Husband and wife chef duo Jake and Cassie White are set to shake up Cumbria’s dining scene with the launch of Pentonbridge Inn, a pub with rooms, located 17 miles north of Carlisle. Hot-footing it from the pass and pastry at two Michelin starred restaurant, Marcus at The Berkeley in London, where they were head chef and pastry chef respectively, it is safe to say that something rather exciting is about to happen in the north of England.
As well as working under Marcus Wareing, Cassie also spent time at Hélène Darroze’s eponymous two Michelin starred restaurant at The Connaught and prior to that they both worked for Tom Aikens, as well as a variety of establishments in England and Australia. Pentonbridge Inn is their first joint venture where they will both head up the kitchen. Located in the small Cumbrian hamlet of Penton, Pentonbridge Inn will open officially in September, having been extensively refurbished from its previous incarnation, The Bridge Inn.
The inn will comprise a main dining room with 45 covers and a separate pub area. Guests visiting the dining room can enjoy a seven course tasting menu, with canapés, priced at £60. On Sundays, diners can enjoy a special four course set menu, priced at £28 per person with the option of pre-ordering a specific cut of meat, such as a wing of beef. Dishes will be served personally by the chefs bringing an interactive experience to the dining and allowing customers to chat and interact directly with the person preparing their food.
The majority of fruit, vegetable and herbs will come straight from the 1.5 acres of Victorian walled garden and greenhouses at nearby Netherby Hall, which Jake and Cassie have been cultivating, alongside the head gardener. Local game will be well represented on the menu when in season and meat will be sourced from Lake District Farmers and Millbank Venison, with fish coming from the Solway Firth and suppliers such as Keltic Seafare. Meanwhile diners with a sweet tooth can be assured that, pudding here will be a priority, not an afterthought. There will be a small, yet sophisticated wine list to complement the menu.
The dog-friendly bar will serve local ales and offer a more informal menu of classic pub dishes, with a twist, for lunch and dinner. An array of snacks and small plates, designed to share, will also be available throughout the day. For those wishing to stay over or make a weekend of it there will be nine perfectly appointed stylish and comfortable bedrooms
The interiors have been designed by leading restaurant designers BusbyWebb and will reflect the Cumbrian landscape bringing hints of the outside in with the use of natural materials such as timber, slate and stone. The extensive use of glass throughout will ensure the space is light, bright and airy and makes the most of the stunning views from the pub, whilst the history of the building is retained with the original beams. The warm welcome that is central to the pub is brought to life through small touches from the real fires, comfy sofas, boot-racks and newspapers.
The restaurant dining room will also feature a statement fireplace, open kitchen, and a mixture of banquette and regular seating. The colour palette will focus on natural shades of greens, blues and yellows, mirroring the surrounding hills, fields and sky that can be seen from the brand new conservatory.
Jake has said: “We are beyond delighted to be opening Pentonbridge Inn. We’ve loved our time at the heart of London’s culinary scene but this opportunity to create something truly special is an opportunity we’ve leapt at. For me this is a return to my native north of England and the chance to add something unique to an internationally renowned food destination. Pentonbridge Inn will be a real showcase of the passion we feel for the food of the area and something we’re sure will be enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike.”
The nine luxurious bedrooms are split between the main building and the adjacent converted barn, where guests can expect the same high levels of comfort and style as in the restaurant with sophisticated velvet, tweed and wool textures and soft, natural colours. Hints of luxury abound from the stand alone roll top baths, DAB radios, Egyptian cotton sheets, fresh coffee, fresh flowers and fluffy towels. Delightful room amenities will add a personal touch and might include freshly baked biscuits, homemade preserves and syrups, which will also be available to purchase and take home.
Further self-catering accommodation will be available at Netherby Hall, only four and a half miles away, which have been recently renovated by Gerald and Margo Smith who own both the hall and inn and they plan to run a shuttle bus between the two so guests can dine at the inn and diners can visit the abundant walled garden.
Helping owners, Gerald and Margo realise their dream of somewhere great to eat near their home is Charles Oak of The Quercus Partnership who is heading up the re-brand and re-launch. With over 30 years’ experience in luxury hospitality, Charles has worked with some of the industry’s brightest stars including David Moore of Pied à Terre, Skibo Castle and The Mayfair Hotel.
The accommodation and stand-out dining marks the inn out as a proper dining destination that is set to be a first class foodie attraction, perfectly directed towards both Cumbria’s successful tourism market and locals alike.
Address: Pentonbridge Inn, Penton, Carlisle, CA6 5QB
Phone: 01228 792732