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[Lupton, Cumbria] The Plough

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It’s owned by the folk who own the Punchbowl at Crosthwaite which should give folk “in the know” a nod that the food is going to be pretty good. And it is pretty good. Although a bit more pubby in food style than the other place.

A chicken and mushroom bake was OK, with big chunks of both main ingredients but it was let down to some extent by an overly thin and bland cream sauce. Served in a bowl, it was perked up by a nice crisp rosti topping. Alongside some al dente broccoli also gave it some much needed texture.

A ploughman’s lunch was oddly called a gardeners lunch (no doubt , as the word “ploughman’s” had already been blagged for a platter of ham, cheese, pork pie and Scotch egg – something I fancied myself but fancied something hot even more). There was tangy Cheddar, a couple of bread rolls, a bowl of salad leaves, another of potato salad, pickled onions and a few Pepperdew peppers filled with cream cheese.

No-one’s walking away from the Plough still hungry.

But, just in case, we ordered dessert. Bread & butter pudding is a favourite for my partner. She reckoned it a bit good. I went with the special – a deconstructed cheesecake. And, because this is Cumbria, it was a deconstructed Sticky Toffee Pudding cheesecake. In the bottom of the glass, a layer of caramel (it needed to be more), then a layer of the pudding. This was topped with a thick layer of mascarpone and a final layer of biscuit crumbs. I liked this – although maybe not as much as I hoped to like it.

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