[AD – gifted meal] I’d heard such good things about this newly renovated country inn and gastro pub. It relaunched under new ownership not long ago. Everyone I know who has dined at The George has been very complimentary about it, so when I was recently invited for dinner I jumped at the opportunity. The trouble is, sometimes when you have high expectations the reality can be a tad disappointing. Could The George Hathersage live up to its reputation?
Hathersage is one of my favourite places in the Peak District. Nestled in the beautiful Hope Valley, it’s a great base for walking, hiking and cycling. But it’s also a big enough village that lazy folk like me can enjoy a potter round the village centre eating, drinking and shopping! It really is most picturesque, as is the drive out to it from Chesterfield. It’s also very accessible from Sheffield, all of which means it’s a tourist hot spot. Perfectly understandable since it is lovely! However, on previous visits I have really struggled to park. So the first huge plus The George has going for it is that it has quite a substantial car park for guests. The barrier raises automatically and then you get a code to exit at the bottom of your bill.
The George is a beautifully historic coaching inn. The building itself is over five hundred years old. Charlotte Bronte was a regular visitor. The George even features in her classic novel, Jane Eyre.
The inn has recently enjoyed a stunning make over. The beautiful period features of original oak beams and exposed stonework remain but are now off set with contemporary styling. I loved the colour palette of forest greens, pops of colour and bold wallpapers.
We were warmly welcomed by the receptionist (The George also have 24 rooms if you fancy making a night of it) and shown to our table. Our waitress, Emma proved to be wonderful. She was the perfect blend of efficiency and charm. She quickly furnished me with a lovely ice cold glass of Pinot Grigio (one of the cheaper wines available by the glass but beautifully crisp with orchard accents).
I thoroughly approved of the menu. It’s managed to do what I think any great gastro pub needs to. There’s a good range of everything from pub classics to stone baked pizzas to really quite high end dining. Perfect for everyone from weary walkers flopping down for a pie and a pint to a decadent date night.
There’s also a clear focus on sourcing fresh food from local suppliers. The meat comes from New Close Farm in Over Haddon and Owen Taylor in Alfreton. The fish is from R G Morris & Son in Buxton, fruit and vegetables from Winster Foods in Chesterfield, wine from Hattersley Wines in Bakewell and coffee from Roastology in Sheffield.
I started with a beautiful salad of grilled goats cheese sat on top of moreish-ly tasty thin slices of marinated heritage beetroot. You’ll have noticed I pick variations of this dish everywhere I go, and this was a particularly good version!
My husband ordered the soup of the day, which was a delightful blend of butternut squash, sweet potato and paprika, served with toasted sourdough. Both our starters were vegetarian and available as gluten free options.
I was in the mood for pizza. I’m really quite picky about pizza but The George have their own wood fired oven which is usually a good sign. Once I saw the pepperoni option came with peppadew peppers it sealed the deal. It turned out to be a great choice as what arrived was HUGE and really tasty. I also liked how there was an option to substitute half the pizza for a salad for a lighter option. I would definitely consider doing this in the future. The pizzas are very competitively priced, starting at just £8.95 for the margherita.
Click here for other great places for pizza in Derbyshire and the Peak District.
I really fancied a glass of red wine to accompany my pizza and the description of the Argentinian Malbec seemed perfect. Gloriously plummy with an almost tobacco-y base, it hit the spot perfectly.
Colin went for one of the fancier main courses. Described on the menu as pork fillet, stuffed with Spanish sausage and sage, wrapped in pancetta and served with mashed potato, sautéed kale and a chorizo and bacon sauce, we nicknamed this “fifty shades of pork”. It looked beautiful, and I’m assured was every bit as good as it looked. Gluttons that we are, we also ordered some triple cooked chips which were fiendishly good.
Purely in the interests of reporting back we succumbed to order dessert (the portions at The George are hearty and two courses would have more than sufficed). My husband opted for raspberry and pear frangipane served with deliciously crispy toasted flaked almonds, berry coulis and vanilla ice cream.
I went from saying I didn’t want a dessert to ordering a huge one once I caught sight of ‘The George Gourmand’! Described as a selection of miniature desserts served with a choice of either an espresso, glass of fizz or dessert wine.
My photo doesn’t do this justice at all – but what an absolute treat for dessert lovers. And actually, as a food blogger, I can now tell you about lots of the desserts on the menu! Firstly, the salted caramel ice cream was divine! I’m not normally a huge ice cream fan but this was beautiful. I also really enjoyed what I presume was the flourless chocolate brownie. Again, not something I would usually order but it was gloriously rich and chocolatey. The sticky toffee pudding was delicious. What I presume was the vegan coconut panna cotta was perfectly nice but not being vegan this isn’t something I would have been drawn to anyway. I would imagine the selection of desserts is subject to change but I just loved the concept of having a taste of lots of different sweet things. This would be perfect for someone who loves (the patisserie element of) an afternoon tea, with the distinct advantage of not needing to be pre-booked. In fact, it would make a wonderful focus for a boozy girly afternoon – share a few bottles of fizz and then have a big plate of cake! It also would have been plenty to share between two if you just like a taste of something.
Overall impressions of The George at Hathersage
We had a wonderful meal at The George. It’s nailed that gastro pub experience. Cosy, comforting, inviting and with delicious food, whatever you fancy eating. You could pop in for a quick post work tea, a hearty meal after a day’s walking in the Peaks or get dressed up and have a really special meal. The ambiance is lovely and the service was particularly good. Not just Emma who deserves a special mention for being brilliant throughout the evening but all the staff we encountered were polite and helpful.
Great menu ranging from pub classics to stone baked pizzas to really quite high end dining. Lots of it sourced from local suppliers.
Main Road, Hathersage, S32 1BB
Dog friendly in the bar and certain hotel rooms (but no dogs in the restaurant).
Baby change facilities in the disabled toilet next to reception.