As well as working as a pastry chef under Marcus Wareing, Cassie also spent time at Hélène Darroze’s eponymous restaurant at The Connaught, and prior to that both chefs worked for Tom Aikens. Jake was previously head chef at Marcus.
Pentonbridge Inn is their first joint venture where they will both head up the kitchen. Located in the small Cumbrian hamlet of Penton, the restaurant-with-rooms will open officially in September, having been extensively refurbished from its previous incarnation, The Bridge Inn. No mean feat, as a quick google of The Bridge Inn will confirm!
The inn will comprise a main dining room with 45 covers, a separate pub area and conservatory. Diners can choose from two tasting menus of five or seven courses, with canapés, priced at £50 and £70 respectively. On Sundays there will be 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 (à la The Pass in Horsham) bringing an interactive experience to the dining and allowing customers to chat 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 bedrooms. 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 plan to run a shuttle bus between the two so guests can dine at the inn and diners can visit the abundant walled garden.
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 restaurant dining room will also feature a statement fireplace, open kitchen, and a mixture of banquette and regular seating.
Charles Oak of The Quercus Partnership is heading up the re-brand and re-launch, he has previously worked with David Moore (Pied à Terre), Skibo Castle and The Mayfair Hotel.