Christmas Food

Festive Menu at The Scotsman’s Pack, Hathersage REVIEW

[AD] I was invited to dine on a gifted basis in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions expressed here are completely my own.  

The Scotsman’s Pack is a traditional country inn in the pretty Peak District town of Hathersage. It prides itself on serving up home cooked meals using locally sourced ingredients. I took my husband (incidentally, an actual Scotsman!) for a slap up lunch to celebrate the start of the festive season.

It’s a really pretty drive from Chesterfield across the moors. Parking is often at a real premium in Hathersage. In fact, it’s been pretty nightmarish on previous visits – but The Scotsman’s is just very slightly out of the main high street area, and has it’s own car park. We were the first to arrive for lunch and bagged a spot in their car park. Parking sorted, we relaxed into the luxury of both being off work mid-week and out for a childfree lunch!

Inside the Scotsman's Pack Hathersage
Real fires ensure maximum cosiness

We were seated by a wood burning stove. It was super cosy by the fire. This would be a wonderful place to relax over a few drinks after hiking in the Peaks. I’ll be adding The Scotsman’s Pack Hathersage to my guide to Cosy Pubs in Derbyshire as soon as I get chance. It was particularly lovely to see the pub beautifully dressed for Christmas.

Christmas decorations inside the Scotsman's Pack Hathersage
Christmas decorations at The Scotsman’s

Festive Menu at The Scotsman’s Pack, Hathersage

I was kindly invited to review the festive menu at The Scotsman’s Pack. This consists of a set menu with four choices of starters, mains and desserts plus mulled wine and coffee and mince pie. Two courses are just £22 or push the boat out for the full three courses for £28. Booking is essential for the festive menu and there’s a 10% discount for weekday daytime bookings.

festive menu at Scotman's Pack Hathersage
The festive menu at The Scotsman’s Pack Hathersage

The festive menu at The Scotsman’s Pack includes a glass of mulled wine on arrival. I can honestly say this is the first glass of mulled wine I’ve actively enjoyed. It’s not normally my thing at all, but I finally see what other people have been raving about all these years! Fruity with a warming notes of cinnamon, this was the perfect way to start our festive lunch.

mulled wine
Delicious, warm mulled wine (also available to buy by the glass)

To start I’d ordered the confit salmon served with beetroot reduction and blood orange salad. In all honesty I was expecting more of a salad, and I was a little disappointed that the salad component was essentially a small amount of undressed leaves and a few small slices of orange. The salmon was beautiful but if I were to go again I’d order something different for this course. In fact I’m kicking myself for not ordering the smoked duck. My husband’s Jersalem artichoke soup looked absolutely delicious. It was beautifully garnished and served with the biggest hunk of bread and a generous serving of butter. There’s also a mushroom tatin.

soup and bread

For my main course I had ordered roast turkey with all the trimmings – pig in blanket, stuffing, duck fat potatoes, sprouts with chestnut butter, honey roast parsnips and orange glazed carrots. My first Christmas dinner! It was delicious. Everything was beautifully cooked. It’s probably the best turkey I’ve ever had in my life; so succulent and a huge portion. The vegetables were very tasty. Sweet, orange glazed carrots, a honey roasted parsnip and beautifully hazelnutty chestnuts. The potatoes were crispy and the gravy exceptionally good.

Christmas dinner
Winner winner, turkey dinner!

My husband plumped for braised brisket of beef with bourguignon sauce, celeriac puree and kale. This was served on creamy mashed potato. Again, there was a generous portion of good quality, flavoursome meat. We both really enjoyed our main courses and agreed that The Scotsman’s Pack would be a great place for Sunday lunch.

beef and mash
Beef brisket

Other choices include stone bass in a mussel, salsify and saffron stew (which I was incredibly tempted by) and a vegetarian option (which can also be served as a vegan dish) of stuffed acorn squash served with roast potatoes, roast parsnips and orange glazed carrots.

red wine by the fire
A very nice glass of Rioja, enjoyed by the fire

It’s rare I go for a chocolate dessert but I was seduced by the black cherry sorbet that accompanies the chocolate fondant. It was honestly a real toss up with the pear tart tatin. My husband ordered the coconut and black cherry trifle with gingerbread and drunken cherries. There’s also a Christmas pudding.

If you’re not completely and utterly stuffed at this point there’s a mince pie served with coffee. We were both very full, but the mince pie was served warm and looked homemade, and it was the first of December so my first of the year…Well, I suspect it may well be the best of the year. Beautifully flaky pastry, delicious, not-too-sweet mincemeat… wonderful!

mince pie

Overall we had a fabulous time. It’s not high end dining, but really good pub fare. Generous portions and everything seemed fresh and homemade. I think the festive menu is great value – particularly as it includes the mulled wine, mince pie and coffee and crackers. Service was efficient and helpful. The pub is lovely and cosy and beautifully decked out for Christmas. It’d be the perfect place for a family get together. It’s the sort of place that three generations of the family could all enjoy together. So round up some friends and family – and book your table!

The Scotman’s are also hosting various other Christmas events including a Christmas market on Saturday 11th December and choir carols on Friday 17th December. More details here.

Go for:

Locally sourced, generously portioned, home cooked food in a traditional pub setting.


The festive menu is two courses for £22 or three for £28, with 10% off for bookings Monday to Friday 12 to 5pm. Booking essential for the festive menu. Call 01433 650 253. Bed and breakfast rooms are also available to book. Postcode is S32 1BZ

Dog friendly.

Love Christmas? Head to our Christmas page for the very best ways to celebrate in Derbyshire.

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By Molly Scott

Derbyshire blogger - bringing you the best places to eat, drink, spa and stay in the wider Derbyshire area. Champion of the most fabulous independents.

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