
To begin we went for the Muncaster crab, prawn & tomato cocktail, avocado creme fraiche (£10.50) and Homemade onion bhajis with cucumber raita (£4.00), which was actually on the nibbles menu. My dining partner was both vegetarian and gluten free, with which the chef and waitress were very understanding and helpful.
For saying the bhajis were on the nibbles menu, it was a great portion. From a girl who knows her Indian food well, these looked as good as they do in the picture and went down a treat. I was surprised at the unusual presentation of my starter, however the flavours were divine. Such great quality crab meat and a sweet sauce that made me want to lick the plate clean.
For main course we went for the Darne of salmon with spiced lentils, baby beets and a green herb dressing (£17.00). Quite an expensive main, but beautifully executed all the same. It was a stunning piece of fish and the vegetables were light and crunchy. Lots of great Summer flavours that left me wanting more.
My dining companion's dish was actually an ad hoc creation, made with home grown marrows from their allotment. It had been hollowed out and stuffed with feta and roast vegetables before being served with cous cous - such an enormous portion and delicious too. On the side (which was totally not needed in hindsight), we went for their super crunchy sweet potatoes fries. At £3.50 they would be a great bar snack for enjoying in their beer garden with a cold cider.
Dessert came in the form of a Chocolate and cappuccino mousse served with an almond and pistachio biscotti (£7) and Three scoops of ice cream (£3.95). The local ice cream was well received on such a sunny day! I have to say I didn't really enjoy my dessert though, which tasted much more like chocolate orange than any sign of coffee. The biscotti however was invitingly crisp with great, nutty flavours. Sadly I thought this was a bit steep though for the £7 price tag.
After a fantastic night's sleep in the peaceful village pub, with friendly staff wishing us goodnight, it was time for their breakfast. The usual fresh fruit, yoghurt and cereal was on offer, with hot drinks and breakfasts to order. I went for the smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, as well as a healthy helping of juicy strawberries. The scrambled egg was moreish, creamy and well seasoned, with the smoked salmon yet again excellent quality. There was also gluten free bread on offer for Alice, as well as a vegetarian breakfast.
Overall The Brown Horse Inn is a lovely establishment, with lots of charm and character. The staff are very welcoming, as are the rooms and restaurant. There are some great dishes on the menu too, with some inspired combinations and fantastic quality produce too. I'd recommend The Brown Horse Inn for a passing meal or for a quiet retreat in The Lake District countryside.
Have you stayed in The Lakes? Where is your favourite pub or restaurant? If you liked this, you might also like my reviews of the Highfield Hotel in Keswick or Beech Hill Hotel & Spa.
The Brown Horse Inn
I stayed and dined as a guest of The Brown Horse Inn. All opinions are my own and I was not expected to write a positive review.