On a freezing cold, wet and windy evening, I can think of nothing better than taking shelter in a traditional inn, to sup by candlelight in front of a roaring log fire. So that’s exactly what Mr H and I did.
The Snooty Fox in Kirkby Lonsdale is a long established hostelry, perfectly placed in the heart of this beautiful town. Recently, however, this 17th Century coaching inn has come under new ownership (management) and it’s immediately clear that a significant amount of money, care and attention has gone into to refurbishing the interiors. The restoration has been carried out sympathetically, the original open fires and exposed stone walls blending seamlessly into freshly upholstered tweed chair cushions and smart leather sofas.
The layout of the Snooty means that no matter what your mood, there’s an area of the pub to suit you… settle down on a Chesterfield sofa with a wee dram in the snug area in front of the fire, enjoy a drink at the well stocked bar or find an intimate corner of the softly lit restaurant area.
We were greeted warmly by Jayne, ‘Mum’ of this family-run business, and chose a table in front of the impressive fireplace. With wine bottle drip candles, I feel we could be on the set of Outlander, only without serving wenches and men in kilts (more’s the pity).
So, to the food. It’s rare I struggle to choose from a menu, there aren’t usually more than one or two plates I’d go for but I was torn. Some considerable time later, I make my decision. To start, crispy lamb belly for me, and bubble and squeak rosti for the old pot and pan.
I’ve endeavoured to cook lamb belly myself once and failed miserably. I now know how it’s supposed to be; light, crisp and intense in flavour. Served with a fresh tzatziki this was the perfect way to begin, the edge taken off my hunger but by no means sated, just the way I like to feel after a starter. Steve’s choice was a little more substantial but no less delicious with the golden yolk of an egg running over a crisp pattie of potatoes and veg.
The highlight of the meal for me was my main course. In search of comfort food, I had opted for the three-cheese pie. I’ll be reminiscing about the squidgy, unctuous mix of mature cheddar, creamy Lancashire with a touch of blue cheese encased in crisp shortcrust pastry for some time to come. My mother-in-law sometimes brings me a slab of her beautiful cheese pie… with trepidation in case she ever reads this but at the same time compelled to express my deep joy, I have to admit she’s been beaten.
Determined to give you an accurate and complete review (i.e. squeeze in a pudding), but aware of the ‘settling time’ required following the consumption of cheese pie, we sunk into a sofa in the quaint bar area and got chatting to landlord Tom.
Tom, it turns out, is quite the wine connoisseur. He brought out his special dessert wines, one of which was a particular favourite of mine, a Pedro Ximinez, which he served chilled, a complete revelation! Mr H who normally shuns my attempts to switch to desert wine after a meal is now officially converted after sampling Tom’s “Sticky Mickey” late harvest Sauvignon Blanc… sweet and syrupy, who knew!
After a little rest, we decided to soldier on to the desert course. A sticky toffee pudding to die for pour moi, but the star of the show was undoubtedly hubby’s blueberry and vanilla cheesecake. Sweet but refreshing with a creamy, silky smooth filling atop a crisp biscuit base… Greg Wallace would’ve wept with joy.
Suffice to say we rolled home full to the brim but feeling warm and fuzzy. Whether you’re looking for traditional hearty English fare or something a little more exotic; somewhere to enjoy a quiet pint or to sample some craft gins with friends, there’s something for all at the Snooty Fox. We’ll certainly be back.
For contact details and more info about The Snooty Fox check out their Wellies & Wine Business Page here.
By Natalie Hailey, Founder of Hot Content.