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Rutland Arms Bakewell REVIEW

The Rutland Arms Bakewell is a 19th century coaching inn located in the centre of Bakewell. The hotel has thirty two bedrooms and has recently enjoyed a complete refurbishment. It’s beautifully stylish, successfully marrying contemporary comfort with an impressive history. We stayed last night to celebrate my husband’s birthday.

Why stay at the Rutland Arms Bakewell?

The hotel is perfectly located for exploring this picturesque market town or the wider Peak District national park.

This historic coaching inn is thought to be where Jane Austen stayed whilst writing much of Pride and Prejudice. It is widely accepted that Austen’s Lambton is based on Bakewell, with nearby Chatsworth House providing heavy inspiration for Pemberley. Read about 6 Pretty Places in the Peak District for Jane Austen fans.

lounge at Rutland Arms Bakewell

There are several lounge areas, some with roaring fires in the colder months. There’s a stylish bar area and a coffee lounge to enjoy a coffee and cake.

The lounge area of the Rutland Arms Bakewell is dog friendly. There are water bowls and dog treats readily available. There are also some dog friendly bedrooms.

dog friendly station - treats and water bowls

Parking for Rutland Arms Bakewell

Parking is always at a premium in the honey pot sites in the Peak District. Bakewell is no exception. I was pleased that the hotel sent quite a detailed email a few days prior regarding parking. As we’d expected their own car park is small and was full by the time we arrived. Frustratingly their first few suggestions were all short stay car parks where you could only park for a maximum for two hours. Completely unsuitable for an overnight stay. So ignore that and head straight to Bakewell Bridge Car Park (DE45 1BU), there are lots of spaces and it’s less than a five minute walk to the hotel. Somewhat concerningly there are signs up saying no overnight parking but the email we received from the hotel suggested just buying two day tickets for the same date and displaying both. This cost £11 in total.

Our stay at one of the best hotels in Bakewell

Check in was welcoming and efficient. I had booked a “deluxe four poster suite” on a booking site. This is described as a spacious room with poster bed, en-suite bathroom facilities, Freeview television, seating area, Nespresso machine and tea facilities, complimentary bottled mineral water, some special premium arrival treats, free WiFi access and located in the main hotel building. We were allocated the Cavendish Room on the second floor which was utterly delightful.

four poster bed at Rutland Arms Bakewell

The room was quite small for a suite, but beautifully decorated. I loved the stylish, colourful soft furnishing and all the old photographs. It was spotlessly clean and well equipped. In addition to all the boring but useful things like an ironing board, iron and hairdryer, there were a good range of toiletries including a sleep spray. The bathroom was really quite small, but did have a bath and everything was clean and well designed. There was even a cute little rubber ducky.

en suite bathroom at Rutland Arms Bakewell

I was impressed with the refreshments. In addition to two small packs of biscuits there were two small Fairtrade chocolate bars (why don’t more hotel rooms do this?!). I’m always a fan of a Nespresso machine but there were also filter coffee bags and Teapigs tea (English breakfast, chamomile and green tea).

Dining at The Rutland Arms Bakewell

I was very impressed with the restaurant or ‘eatery’ at The Rutland Arms. The high ceilinged room has a spectacular gallery wall, chandeliers and contemporary coloured lighting. The room was cleverly designed with booth style seating positioned to give maximum privacy. Coupled with flattering lighting, and cosy armchairs, I’ll be adding this into my most romantic restaurants blog post as soon as I get chance.

gallery wall at Rutland Arms Bakewell restaurant

The menu at The Rutland Arms Bakewell focuses on locally sourced, quality ingredients with plenty of seasonal specials. Allergens were clearly listed on the menu with several vegetarian and vegan options. I also liked how there was a clear section of the menu of “light and healthy” options. Most importantly, there were lots of tempting choices!

starters at Rutland Arms Bakewell

Aperitifs ordered, we started with a shared bread plate served with butter, the most deliciously fragrant olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My husband ordered soup of the day, today a cream of tomato and I opted for the soy braised pork belly with charred lime. It was perfectly fine but I regretted not going for the goat’s cheese option – which was a truffled gougère, (having now googled this I now know this to be a baked savoury choux pastry).

main courses at Rutland Arms Bakewell

For mains we were both very tempted by the Moroccan spiced shoulder of Derbyshire lamb served with apricot and mint cous cous, and baba ganoush. In the end (having caught sight of the dessert options!) I plumped for a perfectly crispy sea bass fillet with crab risotto served with moreish blobs of sun blushed tomato dressing. This was a really light, delicious dish.

My husband ordered the steak. At the Rutland it’s from local butcher, Owen Taylor. An 8oz rump steak served with truffle butter, confit tomato, mushrooms a lá grecque, fat chips and salad. With the option to add on a sauce, either peppercorn or Hartington stilton cheese.

red wine

We shared a bottle of the recommended Chilean Tekena Merlot which was really very nice and quaffable.

desserts at Rutland Arms Bakewell

For dessert I ordered the white chocolate and passionfruit cheesecake served with mango sorbet. Some of my all-time favourite dessert flavours, this was so delicious. My husband ordered blueberry poached pineapple with coconut sorbet and toasted pistachios. Touchingly, the restaurant had written a happy birthday message on his plate.

Breakfast at the Rutland Arms Bakewell

We had a really good night’s sleep in the four poster bed and woke feeling refreshed. Since having my daughter I honestly do savour the odd occasion I am not dragged out of bed!  

chilling

After a few hours chilling in the room and a revitalising shower it was time for breakfast. We were asked to reserve a table for breakfast since they are all cooked to order. There is no continental buffet, although you can request continental items in addition to choosing one cooked breakfast. Of which there was a good selection. As usual my husband went for the Full English whilst I had eggs Benedict and a croissant, both of which were lovely.

eggs benedict breakfast at Rutland Arms Bakewell

All the staff we encountered were polite and helpful, but the waitresses in the restaurant really do deserve a special mention for being really engaging and charming.

Overall, we had a really lovely stay. The only minor niggle was the lack of parking. The hotel itself is delightful. This is definitely one of my most favourite Derbyshire stays.

Go for:

A beautifully renovated historic coaching inn in the heart of the Peak District. Perfectly located for exploring Bakewell. Cosy, welcoming and with great food and drink.

Details:

The Rutland Arms, The Square, Bakewell, DE45 1BT, Tel: 01629 812812

We stayed on a Saturday night in March. Our deluxe four poster suite would normally cost about £205, but I paid in full using Clubcard vouchers (see this blog post for more details).

Three course dinner plus a bread board, plus pre-dinner drinks and a bottle of red wine came to £132.

Dog friendly in the bar and some dog friendly rooms available.

What else is there to do in the local area?

Bakewell is a really pretty, historic market town and you can easily just wander around mooching in the lovely shops and eateries or taking a riverside stroll. In the town centre look out for The Wee Dram and Bird Song. Lambton Larder is a delightful deli serving great coffee to drink in or takeaway. Eat and drink at The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, Graze, The Joiners, a cute little pub with good ales and gins or The Woodyard. Or treat yourself to high end dining at Lovage.

A short walk away there is the magnificent Thornbridge Brewery Taproom for epic pizzas and great beers and ales. There is a farmers’ market held on the last Saturday of the month at the Agricultural Business Centre (DE45 1AH), 9am to 2pm.

Slightly further afield, is the Peacock at Rowsley for high end dining. For days out, Haddon Hall, Chatsworth House and Thornbridge Hall are all easily accessible from Bakewell.

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If you’ve enjoyed this post, why not check out my guides to the best Derbyshire restaurants, the best places for a Sunday roast, the cosiest pubs and the best places for cocktails.

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