I HAD chosen Rusland Pool because of the varied menu, the attention to special dietary requirements and the fact that it's lively enough to swallow up the noise from a gaggle of children.

The youngest three of our group are all pasta lovers, so they chose carbonara and a classic spaghetti bolognese (£8.99 and £7.99 respectively), while between us, we grown-ups chose a classic Rusland burger (£13.99), chicken fajitas (£13.99), Cajun chicken (£12.99) and a poached salmon fillet with jacket potato which, at £16.99, was the priciest dish of the lot.

Once a coaching inn, the Rusland Pool is in a traditional style, with a rural feel as befits its setting which, despite being on the side of the perennially busy A590, is in the heart of the south Lakes.

My burger was thick and homemade, with good fries and plenty of relish. I'm not a fan of onion rings, but there were plenty of other takers for it.

The youngsters all devoured their pasta dishes, the carbonara going down particularly well, it being in a rich and creamy sauce, with plenty of bacon.

The fajitas was a huge affair, served on a sizzling platter, which was in turn on a board - and with a generous plate of wraps, plus dinky pots of relishes. Easily the most attractive looking of the dishes we were served. The salmon and the Cajun chicken, by contrast, looked a bit bland and somewhat anaemic.

All tasted good, having said that, although lacking a wow factor - which is fine, there's nothing wrong with good, fresh, plain cooking.

Most of us feeling stuffed after our mains - which were generous sizes - only one of our group had room for a pud and it just had to be that Lakeland classic of a sticky toffee pudding.

This came with a pot of caramel sauce and a large scoop of yummy vanilla ice cream, which too many of us felt the need to sample, leaving a fairly disappointed teenager to polish off the rest.

With lots of soft drinks, the bill for the seven of us came to a bit over £100, which was fairly good value on the whole. I still think the salmon was overpriced at £17 but the quality of the food here is good enough for it not to rankle too much.

Food 4

Service 4

Value 4

Atmosphere 3.5


Large menu

Lots of free-from options

Bags of parking


It's on a busy road, so outdoor dining is noisy in good weather