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Ye Derwent Hotel, Main Road, Bamford, Hope Valley, Derbyshire
One fine day recently we decided to take a short drive into the Peak District in search of a good pub for lunch. After heading out the A57 we turned onto the A6013 at Ladybower Reservoir. Normally you don't think of pubs actually speaking; but as we drove through Bamford Ye Derwent Hotel distinctly called out to us as we passed, so we turned around, pulled in, and parked. After all, we'll give any pub that calls out to us a try.
And we were quite glad we did give it a try. Ye Derwent is a very pleasant, friendly place consisting of several attractive rooms. As the pub obviously wasn't finished having a word with us we distinctly heard the cosy front room call out to us, so that's where we headed. The table next to ours was occupied by a group of mature hikers, a couple of them well into their 70s, with backpacks and sticks stashed nearby, and they were all plowing into a bowl of spicy chips.
Although we were ravenous we had to keep our priorities straight by first ordering the beer. Our pints of Bombardier (4.3% ABV, Charles Wells Brewery, Bedford, Bedfordshire) were very good, just as Bombardier should be. I must say a good pint of Bombardier is definitely up there on my list of alltime favourite pints.
Next came the food. We ordered from the "2 for £6.99 Special" menu, Andrew's choice being the roast chicken and mine the mushroom and cheese omelette. The portions were small but just right for our moderate appetites. And I must say my omelette was excellent, done the proper French way and with good sharp cheese, and the chips were very good, served in a small enough portion for me to handle. The salad was gorgeous as well, with proper lettuces (i.e. none of this iceberg rubbish) and sweet, flavourful radishes and delectable red cabbage. Since the vegetables tasted like they had just been picked, we wondered if they grow their own. Do they have a vegetable garden outside, or at least an allotment nearby? All I know for sure is that the vegetables are locally grown. So if you stop in for lunch or tea, do have a salad with your meal.
As we finished our lunch the hikers finished their spicy chips, strapped their packs onto their backs, pulled up their gaiters, grabbed their alpenstocks, and headed out to finish their hike through the Peak District. From the looks of them they were prepared for all manner of potentialities including snow, flood, famine, disorientation, and maturing pensions. You can never be too careful...
Besides the good food and good beer Ye Derwent offers a non-smoking room, a beer garden, and 12 rooms of accommodation, making it a perfect place to stay if you're passing through on a holiday. It's conveniently close to popular walking areas, caverns and caves, and other natural wonders. But if you're the lazy sort you can just park yourself in the pub and enjoy the classic feel, comfortable atmosphere, and friendly pierced staff. And maybe the walls will talk to you.
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(Last updated 6 June 2007)