The Cow at Dalbury Lees is a beautifully cosy, traditional country pub with a number of stylish, boutique rooms. We stayed as a birthday treat at the start of October. Here’s what I thought…
There’s nothing more I like than a night away in a boutique hotel. We have always been big fans of a short break but since having my daughter they are almost sacred. We love nothing more than a good chill out in the room, a delicious meal and plenty to drink.
I have always wanted to stay at The Cow at Dalbury Lees so finally took matters into my own hands and arranged my own birthday night away. I booked online directly on their website which was really simple and straightforward. I was looking forward to it for weeks so was little bit miffed to be contacted by The Cow a few weeks prior to our stay to find out that, due to staff shortages, they were no longer serving evening meals. It is of course entirely understandable in the current climate but I did have a little, private, prima donna strop over this.
What I didn’t realise is that The Cow have their own taxi! And not just any taxi, but a London style ‘black cab’ branded in the distinct Cow style. We were ferried back and forth to the local pub at no extra cost to us. They recommended three other local pubs, which I understand are all part of the same local chain. We plumped for The Horseshoes at Long Lane.
There was plenty of free parking, including some electric car charging points. Check in was smooth and simple. The Cow at Dalbury Lees is a beautifully cosy, traditional country pub. You could certainly while away the hours with a glass of red in their lovely bar area.
We stayed in room three on the ground floor so that we could have a super king bed. I immediately loved the decor. Stylish but cosy. A little bit quirky but still all the home comforts. The room was scented with a Molton & Browne reed diffuser, there was a Nespresso coffee machine and a HUGE selection of herbal teas, a lovely cosy blanket, bathrobes and so on. Just thoughtful little touches that really add to the whole experience.
Our room backed on to a little patio area which overlooked a small herb garden next to the private car park. We didn’t actually use the outside space as it was quite chilly, but this would be lovely in the summer months.
Just be forewarned that the WiFi was a bit erratic and there wasn’t much mobile reception. To be fair, in many ways this is a good thing in terms of relaxation! I just wish I had remembered to pack a book, or indeed my shiny new kindle that I’d been given for my birthday… but that’s on me!
Breakfast at The Cow Dalbury Lees
Breakfast was served in the bar area. There was a small buffet area with cereals, granola, cereals, fruit juices etc. I was pleased that the breakfasts were cooked to order and it was nice to see a fairly wide ranging a la carte breakfast menu. My husband ordered a full English with a few amendments, whilst I opted for one of my all time brunch favourites, crushed avocado with lime and chilli on artisan toast with poached eggs. My eggs were slightly over cooked but overall I was happy with breakfast. We didn’t feel at all rushed and service was really friendly. The Cow also runs a popular monthly bottomless brunch.
Things to do near The Cow Dalbury Lees
We are essentially lazy (or perhaps just worn out by life!) and really do like to just chill. However, if you’re more energetically inclined than us, then there would be lovely country walks straight from the pub. Ashbourne, a pretty market town with lots of independent shops and cafés etc is less than a fifteen minute drive away. The Peak District is not far beyond Ashbourne. Kedleston Hall, an attractive National Trust property is very close (in the summer months they have they most stunning wild flower borders). You could also explore Derby city centre. The Cow did provide a binder in the room full of useful information and things to do.
My overall impressions of The Cow at Dalbury Lees
To sum up, I loved our stay at The Cow! Our room was comfortable and beautifully stylish with lots of home comforts. The pub is delightful and breakfast was good. It was a shame we couldn’t dine on the premises, but they more than made up for the situation with the complimentary, timely taxi rides. It wasn’t cheap but I would definitely return for a treat.
A relaxing, foodie break in stylish, relaxed surroundings.
Our superior room cost £165 including breakfast. Dalbury Lees is a tiny little village about a ten minute drive from Ashbourne. DE6 5BE.