Restaurant reviews

Bakewell’s best bites: A foodie’s tour in the Peak District

The Peak District and indeed more specifically Bakewell, boasts a rich food history, giving us the Bakewell tart and the not quite as well known (but in my opinion far tastier!) Bakewell pudding.

For our weekend away recently, we had opted to stay slightly further out in the countryside in a beautiful cottage in Hassop, and had already eaten a fabulous dinner at Charlie’s Bistro in Baslow. So, we knew that the standard of food in the Peak District was high. Our food tour of Bakewell further confirmed this as we visited three local eateries:

Lavender Tea Rooms:

Lavender Tea Rooms is set back in a beautiful courtyard off Matlock Street in central Bakewell. It boasts a lovely local feel to it and is a fine location for a nice lunch or an afternoon tea. We actually decided to make it our last stop in the Peak District before heading home and we were not at all disappointed by our experience. Offering a nice array of sandwiches that come with crisps and a side salad (these extras justify what can appear to be slightly expensive prices at first glance), we enjoyed the lovely weather in the courtyard.

Lavender Tea Rooms, Bakewell

Enjoying the sun in the courtyard

The food itself was not presented in a particularly spectacular manner, but it did meet the most important criteria: it tasted good! Charlotte in particular (not to say that Chris and Claire’s sandwiches were not rather tasty) raved about a lovely ham, mustard and cheese toastie. Whilst not a toastie in a traditional sense of the word (the bread had been toasted rather than the fillings toasted as well), it was a fabulous tasting beast that was heartily enjoyed by Charlotte!

Charlotte's beast of a sarnie!

Charlotte’s beast of a sarnie!

We also enjoyed some fine tea and coffee and felt that the serving staff, whilst young, were very attentive, helping to make the all round experience very positive.

The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop:

Whilst this was only a short stop in order to make a quick getaway with a Bakewell Pudding, this little shop should certainly be on any foodie’s tour of Bakewell. The Bakewell Pudding is not as well known as the Bakewell tart (perhaps Mr Kiping has something to do with this!), but the recipe that was acquired by Mrs Wilson many years ago is still a tasty treat for any pudding fiend!

The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

The best place for Bakewell Pudding

With the recipe still kept secret, I can only advise that the pudding I enjoyed (nice and warm but alas not with cream or custard as it was enjoyed on the hoof) had strawberry jam, custard and almond set in a delicious sweet shortcrust pastry.

For those of you who can make it down to the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, you can even opt to have a go yourself in the on-site kitchen! If you do, please try to get the secret recipe from one of the chefs who know it and report back to me!

The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop

Check out those tempting treats

They also offer an online shop where you can indulge your love of the pudding by getting one once a month for a year or just settle for a one-off! I think I may end up going for the former rather than the latter as I thought it was quite simply delicious!

There is no demure way to eat a pudding like this!

There is no demure way to eat a pudding like this!

The Peacock:

The Peacock is a welcoming pub that also offers centrally located accommodation for the weary traveler. We stopped by on our second evening to try out their food after hearing good things about it online. The handy parking, nice atmosphere, and filling food were all fabulous reasons why you should head to The Peacock whilst in Bakewell, especially if you feel tired after a day of walking.

The food itself is really traditional, wholesome fare that was presented rather nicely. I decided to go for the Giant Yorkshire Pudding, which came with New Close Farm award winning sausage, far too many peas, and some beautiful new potatoes that were completely excessive! For me, the food was wonderful but the quantities left me in the very embarrassing situation of finding myself not being able to eat over half the food on my plate despite my best efforts!

Charlotte and Claire both forayed into the world of pies. Claire enjoyed a well made and rather tasty chicken and ham pie that came with a mountain of chips and bags of flavour. Charlotte, on the other hand, went for a very homely meat and potato pie (again accompanied by a mountain of chips and gravy!) that went down a treat. Suffice to say that the pies were devoured with relish but the chips again proved a carb too far!

The Peacock in Bakewell

Charlotte’s meat and potato pie

Chris broke the mold and went for surf and turf, which is a bit more of a modern pub dish but again was not let down by the quality of the locally sourced rib eye steak and the prawns. Chris was pleased by the quality of the food on offer, which we all felt justified the cost of the dishes.

The Peacock in Bakewell

Surf n Turf!

Sadly we couldn’t bring ourselves to go for pudding and a few critics would perhaps take issue with the food waste resulting from the massive portions, but I feel that The Peacock is a true bastion of what the Great British pub should be like.

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