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The Bull, Coniston.
Pubs in Cumbria in general
Member Name: Bryn Pearson
Pubs in Cumbria in general
Date: 12/04/02, updated on 12/04/02 (603 review reads)
Advantages: good food, good beer, good service
Disadvantages: no views.
Apparently it used to be a 'local pub for local people' but its a very welcomnig place that tolerates the hordes of tourists , and finds enough room so that you don't feel claustrophobic. It does B&B, and out the back is a brewery where they make real ale. What more could anyone desire?
The Location: The Bull is on the junction between the two roads that run through Coniston, and consequentally is easy to find. From it, you can just about see some of the surrounding peaks, you cannot see the lake at all - views are not something it has going for it. The pub is clearly old (don't ask me, I dont know.)and is large. The front of the pub, a square-ish area with road on two sides, pub on the other two, has many wooden picnic tables. It can be very pleasant to sit out, but if there is much traffic than it's better to go inside. Once inside, you encounter a pleasantly gloomy place, with a bar, tables, a private room for those enjoying B&B and nothing gimicky at all. Inside is cool, airy, and big enough to cope with most of the worst excesses of the summer. As they do food, it is entirely child friendly.
The drinks - moderatly pricey, but no worse than anywhere else in the Lakes - two pounds will get you a pint. The brewery makes two beers - Bluebird ale, names after the speed craft that famously crashed in the lake, and "Old Man" - after the Old Man of Coniston, which is a mountian. So you can have all the delights of going to the bar and asking for an old man. There's a selection of more familiar beers and ales, but the local brews are excellent. There's usually a scrumpy cider - at my last visit it was something called "Ruby Tuesday." Spirits, wines etc, and absynthe, which you don't see very often.
The food - they serve food all day, from crisps and nuts to tea and buns to three course meals. The prices are reasonable - five to ten pounds for a main course, and you get lots to eat for your m
oney. They do very large Cumberland sausages, excellent chips, and indulgent puddings. I can heartily recomend this as a place to eat.
Furthermore, the staff are friendly, helpful and efficient. The loos are nice and are kept clean. The atmosphere is relaxed, welcoming and enjoyable. The pub is situated such that you can make it the last point on your walk if you go 'up the old man' and stop in or a much needed pint and a bite to eat.
As I am too spherical to be going up any old men (ok, I will stop the old man jokes soon, promies) I spent a very happy afternoon there munching their bar snacks, drinking cooling beverages and reading - it was a very pleasant experience. If you find yourself in that corner of the world, give it a go.
Oh, and they sell gift packs - eight pounds will buy you a bottle of old man, a bottle of bluebird and a special glass, which makes quite a nice pressie.