September 11, 2017 admin

Bar Trip: Keswick

The Millennium Stone

This is part of a series of posts about my recent trip to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, planned in celebration of finishing the bar exam and our third wedding anniversary. There will be a post for each of the 13 days of the trip, from Edinburgh to St. Andrew’s to the Lake District to Liverpool to Dublin to Northern Ireland to Stonehenge to Oxford and finally, to London. At the end of each post, you’ll find a summary of where we STAYEDATE, and EXPLORED each day. <3

After our day in St. Andrew’s, we drove through the evening to arrive in Keswick, a small lakeside town situated in the north of the Lake District National Park. We arrived just before sunset to check in for our two-night stay at Cumbria House. Despite being incredibly late for check-in, our hosts James and Ruth were extremely accommodating and literally ran right over from their evening plans elsewhere in town to get us settled in. We stayed in Room 7 at the tippy top of the building, with a beautiful window view of the Skiddaw mountain and Blencathra hill.

It was a Saturday night, so after checking in we ventured out to the bustling city center to find dinner. We landed at Woodstone Pizza & Flamegrill, where we split a Malibu Wild Fire pizza and spaghetti, and treated ourselves to a couple of glasses of wine and a dessert of vanilla ice cream and espresso. Everything was extremely fresh and tasty, the restaurant was intimate, and the service was great.

We woke up on Sunday morning to our first of two breakfasts at Cumbria House. James and Ruth truly outdo themselves with their breakfast menu and service. We came downstairs to our table marked with our room number, a starter bar of cereals and yogurts, and a kettle of strong coffee. Shane had the breakfast sandwich (both mornings, because it was so good!), and I had the smashed avocado and feta toast, topped with a poached egg.

After breakfast, we took the quick walk from our B&B to the lake, and hired a rowboat for an hour. While we are not expert rowers (a kind kayaking couple had to tell us we were doing it backwards), we did enjoy getting out on the lake and taking in the amazing views Derwentwater has to offer. After our rowing adventure, we took a walk through Crow Park, where there are plenty of adorable sheep just laying around waiting to be your friend (OK might be a slight exaggeration of how excited they were to see us). Crow Park provides a beautiful elevated view of the Lake, plus plenty of cuddly sheep to take pictures of even if they don’t exactly want to cuddle with you. Next up, we played a game of pitch & putt at Hope Park. Even though Shane won, I did sink a pretty impressive putt from off the green for par on the first hole, so I’ll always have that. We explored the beautiful Hope Park gardens on our way back down to the Theatre by the Lake. We popped into their cafe for a couple of cappuccinos and the most amazing caramel shortbread.

Our snack break gave us enough fuel to walk a few miles of the Derwentwater walk to the Millennium Stone, which commemorates 100 years of the National Trust’s care. On the way there, we stopped to take in the view from Friar’s Crag. The Park proudly promotes that John Ruskin once said this was one of the three most beautiful scenes in all of Europe — I’d definitely concur.

After all of the early-day adventuring, we went back to the B&B to rest and clean up for our evening plans. We walked around the main town square and explored Packhorse Court and some of the shops in the town, like the Keswick Cheese Deli. We decided to grab an early dinner at the Kings Arms Hotel during their Sunday roast special. I was drawn in by the signs for their “famous beef & ale pie” which did not disappoint, and Shane had an amazing three-course dinner (which he says was the best meal of the whole trip). I had a large glass of red wine, and after a slight mix-up with my food order was gifted another very large glass on the house — two thumbs way up!

After dinner we still had some daylight to kill, so we returned to Hope Park for a game of crazy golf. Many holes in one and tears later, I came out victorious. After the sun went down, we went to our final stop of the evening – a showing of the Big Sick at the completely charming Alhambra Cinema. The 100-year-old theater serves complimentary coffee and tea, runs only two shows a day, and hand-writes your name on your ticket if you order in advance. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day in the Lake District.

STAY: Cumbria House // excellent breakfast included in B&B rate + gracious hosts + walkable to everything // 2 nights @ $105/ea 

EAT: Woodstone Pizza & Flamegrill // fresh ingredients + intimate atmosphere + great service // mains at $9-12 // Cafe by the Lake // good coffee + excellent pastries // Kings Arms Hotel // great food + good wine // catch the early bird specials

EXPLORE: Rowing on the Lake (Keswick Launch Co., $15 for an hour) // Hope Park Pitch & Putt and Crazy Golf ($6.50/pp and $5.20/pp) // Derwentwater Walk // Packhorse Court // Alhambra Cinema ($9.20/pp for balcony seats