[AD – PR invite] The Maynard Grindleford prides itself on combining contemporary sophistication with the charms of a traditional country hotel. It certainly enjoys a prime Peak District location. Nestled in the stunning Derbyshire countryside of the Derwent Valley and perfectly located for exploring Padley Gorge and the Longshaw Estate, The Maynard has become a popular choice for everything from breakfast to dinner. I was recently invited to review their restaurant and jumped at the chance as it had been on my list of places to try for a while.
It was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed driving through the moors. I was surprised at how close it was to Chesterfield. It took me less than twenty five minutes to be transported to an area of outstanding natural beauty that could rival anywhere in the country. It would also be very accessible from Sheffield.
I went with my friend Sarah, a regular Sunday dining companion. We are gradually working our way around the best places for a Sunday roast in the local area. We both enjoy a good perusal of an online menu and agreed that there were lots of tempting choices. We also liked that the Sunday roast menu is served alongside the regular main menu, something that hasn’t been the case at the last couple of places we’ve tried.
As you’d expect, the menu showcases the best seasonal, local ingredients. Carefully put together by executive chef Adrian Gagea, who previously worked under Raymond Blanc, and new head chef at The Maynard, Greg Robinson. Highly experienced chef, Greg has previously worked at the White Lion in Great Longstone who won Food Pub of the Year 2016 at the Derbyshire Life awards.
The Maynard is a particularly great place to go for gluten free options. The Managing Director Rob Hattersley (for whom The Maynard is his country home), is coeliac, so not only are allergies taken very seriously by the team, but many of the dishes have been adapted to be naturally gluten free without impacting the flavours and textures to those who aren’t. I hadn’t realised until I started writing this, but both of our starters were gluten free (and both delicious). In fact, every single one of the eight starters on the current menu was either gluten free or available as a gluten free option.
Sunday lunch at The Maynard Grindleford
We were warmly welcomed and seated in the sunny restaurant overlooking the pretty gardens. The Maynard is an excellent place to eat al fresco. Drinks order taken (a glass of fizz for my friend and an Argentinian Malbec for me in anticipation of the roast beef) we relaxed and enjoyed the view.
Sarah ordered the scallops which were so beautifully presented. Seared, and finished in a wasabi and seaweed butter and served with butternut squash purée, rocket salad and pomegranate. My starter was also immaculately plated. Duck bonbons served with a salad of pak choi, carrots, fennel, coriander, lightly dressed and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. The little dots of wasabi provided a satisfyingly searing heat. Two excellent dishes and off to a good start!
The Maynard Grindleford is a great place for Sunday lunch. Roasts are taken seriously, but served alongside their full menu, so unlike a lot of places, there is plenty of choice in addition to a wonderful Sunday offering.
Meat is sourced from New Close Farm in Over Haddon, less than nine miles away, where they raise and nurture their own livestock through traditional farming values. The roasts on the current menu are a beef sirloin, pork loin, rump of lamb or cornfed chicken supreme. All the roasts are served with duck fat herb roasted potatoes, braised red cabbage, maple-glazed root vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and “proper gravy”. Cauliflower cheese is served separately. There’s also a vegetarian root vegetable Wellington served with all the trimmings and vegetarian gravy. This is also vegan without the cauliflower cheese. Prices range from £13.95 for the vegetarian option to £18.95 for beef. Children’s portions are available at half price.
Since it was a Sunday, and the aforementioned mission to discover the very best places for a roast throughout Derbyshire and the Peak District I felt compelled to sample the roast beef. This proved an excellent choice.
I can, once again, only apologise to serious foodies who want to see a plate of rare beef. I specifically ordered mine well done and really enjoyed it (and wasn’t made to feel like a philistine, always appreciated). It was a divine plate of food. All executed beautifully. When it arrived I was a tad disappointed not to see any green veg. We were asked whether we wanted any side dishes at this point so I’m assuming they could rustle some up pronto, but there’s always so much food with a roast dinner I declined, but just be aware of this.
There was indeed plenty of food. Generous servings of good quality, tender meat, two huge roast potatoes, a big Yorkshire pudding and a large carrot and parsnip and an ample portion of braised red cabbage and cauliflower cheese.
My friend ordered from the main menu, opting for pan fried cornfed chicken supreme with dauphinoise potatoes, roasted heritage carrots, cavolo nero and a creamy spinach and chorizo sauce which was served separately. It looked wonderful and Sarah confirmed as much. This was another delicious gluten free dish.
For dessert I ordered the homemade pavlova with honey-roasted figs, pistachio Chantilly cream, blueberry and balsamic coulis and pistachio ice cream. I’m not a huge lover of ice cream, but the one flavour that I really go for is pistachio and this was a delightfully creamy, deliciously nutty one.
Sarah opted for cheesecake which consisted of a Kilner jar filled with mascarpone and strawberry mousse, Amaretti biscotti crumb and honeycomb.
Basically the food was wonderful. We had a really lovely time. As well as great food and wine the service was impeccable. Vix, the General Manager was particularly charming and helpful. But even the young waiting staff had clearly been very well trained. The Maynard Grindleford is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy some exceptionally good food and drink in the heart of the Peak District. I can imagine going here with my husband and young daughter, taking our parents or with a group of friends. In fact, I’m already looking forward to going back!
Exceptionally good dining with great service in a prime Peak District location.
The Maynard, Main Road, Grindleford, Hope Valley, S32 2HE
Car park for hotel patrons only. Enter registration number at the tablet at reception.
Grindleford Station is a short walk away.
Dog friendly in the bar area. Water bowls and treats available.
Several sets of steps to navigate. Leave the pushchair in the car. Baby changing facilities are at the top of the stairs next to the Chatsworth Suite (accessible by lift)
Sister venue to The George in Hathersage. Although both venues have successfully retained their unique charm, if you enjoy one, you’ll love the other!
What else is there to do in the local area?
The Maynard Grindleford is perfectly located for exploring Padley Gorge and the Longshaw Estate both of which are managed by the National Trust and both lovely places to walk.