A TRADITIONAL town inn has been given a major seal of approval - after an online review giant placed it in the top 10 per cent of restaurants worldwide.

The Cumberland Inn, in Townfoot, Alston, was included in the prestigious travellers’ choice list for 2020 by the popular global review website Tripadvisor.

Excelling in the restaurants category, the historic venue has been lauded with five-star reviews, with customers praising everything from the quality of food, to the outstanding customer service.

One customer wrote on the site: “From the minute we walked through the door, we felt welcome and relaxed. The service was really good and it made the whole evening for us.

“I really think this place is a little gem and hope it continues to thrive in this little town.”

The Cumberland Inn caters to those looking for food, drinks or somewhere to stay, with five bedrooms available for hire.

It serves food throughout the day up until 9pm. and also offers takeaway options, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.

The bar boasts a wide selection of real ales from local breweries, and has for 15 consecutive years been featured in the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Good Beer Guide.

For the past 18 years, the pub has been in the caring hands of Guy and Helen Harmer, who changed it’s name from the Cumberland Hotel, to the Cumberland Inn.

Guy explained: “I think it just fits what we are. It’s a lovely old pub and we’ve tried to retain its historic features while upgrading where appropriate.

“We’ve loved our time here. We’ve put a lot of hard work into the business, and it’s nice to be recognised in such a positive way by our customers.”

Dating back around 150 years, the Cumberland Inn was originally a doctors’ surgery before becoming a guesthouse, according to Guy.

The couple, who are supported by a small team of loyal staff, said demand for staycations had increased during recent months.

However, stringent measures have been taken in the interests of Covid safety, with less dining tables spaced out to ensure social distancing.

Guy said that the couple had plans to create a covered outdoor space with seating, with a view to accommodating more people.

He added: “We’re always looking at ways of improving. We take a pride in what we do, from serving good beer and homemade food, to the quality of our accommodation and customer service.”

The couple have stood the test of time at the Cumberland Inn, having survived other major periods in hospitality.

This included the introduction of the nationwide smoking ban, which came into force in July 2007.

“I think coronavirus is definitely the biggest test for the industry,” said Guy, “but we have, and are continuing to go all we can to keep our customers and staff safe, and look forward to weloming more people at the Cumberland Inn.”