Looking for somewhere special for date night? Here’s my edit of the most romantic restaurants in Derbyshire. There are plenty of traditional, candle lit restaurants, but I’ve not restricted it to restaurants that meet that ‘conventional’ notion of romance so hopefully there are plenty of options to suit everyone.
Everywhere I’ve recommended would be a great option for Valentine’s Day (although some are not open on the day itself), but are equally lovely all year round. If you are looking specifically for Valentine’s Day menus and dine in options, read my guide here.
Romantic restaurants in Derby
The Cottonworks, Darley Abbey
The Cottonworks is one of absolute favourites currently. I’ve not actually eaten here loads but it has just been so flipping good when I have. This tops my list of great date night restaurants for several reasons. Firstly the food is amazing. My last visit was for Sunday lunch but every aspect of my plate of food was spot on perfect.
Secondly, the ambiance is just right for a date. Flattering lighting, lots of nooks and crannies for a little bit of privacy. In the warmer months it’s lovely sitting riverside. Lastly, it’s location is also good for a date. Maybe finish with a romantic stroll by the river – or just continue with drinks at the various other establishments in Darley Abbey.
Darleys, Darley Abbey
Darley is just steps away from the Cottonworks, so enjoys the same great location. It’s more formal than the Cottonworks and more fine dining. I haven’t visited since it changed hands, but given it’s the only restaurant in Derby listed in the Michelin Guide, it’s a safe bet.
Romantic restaurants in Chesterfield
Bottle & Thyme
Bottle & Thyme is one of the restaurants that might not be seen as a traditional choice for a romantic dinner. There’s more of a hipster vibe. But if a botanical cocktail and a small plates menu floats your boat I promise you will be in heaven. It’s also in Chesterfield town centre if you wanted to make a full night out of it.
Again, probably not a conventional choice for a romantic meal, but my husband and I have had some lovely meals here over the years. It’s a fairly traditional, bustling Italian. It’s proudly family run and the food is every bit as good as you’d expect. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like Italian food so it’s a safe bet for a date if you’re in those early stages and want somewhere nice but maybe not hearts and flowers overboard.
One little point – we often find our table isn’t quite ready for whatever time we book. So just go with that in mind and be prepared to enjoy a drink at the bar.
Cocina at the Casa hotel
[AD] We recently had a really lovely date night at Cocina at the Casa. We dined on a Saturday night and there was a great buzzy atmosphere. Much of the food is sourced locally from the owner’s farm – and is delicious. There’s also the option of starting/ending at Barca Bar downstairs which does sublime cocktails and an authentic tapas menu.
The Hunloke Arms, Wingerworth
The new Orchard Restaurant at the Hunloke Arms is seriously stunning. Or downstairs the pub has a lovely, deconstructed, cosy feel. I love that you can choose which room your table will be in when you book online. The food is gastro pub style plus wood fired pizzas, bao buns etc. Read my previous review here.
The Red Lion Peak Edge Hotel
Bulls Head, Holymoorside
[AD] If you’re out to impress your date with some seriously good food, book a table in the restaurant at the Bulls Head in Holymoorside. I honestly think this is the best high end food in Chesterfield at the moment. Michelin trained, Chef Owner Mark Aisthorpe’s current a la carte menu is insanely good. Produce is locally sourced (some of the meat even shot and butchered by Aisthorpe himself). I visited just before Christmas and was blown away by the quality of the food. The venison in particular was incredible. [AD – previous invite, no obligation to include here]
Other romantic restaurants to try in Chesterfield:
The Tickled Trout in Barlow which is a consistently great gastro pub. Somewhere that is often recommended to me, and has rave reviews on TripAdvisor is the Old Post, Chesterfield for divine food and a cosy feel. I haven’t been yet – but it’s firmly on the list!
Click here for my insider guide to the best places to eat in Chesterfield
Romantic restaurants in the Peak District
Rutland Arms, Bakewell
We recently stayed and dined at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell town centre. Their lovely eatery definitely deserves a mention as a romantic option. There’s flattering mood lighting, comfy armchair seating and the tables are well spaced out. The food’s great, as is the wine and service. Whilst it ticks all my boxes for a romantic venue, it’s all done in a very contemporary, understated way, so would work well during an early date venue.
Fine dining restaurants in the Peak District
The George in Alstonefield was included in The Times’ guide to the 28 sexiest restaurants in Britain and is the perfect place for a decadent date night. Wow your date to one of their tasting menus and wine flights or one of their epic roasts.
Peacock at Rowsley offers well executed fine dining and some beautiful rooms that would make a wonderfully romantic stay.
Lovage in Bakewell has a really exciting menu and would be the perfect setting for a romantic dinner for two. The restaurant is chic in a casual, contemporary way and the service is impeccable.
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of dining at the Cavendish Hotel in Baslow but based on my recent experience of afternoon tea there, this would be high on my list for a decadent date night.
Quirkily romantic in the Peak District
Curry Cottage at Lovers Leap, Hope Valley
If you’re looking for somewhere just a little bit out of the ordinary, Curry Cottage is a much loved Indian restaurant. Not only is it situated in the stunning Lovers Leap, but they also have a little cave area for a really special, intimate meal (request when booking). Note no alcohol is sold, but you are welcome to bring your own wine with no corkage charge. I’ve not been here myself yet but the Trip Advisor reviews are impressive.
Also try: The George in Hathersage for a great gastro pub option (with rooms). I also hear great things about The Old Hall in Chinley, an historic building with insanely good food and open fires
Romantic restaurants in the Derbyshire Dales
It is a long time since I have dined at Stones, but it was a truly memorable meal. The food here is incredible, and it has all the loveliness of fine dining without feeling stuffy or overly pretentious. I have just been looking at the menus and would honestly struggle to pick since everything sounds so appealing. There’s also a bespoke vegetarian offering.
Armando’s at The Talbot, Belper
Another place that I haven’t been to since moving to Chesterfield, but I hear it’s still every bit as good. A cosy, traditional Italian restaurant, perfect for an intimate meal for two!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of my recommendations of the most romantic restaurants in Derbyshire and the Peak District. Let me know what you think in the comments below.