AFTER a long walk around Keswick enjoying the Lake District views, I was ready to warm up and have some hearty food.

My partner Tom and I decided to head to The Chalet, at Portinscale, as it was conveniently located near our car on the way back from our walk.

After being out in the January temperatures for a few hours, also with the odd spot of rain, it was lovely to walk into the The Chalet, with its cosy atmosphere and – more importantly – a log burner!

The choice of food is very varied, with a selection of ciabattas, sandwiches, jacket potatoes, burgers, stews, curries and pizzas.

Tom had his heart set on a vegan Moroccan chickpea tagine, until he saw a vegetarian ciabatta being served to the table behind us...

After seeing the expression on the face of the friendly customer, he decided that is what he was having.

It was nice, also, that there were plenty of vegetarian options for him to choose from, as that can be a struggle at times.

I went for a poached salmon fillet, served with warm potato salad, ale pickled onions, capers and dill hollandaise.

They also have a good selection of wines, ciders and beer and Tom and I went for our favourite ale – Loweswater Gold.

Despite it being lunchtime on a Saturday the service was very quick.

The first impression of my dish was great, very well presented and it smelled so good I couldn’t wait to tuck in.

The salmon was beautifully cooked and the potato salad was lovely and creamy.

The capers weren’t what I expected – I imagined it would come with those fat capers you normally get on pizzas, for example, instead they were very small, almost peppercorn-like capers.

I really like them – they were packed with flavour without overpowering the delicate taste of the salmon.

What really made the dish for me were the ale-pickled onions. They were so delicious, I made Tom very jealous.

He really enjoyed his ciabatta, which was filled with Mediterranean vegetables, goats cheese and a balsamic glaze.

It came with coleslaw, salad and crisps.

Apart from suffering from pickle-envy, he really enjoyed his food, although he said the goats cheese could have done with being sliced a little thinner.

The portions were very generous, which is just what you want to get your energy levels back up after a walk.

It was a shame I couldn’t fit any more food, as the cakes on offer looked really delicious and I will have to come back to try one of their pizzas, as they have a proper pizza oven.

If you consider our meals and drinks came to just over £25 in total, I think it’s fair to say we have found a little Lake District gem: gorgeous, high quality food and good drinks menu at a very reasonable price – what else could you ask for?

The Chalet deserves five stars out of five.

From the friendly service to modern and cosy environment, there is really nothing I would have changed about my experience there.