THE weather outside was frightful, but the fire was so delightful when I dove into the Ring O’Bells to escape the freezing Kendal weather.

Perching myself immediately in front of the log fire, I thought I would warm myself up before satisfying my rumbling stomach with a two-course lunch.

For starters I had a beautiful smoked salmon and cream cheese with salad (£4). A kind of cracker bread came out with the dish, which enabled the flavour of the cream cheese and smoked salmon to be more prominent, while the salad went very nicely with the dish.

To warm me up I thought I would go for the chilli con carne with chips option, and boy did it hit the spot! The chips were almost piling over the plate and were at their golden, crunchy best, while the chilli con carne had a wonderful kick to it that drove all thought of the freezing cold out of my mind.

It was fairly basic, with the dish being literally chips and chilli con carne, but I had absolutely no problem with that and it fulfilled my number one concern, which was to fill me up.

Beer lovers are certainly advised to go to the Ring O’Bells. I thoroughly enjoyed my pint of Hawkshead bitter, which has won a CAMRA North West Beer Gold Award, and this washed my meal down excellently.

I can imagine where I was eating getting a bit crowded if too many people were in there. But in the context of a Friday lunchtime the room was very cozy as the warmth of the fire spread through the room, and with a couple of newspapers thrown into the mix, the small-but perfectly-formed Ring O’Bells was a pleasant place to spend a relaxed lunchtime.