Our Peak District Gastro Pubs Guide aims to bring you information about the gastro pubs found within or close to the Peak District National Park.
The term Gastro Pub was coined during the 1990s and has come to mean a pub that sells excellent quality chef prepared meals. They are virtually restaurants although they retain the pub atmosphere by selling beer, wines and spirits from a bar. The prices in Peak District Gastro pubs are very often higher than in a traditional pub as they are aiming at the high end market.
The reason that Gastro Pubs started was to counteract the decline in numbers of people going to the pub. Before that time, many, but by no means all, pubs offered some sort of food. They had to as drinks sales were no longer able to maintain them. This Pub Grub was basic fayre, traditional English food such as Steak and Kidney Pie, Shepherds pie and fish, chips and peas. The widespread introduction of the microwave oven helped enormously as landlords and landladies were able to buy in frozen ready meals and microwave them for serving in very quick time.
The Gastro pub is very different. They usually have dedicated kitchen and serving staff. Meals are cooked to order and they are much more cosmopolitan in nature. They usually have the Pub Grub type of food on the menu but generally with an up-market twist, often verging on the pretentious. I blame Masterchef (the original with Lloyd Grossman I mean)! For example, on one Peak District Gastro pub’s menu Breaded fish fillet with petit pois and a selection of varieties of deep fried potato turned out to be a pretty standard plate of pub fish, chips and peas!
Nevertheless, despite any pretentions to be a restaurant that serves draught beer, they can become very popular eating venues in a very short time.
Since Belper is our local stomping ground, lets begin with a couple in that area.
The New Inn, Milford
What was a traditional pub when we first moved to Belper in the early 1980s is now pretty much a pub in name only. The interior was completely refurbished and gives a friendly and relaxed ambience, perfect for a meal out for two. The tables are well spaced and the service is attentive, without being overbearing and the food is of very high quality. But be prepared to pay well for it – it is worth it.
The Hanging Gate
Staffed by Ecclesbourne 6th formers (or at least that’s what it looks like …), the Hanging gate has a young and vibrant feel, although the general clientele is older! The beers are generally well kept but the Bass can be a bit grim at times, but that’s draught Bass for you. In our opinion, the Gate has sat back on its laurels and is now more like an expensive traditional pub. The last meal we had there was not piping hot and it took a while for it to arrive – I suspect it had been forgotten and left on the side in the kitchen. I think the problem is that it has changed hands so often that the quality has declined. Nevertheless, it is a decent place to go for a lunch or evening meal. It still gets very busy so go early or be prepared to wait.
Moving a bit further afield …
Following an interior refurbishment, this popular Peak District gastro pub now offers chef-prepared, imaginatively presented pub food served 7 days a week, in stylish, relaxed surroundings.
Looking for a Sunday Lunch in the Peak District? Come to the White Lion in Great Longstone – you won’t be disappointed! Using locally sourced produce wherever possible, chef Greg produces a monthly-changing menu to delight the most discerning of dining customers.
Food service times:
Monday – Friday 12 – 3pm & 6 – 9pm | Saturday 12 – 9pm | Sunday 12 – 8pm
What the Press are saying….
‘Sunday lunches are definitely not to be missed’
Derbyshire Life, October 2011
The White Lion, Main Street, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1TA
Tel: 01629 640 252 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: www.whiteliongreatlongstone.co.uk
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