Top 50 Gastropubs



High Newton, Cumbria

Kevin and Nicola Tickle are ‘hefted’ to Cumbria and both from foodie families, which led them to launch Heft in High Newton, Cumbria.

Top 50 Accolades
  • 2024 Highest Climber

Nicola’s family have farmed the local fells and valleys of the Lake District since the 1600s, while Kevin, also a Cumbrian, was taught by his dad to forage and fish, giving him a deep understanding of the rhythms of the local waterways and landscapes.

With an introduction like that, we expect Heft, which made its debut onto the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list in 2022, to be steeped in local culinary knowledge… and we’re not disappointed.

The 17th century Inn is owned and run by Kevin and Nicola who will soon be able to provide five guests with rooms to stay in.

However, as it stands now, the venue has a bar serving high quality beers and ales as well as carefully selected wines to accompany the bar’s seasonal small plates and snacks.

Kevin is the man behind the stove, and in his restaurant, diners can expect to eat dishes that offer a unique take on modern British cooking, grounded in a wealth of local reared and farmed produce.

Dishes served at this interesting gastropub have previously consisted of St James roast yeast crumpets; Kentucky fried squid with blue cheese; lamb faggot with alliums and mint; chicken liver ‘chips’ and gravy; and strawberry custard tart. Lunch will set you back a modest £45.

For dinner in the evening, you can expect dishes like Gotty’s squeaky cheese glazed in thyme honey; smoked potato with squid and fennel kimchi ramen; scorched cod with cockle and savoury broth; saddleback pork chop glazed in cider and smoke with allium gravy and gooseberry with fromage blanc and mead snap biscuits.

Of course, being a well-rounded pub, Heft also offers a Sunday service for £37.50 featuring outstanding dishes including wild mushroom and Pitchfork and herb crumble as well as Kevin’s take on roast meats and many delicious sides to choose from.

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