Amazing outdoor seating: attractive, comfortable and often covered and/or with some heating and serving up great food, quality drinks and a wonderful ambiance.
This was originally written in anticipation of 12th April 2021 and the much awaited date for the reopening of outdoor hospitality. It was last updated September 2021.
I’ve collated this list of the best places with outdoor seating in Derbyshire. We have been cooped up too long to go anywhere mediocre! The vast majority I have been to and had a wonderful time at myself. A couple are the result of extensive research, but these are only places I would go myself or feel confident recommending to a friend. No faceless chains. Just lovely, local, fabulous independents. Many are already taking reservations and I would definitely recommend booking where that’s an option.
Derbyshire Beer Gardens
One of my all-time favourite gastro pubs is the White Hart in Duffield. The food and ambiance are always spot on. They have a decent sized, pretty walled garden and brand covered new pergola.
Just down the road, the newly renovated, The Strutt Arms in Milford has numerous riverside tables including some under cover and some with heaters.
The Dragon at Willington’s expansive beer garden is ideally located on the Trent and Mersey canal. The 150 year old pub is a popular choice from breakfast onwards and would be a perfect pit stop for a post or mid canal side walk. You can walk along the canal path to nearby Mercia Marina. Read my review.
The Bulls Head in Ashford in the Water is a traditional, real ale pub in a picturesque Peak District village. In addition to the picnic benches at the front of the pub, there is an attractive beer garden to the rear. Festoon lighting and log burners add a quirky, stylish touch. There’s also some under cover seating in a marquee. Family friendly and dog friendly. Home cooked food, booking advised. Be aware there is no car park. There is some free street parking but it is very limited.
Cafés with Outdoor Seating in Derbyshire
The Apple Tree Tea House in Ockbrook has very pretty, rustic chic, sheltered seating. They serve wonderful tea, good quality coffees, the most decadent hot chocolates and have a dedicated cake viewing window! A great choice for breakfast or lunch.
The Pip Tree Café at Collyers Nurseries in Borrowash has some of the best covered outdoor seating in Derbyshire. Just off the A52 with lots of free parking, this is an excellent meeting place for those friends and family you’ve been separated for too long from. The Pip Tree Café is one of my favourite places, the coffee, cakes and light lunches are all wonderful. Booking isn’t an option so expect to queue at peak times. However, I’ve always been really reassured by their commitment to following the enhanced safety measures.
Hassop Station Café on the Monsal Trail has a large, outdoor but covered seating area with ceiling heaters. Their coffee and cake is excellent and I expect the food is of similar quality. Expect the café and the car park to very busy at peak times.
The tranquil garden at The Bottle Kiln in West Hallam, near the Nottinghamshire border, is one of the loveliest places to have a relaxing al fresco lunch or coffee and catch up. The food is all freshly prepared on site – think light lunches and delicious cakes. I thoroughly recommend the quiches served with a range of salads and the best creamy coleslaw or the scones which are some of my favourite in the whole of Derbyshire. Just be aware the tranquil garden is unsuitable for young children due to trip hazards (and, if your child is anything like mine, their innate ability to destroy tranquility!). Read more about the Bottle Kiln West Hallam here.
Hope is perfectly situated for walking and cycling, including exploring nearby Castleton and Mam Tor. The Grasshopper Café is an excellent choice for coffee lovers. They’re also fully licensed and stock a good range of craft beers, ciders and wines. Check out their famous grilled cheese sandwiches. Relax in their pretty garden with views out towards Win Hill – a picture perfect spot for an iced coffee or something a little stronger.
Tori and Ben’s Farm Shop is located near Melbourne in South Derbyshire. Predominantly a farm shop/butchers rather than a café, but a great place to escape for a bit of peace and quiet and you can grab a takeaway coffee from their shop. Read more about Tori and Ben’s and other great Derbyshire farm shops here.
Restaurants with Outdoor Seating in Derbyshire
The Coolstone at Eyam has a wonderful courtyard with lots of outdoor seating. There are also four cute beach hut style booths for a bit of shelter from the elements. On a sunny day there is nowhere nicer to be, it’s a real suntrap and there’s a great holiday vibe. Very chilled atmosphere outside – and the food and cocktails are amazing. Read more here.
The Cotton Works, and Darleys both enjoy beautiful waterfront settings in the historic Darley Abbey Mills area and all have outdoor seating. Choose Darleys for Michelin recommended fine dining and The Cotton Works for more casual bistro style meals, cocktails and expertly made coffees.
Seven at Pride Park has a beautifully private and attractive courtyard, cleverly shielded from the car park by thoughtful planting. This was the first place I enjoyed a meal out as lockdown was eased last summer, and it honestly felt like being abroad. Don’t miss their cocktails and check out their popular champagne breakfast.
The ‘garden rooms’ at The Cock Inn at Muggington near Ashbourne and The Meynell Ingram Arms in Burton upon Trent were amazingly popular outdoor seating in Derbyshire last summer. These self-contained pods have their own heating and music systems. They must be pre-booked and are only for parties of four or more.
The Duncombe Arms in Ellastone near Ashbourne is an award winning gastro pub. Their spacious garden has a range of comfy seating and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.
Nourish at No 44 in Belper is a stylish but relaxed café/deli by day but then a wonderfully inviting bistro by night. I was a regular during my years living in Belper and never once had a bad meal. What I didn’t know was that they have a gorgeous courtyard seating 40 socially distanced diners. They’ve just invested in eco heaters, overhead sails and faux sheepskin seat covers and blankets ready for opening. No bookings required but be aware you’ll be allocated a two hour slot for dining.
Van Dyk near Clowne in Bolsover has two distinct outdoor areas. Yule Lodge is a cosy tipi setting, festooned with fairy lights and set in the beautiful grounds of this luxurious hotel. Yule Lodge has a traditional grill style menu whilst Southgate Terrace sounds more relaxed with food options like hog roast, pizzas, burgers etc.
The Maynard in Grindleford has beautiful, extensive gardens with lots of seating (some undercover) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There’s regular live music.
Everyone loves Morley Hayes. Whether it’s a coffee and catch up, a relaxed lunch or fine dining, Morley Hayes does it all well. Most of the food is homemade with ingredients locally sourced where possible. Their heated courtyard is delightful. There’s ample seating, beautifully landscaped gardens and stunning parkland scenery.
Please also check out my guide to 24 Lovely Places with Outdoor Seating in and around Chesterfield.
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