The photos look miles better if you click on them to enlarge so please do.
We seem to be on a foodie roll, rather greedily, but following on from take-curries to eat in the cosy shelter of home I thought to start with a pub update for those that want to eat out more sociably. We are so lucky round here with some really excellent local pubs not too far away and our guests all seem to share our appreciation of The George at Alstonefield and the Gate at Brassington.
On Sunday we walked to the Gate, at Brassington, for lunch, forgetting that on Sundays you can’t get the usual hot baguettes and are rather lured towards having a ‘full roast dinner’, which in this case we really didn’t want/need. There wasn’t a great deal of choice for the ‘Light Bites’ and I chose Goats Cheese en Croute on Pears and something (can’t remember what!) but my goodness it was quite delicious! It wasn’t en croute at all, but on toast, but that was a blessing really for someone who only thinks about eating sensibly when there’s no food around. The photo (mine) is bad: it was by candlelight and I didn’t use the flash…
The second tip is for those that like an interesting bread. As a sideline the chef at the Dining Room in Ashbourne is now making the most wonderful breads which you can buy from shops like the Cheddar Gorge, Natural Choice and Wylies Greengrocers; you can’t buy direct from him. The bread – from sough dough, soda to multi grain is not cheap, but it is delicious and well worth looking out for. It tends to go quickly, in my experience but if you can bear to go shopping early you will buy it still warm.
The third tip is to point our guests in the way of the Cheddar Gorge, 9 Dig Street. This is the road at right angles to St John’s Road where the other places I’ve mentioned all are. The Cheddar Gorge is a deli Ashbourne can be proud of, with a wonderful array of cheeses – apparently 80 in all, many of them local – pork pies, cakes and pastries, chocolates and chutneys. It is always busy and can be quite crowded sometimes but there is so much to look at while you wait, and the odd cheese sample to nibble at from the counter…
Another story really, but a few steps down Dig Street you will find Nigel’s, an excellent local butcher that we use when it is less convenient to go to the White Peak Butchery in Tissington. The truth is, we are spoilt for choice.
However, when all’s said and one final personal tip is that I should stop taking photos on my phone and rely solely on John but that would mean him trailing around while I do the shopping. Perhaps a few lessons is the answer.
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.