It doesn’t take long for the subject to return to food, not that I should perhaps apologise. One can’t turn on the telly for a minute without finding a cookery programme and goodness knows how many cookery books are produced each year and fancy kitchens full of even fancier gadgets advertised.
And yet we are told that nobody cooks any more. We know that is not true. A lot of our guests take a lot of pride in cooking, and part of the fun of their holiday is having the time, and in a well-equipped kitchen, to prepare delicious meals to enjoy together. But even they, and indeed all of us, however keen we may be as cooks, do like occasionally to sit back and enjoy what someone else has prepared.
We are lucky in Parwich to have some really excellent nearby pubs and restaurants where you know the food will be good and the atmosphere fun and you will feel you’ve had a real treat. However, drink-driving laws and winter road conditions both also make the idea of eating in very attractive, and with no worry about getting home afterwards, much more relaxing. This – with some forethought and planning – is charmingly possible in Parwich.
Discounting the possibility of having cheated by popping something into the slow cooker in the morning, or the often very tasty prepared ready meal meals one can buy in Waitrose and M&S in Ashbourne – and indeed in all the super markets, we have some unique gems in Parwich to offer our guests.
Firstly, you can ring Val Kirkham beforehand on 01335 390 458 to find out about her meals which she will cook in her house next door to Orchard Farm and bring them round personally to your door when you want them. Secondly, you can pre-order a curry from Paul and Evie, at the Cottage of the Green, on 01335 390 488. These are available at the weekend, and you do have to fetch them (5 or 6 minutes ‘walk).
Today John and I did just that. Fridays – our changeover day – are always busy and supper time can come with us feeling a little weary and with nothing delicious miraculously appearing on the table. We’d planned ahead this week, and ordered a chicken curry, rice and a chutney. Paul and Evie had popped in some very thin lacy-textured poppadoms (heme-made?) and we had a feast fit for kings. Last time we had a lamb curry, next time who knows…?
All we do know is that they will always be very authentic and quite lovely and very good value as we find a portion for one does us both and we are NOT known for our birdlike appetites. We do have to ask for mild to medium strength, slightly embarrassingly for people who lived in India for three years and have eaten some pretty hot curries in our time. I suspect Paul’s ‘Hot’ would be just that, hot! If anyone has tried one we’d be intrigued to know!
Douglas’s Barn is available to book for short breaks 3 or 4 nights between 2 and 20 May 2016. Bookings usually start on a Monday or a Friday but if you want a break that starts on a different day get in touch. We are very flexible with bookings.
There are some new attractions added to the list of treats available with the Premier Cottages special privileges card. Amongst them are Renishaw Hall, Thornbridge Hall Gardens (new discounts), Hassop Station Cafe, Village Green Cafe Eyam, Carsington Water Sports and Leisure, Hartington Cheese Shop.
There are still a few free dates at the end of March/April in both Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns. Short breaks, 3 or 4 nights, which are not normally available are on offer. Please look at availability and give me a call or book on line.