Devonshire Arms, Beeley
In the picture-postcard, old word village of Beeley, technically part of the Chatsworth estate, you've got an inn to match. The great choice of beer and old, dark wooden interior, with all sorts of dark corners in which to while away the time, give it a powerful appeal, as does the location - it's great for day-trippers, walkers etc. Combine that with a strong dining tradition - people will come here from Sheffield and Nottingham for dinner or Sunday brunch - and it could be a real winner. And yet, and yet. Perhaps it's just a little bit too well aware of its charms, which gives it a somewhat knowing air; perhaps it's the fact the aforementioned dinning means it can get crowded round meal times and people who want a drink are squeezed out at the bar (even though there's a large dining area); perhaps it's the fact that an incongruous boutique style hotel has been added on and the dining area tarted up to become, to quote its web site, "the hip brasserie, colourful and funky" (oh dear); or perhaps it's the fact that even the bar snacks are damned expensive. Probably it's all of these slightly off notes which drag it down from the Blandings Castle-style perfection you might hope for. Ah well, for all that we'll be back sometime.
Devonshire Square, Beeley, Beeley, Derbyshire, DE4 2NR
How to get there