Ingleton – Masons Freehouse

With an eventual group size of 11, finding a place to eat in Ingleton isn’t necessarily easy on a Friday night. However, I booked ten months in advance to ensure availability, which was rather organised of me. And to be fair to Masons, they were equally professional and organised, confirming the booking promptly and reconfirming this week. They didn’t need a deposit or pre-ordering, so it all felt well managed.

And the table was successfully reserved. I liked that the pub was proud of its history by putting some photos up of how it appeared in the nineteenth century and it takes its name from when it was run by a family of masons.

On the first night I opted for fish and chips, which was well presented. The fish tasted of a good quality, the batter had a reasonable depth of taste and the mushy peas had the appropriately consistency. I wasn’t really sold on the chips, slightly greasy and over-cooked for my liking, but overall this didn’t represent poor value for money.

We returned for food on the second night, and I went for the steak pie. Stupidly of me I forgot that the chips weren’t overly exciting, but the pie seemed home-made and there was a generous amount of steak inside and this was of a decent quality meat. The gravy was also authentic and home-made with lots of flavour. For the money, this again proved to be perfectly acceptable value for money.

This pub is mentioned in the Good Beer Guide and is the only location in Ingleton which is. This perhaps increased my expectations too much as the dark beer selection was non existent and the nearest was Doom Bar which has nearly no appeal to me given its lack of flavour (or at least what I perceive to lack flavour as the beer isn’t exactly unpopular). Since the pub doesn’t do bottled dark beer either I just went for soft drinks, a mild disappointment given the selection I’d just experienced in the Old Post Office. Personally, with five real ales on I’d have liked at least one of them to be dark, but it’d be ideal if they could perhaps offer cans or bottles at least as an alternative.

Anyway, nonetheless, it’s apparent that they’ve tidied up the pub in recent years and it is a professionally run location. We didn’t experience any issues, but I’m fairly sure that they’d have been resolved in a helpful and willing manner if we had. The temperature in the pub was also off the scale hot for my liking, although since the pub was busy it’d be harsh to complain about that.

So, for those with groups wanting food, this is a location I’d recommend and if I was taking a large party to Ingleton again then I’d certainly book again. The prices were reasonable, the food was brought out promptly and the staff were personable and helpful.