The Chatsworth Estate is a gorgeous stately home renowned for its extensive parkland, noble history and continued growth and development. Visitors flock here throughout the year to admire the sculptured gardens and grand interiors, and to enjoy a taste of luxury in one of several dining destinations.
If you are passionate about good food and its provenance, you will love the Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop. The team’s philosophy is one of freshness, quality and ethical sourcing, with much of the produce originating from Chatsworth itself as well as from the best local producers. We were greeted by an enticing display of fruit, vegetables, flowers and seasonal promotions. Venturing further in, a wide range of quality store cupboard ingredients awaited us, including jams and marmalades bursting with fruit. You can even squeeze your own fresh orange juice.
Discover a wealth of British-caught fish and top-quality Chatsworth and local meat – request particular cuts or choose from the offering in the grab and go cabinet. The bakery offers a variety of appetising freshly baked products, and the deli counter displays over 100 different British cheeses alongside a range of foreign variations. You will also find chilled ready meals, pies, pizza, quiche and cake, in addition to quality dairy products. A local merchant supplies the wine and, for beer aficionados, there is a great selection of local craft ale, including Chatsworth’s own Peak Ales.
Much of the shop’s produce can be savoured in the popular Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop Café. I visited with a friend, who relished the fisherman’s platter laden with smoked mackerel, salmon and prawns, colourful salad and freshly baked brown bread. My spinach and feta quiche in light herb pastry was bursting with flavour, served with new potatoes and fresh vegetables. My companion followed on with silky lemon posset, while my melt-in-the-mouth bread and butter pudding was laden with plump fruit, and was easily the best I’ve ever tasted. The service is friendly and the prices are excellent for top-quality food that can be enjoyed alongside panoramic views of the beautiful Chatsworth Estate.
The Flying Childers restaurant is an oasis of tranquillity, an elegant backdrop for the sumptuous Wedgwood afternoon tea. Select from a huge range of quality artisan tea, a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne, or something from the coffee and soft drink selection. Our afternoon of quintessentially British indulgence began with a surprising but delicious beetroot macaroon balanced with tart curd cheese. A platter of delicate finger sandwiches made from oven-fresh bread with a variety of classic fillings followed.
We cleansed our palates with an ambrosial passion fruit posset before embarking on sweet and savoury scones, a range of delicious cakes and spiced chocolate mousse. This luxurious tea, which can be booked online, is served on an eclectic mix of Wedgwood teaware by polite, unobtrusive staff. It’s an utterly memorable experience that is tasteful in every sense of the word, perfect for a special celebration. The restaurant has also recently launched a new brunch menu, offering favourites such as eggs Benedict and Eton mess – the perfect excuse to visit twice in one day.
The Cavendish restaurant, housed in the 18th-century stable block with Flying Childers, offers an extensive, reasonably priced menu comprising the best of British and Continental fare, and full table service. I chose the freshwater crab and prawn platter with Marie Rose sauce, slow-cooked lamb hash in rich jus topped with a poached egg, and tangy lemon parfait with fresh raspberry coulis. My companion enjoyed mild, creamy goat’s cheese baked with a crispy coating, and delicate halibut fired up with a bed of spicy chickpeas and chorizo, followed by mango cheesecake smothered in dark chilli chocolate sauce.
Chatsworth really knows how to suit all budgets and indulge every taste whilst setting the standard for top-notch cuisine – we’ll be back.