I’m sure you’ll all be familiar with Bradmans in Duffield. In the short time it’s been open, it’s quickly established itself as being one of the ‘go to’ places for discerning Derbyshire drinkers. But did you know they opened a sister bar in Matlock? I went to meet bar manager, Gary and have a nosey round Bradmans Wine Cellar Matlock.
Located in a beautiful old building that used to house NatWest bank, Bradman’s is the latest addition to the already popular Dale Road. I love this part of Matlock. Not only is Dale Road studded with fabulous independent businesses (over forty at the last count – and not one single chain!) but, from the station end, there are fabulous views of Riber Castle. It’s breathtakingly atmospheric.
Bradmans is just as beautiful inside. Windows are adorned with chandeliers, the centrepiece is a magnificent bar and an attractive display of wines. (Faux bottles. Wine is taken seriously by Bradmans (more on this later!) and is only stored in optimum atmospheric conditions.
There are bookable areas for private functions. Outside, Bradmans has a small champagne terrace. Situated on the bank of the river Derwent and looking on to established trees, this is a deeply relaxing place where the hustle and bustle of the high street fades away to birdsong and the babbling river. There are plans for a canopy so the area is usable year round. There’s also plans to make use of the bank vaults and safe, possibly for private tasting events.
Owned by former international cricketer John Morris there are several nods to the sport dotted around but this is very far from a sports bar.
Although you can enjoy a beer or a cider, or a soft drink or a coffee, Bradmans is essentially a wine bar. And a fine wine bar at that.
Bradmans Wine Cellar Matlock has an impressive selection of wines. A good range of reds white, rosé and sparkling wines are available, both by the bottle and in a variety of glass sizes. A standard, medium glass of wine is priced from £6 but smaller tasting glasses are available.
The cocktail menu is limited to a few gems but staff will happily make whatever your heart desires so long as they have the ingredients in. There’s a wine theme to the cocktails – so a champagne mojito and a Pinot noir gin bramble.
I tried the Bramble and it was without a doubt the best one I’ve had in my life (and I’ve had a few). The Bradmans Bramble is made with a Pinot noir gin, the floral notes of which are complimented by lavender syrup with citrusy lemon juice cutting through the sweetness. It looked beautiful and tasted exquisite. Honestly the best I have ever had.
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised by the quality. Bar manager Gary Burdekin has won several prestigious awards including UK Bartender of the Year, European Bartender of the Year and even named as one of the top two bartenders globally in 2019. Gary is passionate about ‘proper’ cocktails. Not padding them out with cheaper fruit juices. And that’s exactly how I like them. Punchily alcoholic and made with love and care. Read my guide to Derbyshire’s best independent cocktail bars.
Sadly I was driving and still had to do the school run. It was heart-breaking to only savour a few sips. I’ve thought about that exquisite drink that went to waste far more than is normal. I definitely need to return for a few more of those! Next time we’ll order a taxi or get the train.
The station is a couple of minutes walk away. As is Monk Bar if you wanted to make a night of it. The incredible Stones is a few doors down for gastronomic delights (booking essential) or there’s a decent Thai and, although I’ve not been myself, the Remarkable Hare is high on my list of places to try, and also just a few doors down.
Seriously good wine and cocktails in a refined yet friendly atmosphere.
19 Dale Road, Matlock. Dog friendly both in the bar and outside.