As far as Lake District gastropubs go, the Drunken Duck Inn in Ambleside has a lot going for it – dramatic landscapes, locally-inspired brews and a restaurant serving dishes influenced by Cumbrian produce.
Importantly, though, where does the Drunken Duck get its unusual name? Legend has it a Victorian landlady thought her ducks were dead on finding them stretched out on the road.
After some unfortunate plucking, spurred on by the landlady’s belief the ducks were dead and ready for the pot, it transpired the ducks were drunk and not deceased.
Apparently a barrel of beer had slipped its hoops in the cellar, spilling beer into the ducks’ feeding area which they gladly drank.
As the legend goes, the guilt-stricken landlady knitted the ducks woolen waistcoats until their feathers grew back.
The story adds character to the gastropub, which serves up 4 AA-starred nosh and offers guests the opportunity to stay over in its rooms – a must when visiting an area of outstanding beauty such as the Lake Distict.
On the Drunken Duck’s menu, diners can expect to eat starters of soused mackerel, tomato salad and buttermilk dressing; smoked eel, new potatoes, lovage and pickled onions; and Lancashire souffle.
For mains, expect beef cheek with artichoke, spring onion and rocket pesto; coley, pancetta, mushroom and oxtail; and corn fed chicken, mash, girolle, and chilli dressing.
And for dessert: melting chocolate tarte with raspberry sorbet; rhubarb cobbler with popcorn ice cream; and strawberries, marigold ice cream and meringue.