A LAKE District pub and restaurant praised for its "easy-going atmosphere" and home-brewed beers has been hailed Inn of the Year.

Steph Barton, one of the owners of the Drunken Duck Inn at Barngates, said she was delighted with the accolade from the Good Pub Guide 2019.

"It's lovely because Inn of the Year is a rounded category that encompasses all aspects of the business," said Steph, who has been at the Drunken Duck for 41 years.

"We get a really nice balance of people. The local presence is important to us.

"It's being part of the community, and the people that come from all over the country and the world want to see the local side of it, too.

"The bar is the hub of the Duck, a very important place."

The inn, located between Ambleside and Hawkshead, brews its own Barngates beers on site.

A new breakfast and brunch menu is being planned for its elegant restaurant areas, highly acclaimed by the likes of the Daily Telegraph and the Guardian.

Evening dishes include lamb belly, turnip and mint; kipper Scotch egg, celeriac remoulade, confit tomato; glazed ox cheek, red onion marmalade, jalapeno and sourdough; and barbecued peach with raspberry sorbet, lemon verbena and almond biscuit.

This year for the first time the kitchen team also cooked up "a blast from the past" - scampi and chips in a basket - which Steph said appealed to people's childhood memories of eating out.

"It's just being all things to all people. That's what makes it so interesting, so that one feeds off the other," she said.

"The people that come from away like to see the local interest and still have people coming in after work dropping in for a pint.

"But actually the people who live locally like watching everybody who comes in. It's great people-watching in the bar on Friday nights."

The 13-bedroom inn has around 30 staff, and is located on an old Lakeland sheep-driving route. Oak floorboards, a slate-topped bar and leather club chairs add to the cosy, welcoming feel praised by the editors of the Good Pub Guide.

Steph and her former husband, Peter Barton, came to the Drunken Duck in 1977. Steph also owns the popular cafe Chesters By the River, at Skelwith Bridge.