The Simple Things got Right
From the local walks to the eclectic vinyl selections in the rooms and the divine food, The Plough gets those simple things spot on
Review by Catherine Ferguson
There’s always something a little bit special about staying in a place that’s been welcoming guests for the last 300 years. Whilst the luxurious bedrooms won’t have played host to the compact vintage record player, home-baked shortbread and local gin back then, the beautiful exposed beams and hearty Cumbrian welcome are a nod to The Plough’s heritage as a coaching inn.
Just a few short miles from the M6, The Plough is nestled in that gorgeous spot in the North West where Cumbria meets Lancashire meets Yorkshire – so you’re never far from a beautiful country walk and top notch locally sourced food. The Plough encourages its guests to take up both of these options in spades.
There are some pretty little public footpaths right on the doorstep, perfect for a pre-dinner stroll to blow the cobwebs away. With a little more time to spare, you’re spoilt for choice with the Lake District on one side and the Yorkshire Dales on the other.
We opted for Ingleton Waterfalls Trail. About 20 minutes drive from The Plough, the stunning circular trail offers unrivalled views of some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the North of England. Although the car park and café mean it can be a little busy on a sunny summer day, if you’re prepared to spend a few hours treading the whole route, you’ll be rewarded with open paths and stunning panoramic views, as many tourists don’t seem to make it past the first picnic stop. Look out for the slightly incongruous Yorkshire Dales Ice cream cabin at the highest point of one of the trails. I just couldn’t resist the over-priced (but worth it) cider ice lollies.
After a day in the Dales, The Plough is everything you want it to be – thoroughly unpretentious, but delightfully luxurious. We stayed in the recently refurbished Torsin Suite, where the attention to detail was remarkable. It’s the little things that matter and finishing touches like a great selection of coffee table books and a choice of vinyl to suit fans of everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Bob Marley to Pavarotti made all the difference.
The Plough’s restaurant is the real jewel in its crown. Head Chef, Robert Stacey, having worked at the likes of Gordon Ramsay at Claridges and The Ritz, brings a real melting pot of tradition and ingenuity to the table. They believe that their plan is simple, “to serve great food and drink in a comfortable and stylish environment with the added advantage of beautiful bedrooms to relax in.” If truth be told, they’ve got that down to a tee. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service attentive and the food divine.
My unequivocal highlight from the seasonal menu was the chargrilled octopus with padron peppers, Cumbrian chorizo and garlic butter. The breakfast menu was simple but luxurious; the brioche eggy bread with local crispy bacon and maple syrup was another firm favourite.
Enquiries: The Plough, Cow Brow, Lupton, Cumbria LA6 1PJ / 01539 567700 / https://theploughatlupton.co.uk