While still a pub with an atmospheric timber-beamed bar, food is the raison d'être for the visit of most of the customers here. It's situated on a steep crag, in 60 acres of its own grounds, high above Lake Windermere.
The kitchen offers a menu of carefully-sourced produce, much of it local, but he has kept up with trends - so traditional dishes might have modern twists.
Perhaps start with the likes of 'Grilled Crumpets, Keldthwaite Gold Cheese with Cranberry and Orange Relish'; 'Home-made Gravadlax and Cured Salmon with Rye Bread and Chive Butter' or 'Crispy Drunken Duck Leg with Rhubarb, Green Bean and Goats' Cheese Salad'.
With maybe 'Pot-roast Beef Fillet with Wild Mushrooms, Buttered Spinach and Fondant Potato'; 'Caramelised Italian Onion Tart with Roasted Figs and Parmesan' or 'Pan-fried Turbot with Mussel and Saffron Soup' to follow.
Desserts are a strong point, with possibly 'Honeycomb Brulée with Thyme Sablé and pan-roasted Plums'; 'Caramelised Pear Tatin with Liquorice Syrup and Vanilla Sabayon' or 'Melting Chocolate Fondant with White Chocolate and Apricot Trifle'.
A good lunchtime Bar Menu is also offered - listing the likes of Fish & Chips, Lamb Hotpot & Sandwiches.
There are comfortable bedrooms, which make a special trip here worthwhile.
There's an interesting on-site mini brewery. The Punch Bowl at Crosthwaite (q.v.) is under the same ownership
- Food Style: Best Pubs for Food
- Lunch: all week, 12.00-16.00; mains about £12 to £14; plus good sandwiches
- Dinner: all week, 18.00-21.30; mains about £16 to £20
- Seats: 60, plus 40 outside
- Wine: a concise, but interesting list, offers good value
- Children's portions: Yes, when possible
- Wheelchair access: Yes, including lavatory
- Nearest station: Windermere
- Directions: See the map on this page - or from the M6, leave at junction 36, take the signs to Kendal, then the A591 from Kendal tp Ambleside . Then follow the signs for Hawkshead, in about 2 -3 miles/3-4km turn right, the Drunken Duck is 1 mile up the hill
- Parking: Yes
- Closed: Dec 25th
- Outside eating
- Rooms available