The Kingfisher Inn (putting one over on Tripadvisor)

24th June 2013

One of the problems with Tripadvisor is this: if you run a business in a town it won’t let you post a review of another establishment nearby. This is a good thing if you’re going to be unprofessional and run a place down. Yet if you want to post a good review of another café or restaurant it won’t let you, which is a bad thing. So, I decided to take to the blog and let you know

I thought I’d better do a review of The Kingfisher Inn before Ian and Julie and their family leave in a few months’ time. I should say I’m slightly biased. Ian and I used to play football together back when Ian was part of our youth policy. This probably says a lot more about the rest of us than it does about Ian. He was one of our many non-scoring strikers, of which there have been plenty. He did manage to get the ball in the back of the net on a few occasions but they were few and far between. It must have been five or six years ago that Ian finally hung up his boots and so while the rest of us can be still be seen toiling on the astro-turf on a Tuesday evening, Ian can be found working hard in the kitchen of The Kingfisher.

The pub stands at the far end of town just by St Joseph’s church.  The interior is OK and a lot better than when Ian and Julie took it on: the flooring used to be thick, beer-infused carpets at one time.  There’s a separate dining room that can be closed off by a set of doors if you’re having a private function (or don’t want to watch people playing pool). The best part of all is the beer garden. It’s simply the best in Cockermouth. There are three levels of terrace that run down to the River Derwent. You get such a fine view of the river. One night, when I was there with friends, we watched a couple of otters make their way up the river, pulling themselves out of the water and playing on a shingle bank. On a sunny evening, there’s no place better.

As far as the beer is concerned, I am a committed bitter drinker but I generally tend to drink lager there. Actually, some of the seasonal bitters can be fine, especially some of the blonde beers. I know that Ian and Julie are tied to what the brewery can offer which is a real shame. If the beer was as good as the food, the place would be outstanding.

It’s the food, not the beer, that makes The Kingfisher. The pub does a roaring trade at lunchtimes. The food is traditional but it’s done really well. And that’s the key. Whatever you do, make sure you do it to the best of your abilities. We love the chips. For some reason, they’re really more-ish. We all love the steaks too, which, for the most part, are cooked as they should be. Our family like our steaks rare or medium-rare which can be tricky but mine are always cooked to perfection. I love the signature dish: chicken with black pudding on mashed potatoes.  Some of the themed nights have been really great too. I should mention the puddings. I’m not a great pudding person but even I find the sticky toffee pudding irresistible.

I can understand why Ian and Julie want to move back down South but they will be really missed. They have served the town with food that is great quality and good value. It’s our family’s first port of call when we want to have dinner out, especially on Wednesday night (Steak Night).They have some great staff and the welcome is always friendly. They will be sorely missed. Get in and book a table before they go.

Take that Tripadvisor!

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