The Cumberland Hotel is set in the small market town of Alston in Cumbria and the settlement claims to be the highest market town above sea level in England. This charming hotel is situated at the bottom of town and the place is afforded scenic river views which can be accessed by well signposted footpaths.
In no disrespect to Alston and its cobbled streets this lovely charm and rural tranquillity come at a price. The majestic physical geography of the town does not lend itself to people who have joined the ranks of the disabled. Alston is indeed a walkers' paradise. Having said that it is possible to park the car "on the flat" near the Cumberland hotel.
We were staying at the nearby Lovelady Shield Country Hotel and came into town in search of good pub grub or a bar meal instead of the formal meal on offer at the digs! The Cumberland Hotel was the correct place to visit for a substantial bar meal in town.
There were many travel leaflets in the entrance area of the hotel which we looked at after our meal on the way out of the establishment. We felt a pleasing atmosphere even though there was a group in front of the bar (male and female) engaged in loud conversation. My late father would have used the term "bar flies" for this group and the species is distributed in many parts of Great Britain!
We both enjoyed a generous traditional steak and chips each with plenty of extras. We asked for our steaks to be well done and this is how they came. The meat was both tender and very enjoyable. I asked for some mustard and was surprised at the tray of mustards which the waitress brought to the table on a tray. There were the traditional ones complete with a number of local specialities to choose and try.
We had "no room" for a dessert after such a hearty meal. Then it was time to leave and face the elements of Cumbria and we duly returned to the threshold of the Lovelady Shield to rest after an integrated day of sightseeing and travel.
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