NAME: The Crown & Thistle

WHERE: Rockcliffe, Carlisle


TEL: 01228 674511

OPENING HOURS: Wednesday to Sunday 11.30am to 11.30pm.

OWNER/CHEF: Jo and Richard Fenn

HISTORY: Richard and Jo have been in the catering industry for over 18 years and opened their first country pub, The Black Swan Inn, at Culgaith in 2006. Since then they have managed The Queens at Warwick-on-Eden and The Black Lion at Durdar until July last year. After a six month break from the industry they got the keys to this Rockcliffe pub in January and started on a £150,000 refurbishment, extending the kitchen and upgrading the bar and restaurant areas before reopening last month.

STYLE OF FOOD: Modern British classics.

MENU SAMPLE: Starters include smoked mackerel paté with toasted sourdough and gooseberry compote (£5.95); Westmorland ramekin of button mushrooms cooked in garlic, brandy and cream, topped with smoked cheese (£6.25); lightly spiced chickpea fritters, pickled cucumber, roasted chickpeas and a minted yoghurt dip (£5.95).

Mains feature: Cumbrian tasting of pork - with slowly roasted Cumbrian pork belly, black pudding bon bon, four hour braised pigs cheek, Cumberland sausage, bacon shard and crackling, with dauphinois potatoes, seasonal veg and a pork, cider and thyme reduction (£14.95); chargrilled Cumbrian chicken breast on an asparagus, lemon and pea risotto with herbs, rocket, roasted cherry tomatoes and pesto (£13.95); luxury fisherman’s pie with cod, smoked haddock, salmon and king prawns in a white wine cream topped with crab and smoked cheese mash and served with seasonal greens (£14.95).

Desserts include homemade melting chocolate fondant on salted caramel sauce topped with Cream o’Galloway honeycomb ice cream (£7.95); homemade white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake topped with raspberry sorbet and almond crumb (£5.95); Cranachan mess - toasted oats with honey and a sweet whisky whipped cream, mixed with almonds, strawberries, raspberries and meringue (£5.95).

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “The Crown & Thistle is a friendly cosy Cumbrian pub. We love the mix of people enjoying a pint at the bar, a table enjoying a meal by the fire, or ladies popping in for coffee and cake in the afternoon.”