CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Lancashire Life today CLICK HERE

Short break - The Inn at Ravenglass

PUBLISHED: 16:51 15 May 2015 | UPDATED: 13:41 24 February 2016

The Inn at Ravenglass

The Inn at Ravenglass

not Archant

Sue Riley winkles out a new place that is shellfish heaven thanks to a former Roux Brothers disciple

The Inn at RavenglassThe Inn at Ravenglass

Pack a bib. That’s my advice if you’re planning to visit The Inn at Ravenglass to sample their shellfish menu. Now it may just have been me, but the langoustines, caught by fishermen in nearby Whitehaven and on my plate within an hour, were not only fresh they were also incredibly messy.

I’d seen that one of my fellow diners had popped his napkin into the top of his shirt and I had quietly smiled at his quirkiness. Then my langoustines in garlic butter arrived and my dry cleaning bill started to escalate. But who cares? When food is as fresh as this, a bit of shellfish juice doesn’t matter. Neither did the fact that I was so engrossed in my food I completely missed the sunset over the water where the rivers of the Esk, Irt and Mite meet. A nearby table of diners did exactly the same thing; the langoustines really were that good.

The Inn at Ravenglass is an unprepossessing sort of place, even a bit shabby from the outside. But once in there’s a range of good beers, a great little bar and a slightly separate eating area selling some of the freshest fish and shellfish in the county. The 17th century pub has been owned by the Pennington family (of Muncaster Castle) for decades but they took over the running of it just over a year ago, recruited chef Craig Niven (who’s worked for the Roux Brothers) and decided to specialise in shellfish.

The Inn at RavenglassThe Inn at Ravenglass

Starters were priced at around the £7 mark for mussels, crevettes and langoustines, with mains including skate wing with beurre noisette, roast tomatoes and new potatoes at £17. There’s good beer but a limited wine list - we opted for the Picpoul at £17 a bottle. As you tuck into your scallops with parsnip puree though there’s always the reminder that you’re in a pub - with the noise from the bar and a bottle of Sarson’s vinegar on the table. Lively, down-to-earth pub manager Frazer North has a personality which is a perfect fit for the relaxed, unfussy setting. ‘We are a pub and we have got nice rooms and serve exceptionally nice food,’ he says.

They get all their shellfish and fish from Steve Hallett, of Ravenglass Fish & Game, who travels up and down the West Cumbrian coast sourcing produce for them, from Maryport and Whitehaven right down to Fleetwood Fish Market in Lancashire. This month lobsters will be in season, many caught in Ravenglass itself and langoustines will still be on the menu along with turbot, halibut, John Dory and black bream. ‘I have eaten in some top restaurants but the food here is second to none,’ says Steve, although he may be a tad biased.

Above the pub/restaurant are two suites which opened this spring. We stayed in the Master Suite with its three large windows overlooking the estuary where we watched the tide ebb and flow and admired the golden/purple hues of the landscape which are so particular to this part of Cumbria. There was an enormous bed, an even bigger bathroom with standalone bath, two sinks and shower with Thierry Mugler toiletries; sofas, armchairs, dining table, window seats, fresh flowers, fresh filter coffee, homemade biscuits and Prosecco. Call me a simple soul but the room with its subtle seaside colour scheme and attention to detail suited me down to the ground. It doesn’t come cheap at £250 a night for B&B (the smaller suite is £110 B&B) but it was a room we didn’t want to leave. So the next morning we accepted the offer of breakfast in our suite (the alternative is to walk a few metres down the road and have it at the Pennington Hotel) and ate it watching the tide come in and seagulls soar.

We’re planning a day trip to Ravenglass (on the train) next month so we can have more langoustines for lunch. We might even buy some from the pub’s wet fish shop (which is due to open this month) and use one of their free recipe cards so ensure we cook them perfectly. I wonder if they’ll be supplying free bibs too?



*Take a stroll down the main road to the small harbour and admire the sheer peace and quiet of this beautiful village. Incidentally, the road was laid out in medieval times and tapers at one end to prevent cattle escaping on market days

* Most people visit Ravenglass to experience La’al Ratty, a small steam train which takes visitors along a seven mile strack into Eskdale, terminating at Dalegarth Station near Boot.

* Take a short walk to see the remains of the Roman Bath House and reflect that this tiny village was once one of the most important Roman ports in North West England. It was known as Glannaventa

* Pack your hiking boots and sample some of the best walking in the Lake District in Eskdale and Wasdale.

* Take a short drive to Wasdale Head and have a look at what is regularly voted the best view in the UK

* Visit Muncaster Castle, the ancestral seat of the Pennington family for more than 700 years. With a range of seasonal activities, gardens and regular ghost sightings this castle is one of the most strikingly situated in the Lakes. For entry fees and more information go to



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Thu, 00:00

A massive refurbishment has been completed at a hotel much loved by Lancastrians. Roger borrell went to explore

Read more
Windermere Luxury Break
Thu, 00:00

New arrivals to check out this winter and in the new year.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants

The seeds of an organic food co-operative built on Quaker principles were first sewn almost 20 years ago. Now, Growing with Grace is flourishing

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Take a bite from the county with a dining experience with a difference

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

The Michelin judges have put Lancashire and the Lakes firmly on the UK’s map of culinary excellence, writes Roger Borrell

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Modern Portuguese flavours and fabulous wine give you every reason to visit Canto at Ancoats

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

William Firth crafts high end products that help food and drink companies make their products shine.

Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Calyx founder Raphael Ogunrinde is drinking in the success of his Burnley business, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

BBQ doesn’t just have to be for the summer. Expert Richard Holden shares his advice on how to cook outdoors in all seasons

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

The Spice Club attracts diners in their droves. And it all started in a front room in Whitefield. Emma Mayoh reports.

Read more
Asian Food
Friday, October 19, 2018

Talented chef Spencer Burge has driven Bertram’s Restaurant in Burnley to success

Read more
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Oli Martin is a head chef that has transformed the kitchens at Hipping Hall. Emma Mayoh finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is among the owners of Tast, a new restaurant helping King Street’s ambitions to join the gastronomic Premier League.

Read more
Manchester Restaurants Spanish Food
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When is a pub not a pub? When it’s the Freemasons at Wiswell, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search