“A wonderful honeymoon…I have particularly enjoyed the fabulous kitchen equipment, which has made cooking a joy this week.” Comment from a Tom’s Barn guest 2/8/2013
Self-catering? What a treat!
Eat what you want, when you want, how you want. For most of our guests that is really important and cooking and eating well is a top priority.
Part of the charm of our two lovely self-catering holiday cottages – Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns – is the peace and quiet, in a blissfully tranquil, secluded spot in a quiet rural village.
How, you might wonder, will you eat like a king? If you want to, it is quite easy – it just takes a little
wistful daydreaming planning ahead but for many of us that’s all part of the fun of the holiday.
Six weeks before you arrive we will send you an up to date list of local eateries, and information about how you can arrange for a Riverford Organics or Waitrose delivery to arrive before you do, which we will check and put away for you so that when you arrive, everything is ready and waiting for you. Riverford delivers here to us every Friday and Waitrose will come whenever you ask them!When you get here you’ll find that the kitchens in both barns are both proper, working kitchens, with quality equipment and basic store cupboard ingredients and things like electronic scales and sharp knives. Lots of our guests really enjoy spending time together, using delicious local ingredients and preparing a meal that would cost a fortune in a restaurant and yet all in the comfort of your own home. However, you may not want actually to cook, and that’s easy too, if prefer to stay in your own little private world, cosily eating in, but not having to do anything other than lay the table and heat something up. There are a couple of excellent delis in Ashbourne, and one, Bramhalls opposite the market does sell frozen homemade dishes. There is a much bigger selection in the Chatsworth Farm Shop too, a little further afield. If you like curries, you simply could not do better than order one from Paul and Evie of the Cottage on the Green in the village. They will prepare the rice and bits and bobs for you too, if you want them to.
Still on the ‘no actual cooking’ them, another good tip, which we use often ourselves, is a firm called Cook.You can order frozen meals which are delivered to the door; on a slightly less culinarily adventurous note, you could do an online Waitrose order. We will send you the link for that when you pay your balance, six weeks before you arrive here – there would be no point in ordering earlier. You could include a wine order, or get some from Majestic in Ashbourne who deliver for free, as do Waitrose if you spend at least £50 which is easily enough done these days.If you don’t even want to spend any time in the kitchen although you may find after a while you might be just a little bit tempted to – you’re in luck: there’s plenty of choice. Launching out and going straight to the top of the tree, Fischer’s would be a must if you truly, truly want to spoil yourselves, although if you book their 2013 lunches – 2 courses for £20.13, 3 for £25 that is remarkably good value.
Another lovely place – not in the same category as Fischer’s but lovely all the same is a restaurant called Stones in Matlock that we have only just discovered for ourselves.
Nearer home is the George, at Alstonefield. This is a pub rather than a restaurant but the food is quite special and many of our guests eat there at least twice. (Do tell Emily you are staying here – you won’t get any discounts but you’ll get a lovely smile and welcome!) We used to recommend the Gate at Brassington. That is still lovely but the landlord is still dour and the standard of the food is a bit chancy depending on the chef of the day.
Hope this gives you some ideas and that you still have time to have some fun exploring the various possibilities and planning what to do. After all, you do want to give yourselves a very special, relaxing time, with plenty of spoiling and very little effort!