Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Perfect Place to Pig Out. OLD MEETS NEW AT THE WILD BOAR IN THE LAKE DISTRICT, AND DAVE HIMELFIELD SAYS THE MIX IS JUST RIGHT

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Perfect Place to Pig Out. OLD MEETS NEW AT THE WILD BOAR IN THE LAKE DISTRICT, AND DAVE HIMELFIELD SAYS THE MIX IS JUST RIGHT

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE HIMELFIELD

IN THE early 13th century a wild boar terrorised and killed locals daring or daft enough to venture into the forest between Kendal and Windermere. Richard de Gylpin, being a noble sort, neutralised the threat. Then he ate it and mounted its head on the wall of his house. Probably.

If the head ever existed it has since vanished. But not to disappoint its guests, the four-star Wild Boar Inn has the heads of at least two wild boars attached to its walls.

The inn sits off the main thoroughfare between Kendal and Windermere. It's next door (relatively speaking) to the famous Gilpin Hotel, which has a Michelin Star restaurant.

A winner: at The If your establishment is next to a place like that you'd better not be anything less than great.

It's a good job then that the Wild Boar is seldom less than great and often better.

As well as taxidermy, inside the Wild Boar you will find a microbrewery and a smokehouse.

There's also a 72-acre private wood where guests are free to potter about and spot red deer (I saw two) and birds. When I was there in May, the wood was carpeted with bluebells lending it an enchanted feel. There were no wild boars, fortunately.

The wood occasionally hosts clay pigeon shooting tournaments but when the leaded shot isn't flying the wood is extremely tranquil.

You can pass the hours birdwatching and avoiding the rest of the human race. Bliss!

Indoors, we take one of the suites and it's a beauty. The suite - pig themed only in name - is the quintessence of classic: heavy curtains and gilded, intricately turned mirrors and picture frames.

There are bookshelves in the corner packed with editions of Dickens and other classic titles that were mostly likely printed before our greatgrandparents were in nappies.

There's also a comfy king-size bed, a large LCD TV and a powerful shower. It is the perfect balance of old and new world.

The steak Boar Inn After spoiling the aesthetic of the room with our overflowing suitcases we head down to the restaurant.

There's no space in the main dining room so we're seated in the lounge. No problem.

We park on deep leather chairs and admire the clusters of framed drawings of animals, landscapes and suchlike on the walls, plus the open fire and neat stack of firewood.

The menus come and it's primarily carnivorous but in an inspiring rather than overbearing way. I should point out there were genuine fish and veggie alternatives.

We order a deli board of smoked meats, fish and cheeses to share.

While we wait I have a nosy around the microbrewery in the back room which creates some pretty decent ales, including a superb smoked porter.

The platter arrives with air-dried ham, homemade pastrami, in-house hot-smoked peppered wild boar, salami, hand carved smoked baked ham, house-cured Loch Duart smoked salmon, smoked cheddar, pickled egg, chutney, smoked wild boar sausage and bread and butter. …

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