George and Dragon, Clifton, Penrith, Cumbria

Flippin eck. It seems like I have me tea in Cumbria almost as much as Harters has his lunch in Cheshire pubs these days…and…spoiler alert… I’m still to go to one I really rate.

Up North for Easter weekend. Sun cracking the flags and walks aplenty, decent appetite worked up for a Saturday night bite to eat.
Chose this place on the basis it was reviewed as a good food with locally sourced meat & produce blah blah.
Nice room. Lively with families but a friendly welcome and an extensive GF menu happily shared at the start in case I wanted to return with my dad some other time ( i don’t).

For starters I order scallops with black pudding and my lady goes for the venison scotch egg.
Which just goes to show she is canny and I am a sucker for punishment. When will i learn not order scallops unless within sight of the sea ?
For nine quid I got two small scallops and three small slices of black pudding, with some garnishing peas and what looked like a small but dry pea explosion like a pea pattern on the plate.
The BP was overcooked to the point of being crispy. Crispy as in tough to cut.
Crispy black pudding.
As if the Little Chefs had not all closed down.
Gaaah !
Thank the lord that scotch egg was a stonker so I got to share it. Not amazing but solid and the yolk was partly soft too. Decent, in a word.
For mains the lady goes for turbot with lemon and cockle sauce and I go for duck with apricot and a potato rosti. Usually in a pub I might go for the burger on a first visit to see if their basic cooking is half decent. And obviously if I fancy a burger too…
My oh my, why didnt I order the burger ?
When the main lands we have dried apricot ( like out of Holland & Barratt ) and the sweetest sauce in Christendom. Which is a real shame as the duck itself was lovely. Randomly some bok choi was also on the plate. I couldn’t tell you how it had been cooked. It was just there. Adding insult to injury in a nondescript kind of way.I didn’t finish it. I was too busy tasting the turbot which was, of course , perfectly decent.
We shared a pud,so at least I could absorb some of the ‘good ordering’ vibes.
It was a rhubarby thing with a very nice sorbet. It was the best thing I ate ( apart from my other half’s food ) and I cannot now actually remember exactly what it was.
So, in summary, the memorable bits were poor and the decent bits were not memorable.
Is there a decent out in North East Cumbria ?
There must be one ! Please let me in on the secret if you know where it is…
Oh, and here’s my tip in return. If we ever go out for tea together, just order whatever the lady orders …

1 Like

Brilliant, mate, just brilliant.

Best review I’ve read in absolute yonks.

You identify the two major “crimes against black pudding”. Crispy and served with scallops. Whoever invented the latter combo should be given a serious time in chokey. Or, at least, significantly mocked. Gotta be a Southerner!