The Royal Oak, Keswick, December 2017

We are back at the Royal Oak again, always a reliable pub. Tonight’s festivities began with a festive beer, a Thirst Nöel by Keswick Brewing Company, full of sweet maltiness and good with food.

O hai! Predictable guy! Yes, it’s the half roast chicken and chips again for me, and it’s nice to see it served on a plate this time rather than in the stupid wooden greenhouse tray that they used last time we were here. I think they are trying to go for a classier image instead of that hipster nonsense. The food was still very tasty, although I think the salad was nicer 18 months ago (although there could be some seasonality in that).

A nice pub with a nice atmosphere and always good food.

Siskins Cafe, Whinlatter forest, Cumbria, December 2017

Another in the long line of “quick lunchtime posts”. We are out and about once more, exploring the fells around the Whinlatter forest. If you’re going to pay the Forestry Commission’s eye-watering car park charges (8 quid a day, hence the credit card machine attached to the parking meter) then you really need to spend as much time here as possible to get your money’s worth.

Too cold for a picnic on a day like today, so a spot of lunch was in order. There’s a good size cafe on site (tables outside for the warmer months too) and they are of course fully geared up for dealing with muddy walkers and mountain bikers, so muddy boots are no problem. They are open from 10-5 pretty much every day.

A decent selection of cafe style food on the menu, the usual sandwiches and panini, jacket potatoes, pies, quiches etc.

I had the festive panino special, turkey, brie, bacon and cranberry and it was rather delicious. And what an interesting and varied salad selection. A few thin slices of melon, a little bit of pasta salad, a little bit of rice salad, a little bit of coleslaw, a little bit of mediterranean veg, a little bit of cous cous salad, some carrot, some cress and just to let the side down, sad iceberg. Overall though, a very interesting bit on the side.

Mrs MOFAD had similar with her tuna mayo jacket potato:-

A great place to stop for some lunch, nicely priced and very well presented. Good service too. It’s nice that although they’ve got a captive audience they’ve made a lot of effort to do some decent food.