[AD – PR invite. Our food and drinks were complimentary in exchange for a review. As always, views are my own] The Kedleston Country House is firmly under new ownership. It’s now family owned, and the new owners are quietly establishing it as one of the premier places to eat and drink in Derby. We went last night to sample their Tuesday night steak night where locally sourced quality steaks start at an incredible £10.
Incidentally, and completely by chance, I sat opposite two of the owners, Helen and her lovely mother at an inspirational women in business event organised by Derbyshire Life (huge thanks again to Jade at Design at 44 for that lovely invite!). That was my very first visit to The Kedleston and I fell in love with the interiors and the overall vibe. As well as having a gorgeous restaurant, bar and snug, it is a wonderful events space. Helen has a background in wedding planning and the attention to detail and staging was just beautiful.
I’d very much enjoyed the afternoon tea that we were served, but didn’t have enough good quality photos for a full review (I do however recommend it as an afternoon tea option – I actually can’t think of anywhere nicer in the wider Derby area).
Chatting to the owners at that event, it was clear just how much passion and vision they had, and I was delighted to be invited to review their steak night. However, finding that magical, yet elusive, combination of an available plus one and a willing babysitter is always a military operation… We finally got there last night! I took my long suffering husband. Firstly because he loves steak and knows his meat. But I also knew he would drive and I was quite keen to properly sample the drinks offering!
The Kedleston Country House
Not to be confused with nearby Kedleston Hall, although part of the wider Kedleston Estate, The Kedleston Country House is a Georgian property interesting in its own right. The country house was designed by Robert Adam who went on to become one of the most notable architects in the country. The house has retained its period charm. Even the landscaped Georgian gardens have been restored from the originals designed by Adam himself. The Kedleston enjoys unspoilt rolling countryside views. But it also has enjoyed a stunning contemporary makeover and is now every bit the luxury, boutique country escape.
In addition to the restaurant and events space there are five boutique bedrooms. You might have spotted them on the television recently as The Kedleston Country House has just won ‘Four in a Bed’ (Channel 4’s show where B&B owners rank each other’s establishments).
We ate in The Orangery. With a glass roof and stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside this is a really special space and would be a perfect setting for a wedding. I thoroughly appreciated looking out over the gardens, full of spring blossom and then the patch work of yellow and green fields beyond. I was also very taken with the styling of the room. Even down to the cute little bunny salt and pepper pots, the attention to detail here is exceptional.
Drinks at The Ked
There is a lovely bar area at The Kedleston Country House and this would be a stunning date location. There’s a good cocktail list and they even run cocktail masterclasses. I couldn’t not sample ‘The Kedleston Cup’ which was a delicious, refreshing mix of Mulberry gin, elderflower liquor, vanilla, lime and apple, served in a cute little plant pot and adorned with edible flowers. Cocktails start at two for £12 for options on the classics menu, which is excellent value for somewhere of this standard. In addition to the cocktails there’s a varied gin menu and the bar features lots of local brands such as White Peak Distillery. I was also impressed with the wine list. Good choices and well-priced. I enjoyed a lovely big glass of rioja with my steak which was around the £7 mark.
The food at The Kedleston
Every Tuesday night is steak night at The Kedleston. The menu on steak night is fairly streamlined. But for a small menu there were certainly plenty of appealing choices. My husband started with the homemade ham hock terrine which was served with sweet chilli sauce, a chorizo beignet and cranberry purée.
Whilst I plumped for the arancini. The arancini was stuffed full of mozzarella which provided that all important cheese pull, combined with tasty sun blushed tomato and served with a delicious romesco sauce, sitting on top of salad leaves. Both dishes were beautifully presented and really tasty.
There was also an option of a chicken and wild mushroom parfait served with crostini breads and red onion marmalade. I had tried this (or something very similar) at the afternoon tea and it was divine, as was the chorizo beignet.
Steak night at The Kedleston Country House
All the steaks are carefully sourced within a twenty five mile radius of The Kedleston Country House. Served with all the trimmings: Jenga chips, a hand battered onion ring, balsamic cherry tomatoes, garlic roasted mushrooms, and a sauce of your choice.
Steaks start at an incredible £10 for a 5oz rump. For saying that all the accompaniments are included this is incredible value. Many establishments of this calibre would at least be upselling the sauce at £3+ a pop, but it’s all included here.
There’s also a choice of two different sizes of fillet steak, two sizes of ribeye or a Chateaubriand to share. I really liked there being different sizes of steak on offer. With red meat in particular, it is always my preference to have a smaller portion of higher quality meat. I found the 4oz of fillet perfectly satisfying.
The sauces are served separately in a little jug to add according to taste. Choose from the French classic Béarnaise sauce, a red wine jus or peppercorn sauce.
There are a tempting selection of side dishes, all of which work wonderfully with steak. There’s a rocket and parmesan salad, dauphinoise potatoes, pan seared asparagus and beetroot purée and halloumi chips. On this occasion we declined, knowing that we’d probably sample three courses and really didn’t need any extra food.
Whilst there is no vegetarian option listed on the menu, yesterday’s option was a spinach and goats cheese dish so do rest assured that non-meat eaters are also catered for.
Desserts at The Kedleston
The desserts are all homemade and change regularly to reflect the seasons and the availability of the best ingredients. As you know, I’m a menu fiend, and always like to see at least a sample menu online – so whilst this isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing photo (why did I not position my little bunny friends better?!) – I know lots of you also like to have a sense of the options.
I opted for sticky toffee pudding which consisted of perfectly moist sponge soaked in toffee sauce. My husband ordered the Eton mess. Both were very generously portioned.
Service throughout was exceptionally good. We were warmly welcomed at the door, checked on promptly after each course had been served and all the staff we encountered were engaging and helpful. We were served by Ellie and Lee who were both wonderful. I finished the night with a well-made espresso and we drove home happy and full.
Great value, high quality steak served with all the trimmings in a beautiful, quintessentially English country house.
The Kedleston Country House, Kedleston Road, Quarndon, Derbyshire, DE22 5JD. Tel 01332 982838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kedleston is an exclusive use wedding venue so I would always book ahead if you want to dine or drink there.
Well behaved dogs are welcome in the bar, study, snug and parlour.