The Peak District has a lot of heart and a lot of delicious tart…
The East Midlands is one of the most visited places in England thanks to the rugged peaks and charming, windswept terrain of the Peak District. It is a region of stately homes and romantic wastelands, inspiring the nation’s culture and imagination from Gothic fiction to modern-day media.
Derbyshire’s traditional cuisine has proved as popular with tourists as its historical sights. This is the region of proper Bakewell puddings, hearty oatcakes with delicious fillings, and fresh Fidgety pies brimming with apple and bacon – local delicacies that leave visitors drooling for more. In homage to Derbyshire’s delicious bounty, we’ve compiled a cracking list of top destinations to head to and try the famous pies and puddings.
Perched proudly atop of the pudding pile is this charming 17th-century shop. The building was once the home of Annie Wilson, the woman who acquired the legendary recipe for Bakewell pudding back in 1860. Today, the puddings are made in the traditional manner – a puff pastry base with a layer of sweet strawberry jam, topped with a set mixture of eggs and almonds – and are as popular now as they were then. The mysterious recipe is made by just one baker and contains a secret ingredient, which has been protected to this day. Visitors travel from afar to try a variety of pies, pastries, cakes and handmade artisan bread, all freshly made each day. If you can’t make the trip, take advantage of the website’s shop and Post a Pudding service, which delivers around the world.
Walk through The Bakewell Tart Shop for a fabulous selection of cakes and pies. Inside this adorable shop you’ll find a café filled with pretty furniture and vintage crockery. Here, guests are attended to by smartly dressed staff, and indulge in homemade goodies. As the name suggests, the shop offers traditional Bakewell tarts – which can be posted to anywhere in the country – in addition to a range of other sweet treats like lemon and coconut tart. The afternoon tea is a real treat, comprised of a wrought iron tier stand bedecked with neatly cut sandwiches, fresh salad and coleslaw, and scones accompanied by jam and clotted cream.
We hardly need to blow Chatsworth’s trumpet. This gorgeous estate is renowned for its extensive
parkland and noble history, and is consistently voted the nation’s favourite stately home. Arguably its most well-kept secret, the venue also offers a choice of two fine restaurants, a café and a farm shop to gourmand guests. Discover a wealth of British-caught fish and top-quality Chatsworth and local meat, a bakery offering a variety of freshly baked products, and a deli counter displaying over 100 different British cheeses in the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop. You will also find chilled ready meals, quiches and cakes, quality dairy products and those all-important pies amongst much more. The adjoining Farm Shop Estate Café serves the beautiful produce in a delightful menu that includes dishes such as melt-in-the-mouth bread and butter pudding laden with plump fruit.
The George has twice won the award for Peak District Pub of the Year and it isn’t hard to see why. Meals in The George’s excellent restaurant are homemade, fresh and of the highest quality. Expect to find tasty starters such as peppercorn mushrooms and mussels in creamy wine sauce, and equally delicious mains including lamb and black pudding pie, and sausage and mash with homemade gravy. A typical menu features a slice of pie heaven, featuring hard-to-find fillings such as rabbit pie – leave feeling fully satisfied, eagerly planning your next visit. Centrally located in the peaks, this inn is a great place to use as a base while exploring the beautiful surroundings and local food scene.
Winning the title of Visit Peak District’s Derbyshire Traditional Pub of the Year multiple times is recognition entirely deserved by this fabulous pub, sitting just off the Tissington Trail. Offering perhaps the peak range of pub pies, there are now dedicated specials boards for both pies and burgers. Options such as the beef and Stilton pie come highly recommended, served atop a most humongous dish with a golden brown crust overflowing the rim. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and we suggest you round off with an equally impressive dessert such as heavenly sticky toffee pudding . A great selection of four or five local ales at the bar and the excellent accommodation offered ensures The Royal Oak has everything.
Outside this beautiful pub hangs what is believed to be the country’s oldest Victorian electric lantern, a reminder of the history that surrounds the venue. Having recently undergone refurbishment, this traditional, Cask Marque-accredited country pub has been transformed to combine original features with wooden flooring and industrial lighting. The Friendship boasts an impressive offering of the region’s favourite flavour of pies to be enjoyed in an enclosed beer garden, or beside a log fire in the winter. Feast on hearty, award-winning Pieminister pies encased in buttery pastry and filled with the likes of steak and ale, goat’s cheese and sweet potato, or chicken and smoked bacon. If you order the Mothership, you can choose your favourite pie that’s plated with fluffy mash and topped with peas, crispy shallots and cheese and served with gravy. Whether stopping by for a cask ale or a winning puff-pastry dinner, there’s always a friendly ambience at The Friendship.
Read more about dining in Derbyshire in our Food & Drink Guide. Request your free copy here, or view online below: