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Some Random Local Recommendations

We have some guests’ recommendations, and John and I have been doing a little sampling of local eateries, too.

Firstly, a joint one. Sam and Gary, who were here on their sixth visit very recently (they first came for their honeymoon, several years ago now) arranged for our next door neighbour, Val Kirkham, of TopNosh Catering to bring them a meal. Sam was warm in her praises, and wrote in the Visitors’ Book and in an email after they returned home, how much they had enjoyed it.

Val has done several parties for us, but we’d never had a private meal brought to the house, so we – never to be outdone – promptly decided to have a lazy night in with a friend from a nearby village and asked Val to bring us a casserole, new potatoes and salad. It was comforting, nourishing and delicious, and lasted us for another meal as well! So, there is one recommendation…

Guests in Douglas’s Barn last week went to the Druid; this pub has had slightly mixed reviews lately but keeps getting the Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ award. Anyway, these guests said they had an excellent meal, although they felt the menu was limited – no bad thing we reckon (as long as you like what’s there!). When a restaurant has dozens and dozen of choices on the menu, you know they can’t possibly be doing more than re-heating something probably mass-prepared many months previously.

Our great favourite (we like the Gate at Brassington too) The George at Alstonefield goes from strength to strength. We were lucky to get a table (already reserved for later) for a bowl of soup there on Saturday and only because we were very early and weren’t going to linger.

And finally, I don’t think we’ve mentioned this before, but we recently had a really lovely long and delicious Thai meal at the Basement Thai Restaurant in Ashbourne. It is tiny, more or less underground, and John and I didn’t even know it existed until we were taken there by friends a couple of weeks ago. They don’t appear to have a website, but the telephone no. is 01335 300 305. You can order a take away but not a home delivery even if you live in Ashbourne. The address is Middle Cale, St John’s Street, Ashbourne DE6 1GP

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