[AD] I have been to the Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel quite a few times over the years: a relaxed family lunch on the terrace; a day date with my husband and a night drinking and eating with a friend and for daytime coffees. It is one of my favourite places locally although I’ve never taken enough photographs to write a full blog post (sometimes I like to just switch off and enjoy the moment). So when I was invited to review the restaurant I couldn’t say yes quick enough. We decided to try the Sunday lunch menu.
We had visited previously for a more pub style lunch with my daughter – and I would do so again because the staff were so great with her. Thankfully my parents agreed to babysit, so we were delightfully childfree and could enjoy a long, leisurely lunch after the inevitable rush of swimming lessons and getting ready for going back to school.
There’s a big new car park for the restaurant (whereas the old car park is now for the hotel and weddings) so it’s very easy to park and then you’re immediately aware of the beautiful location. Despite being less than five miles from Chesterfield, The Peak Edge Hotel is delightfully ‘out in the sticks’ and would be a wonderful place to stay if you were visiting the Peak District.
The views got even better as we alighted the steps to the restaurant and I saw the gorgeous Yorkshire puddings through the window of the kitchen! A lovely little glimpse of what was to come.
The cosy bar areas at the Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel are probably some of my favourite in the whole of Derbyshire. Traditionally decorated but with a swish, upmarket and contemporary feel. Lots of comfy armchair seating to relax into and enjoy a roaring open fire.
There’s a great cocktail list and I enjoyed an excellent elderflower spritz – a delightful combination of gin, elderflower, cucumber and mint whilst we poured over the menu.
Peak Edge Hotel Sunday Lunch menu
Uniquely, compared to many of my favourite haunts, the Peak Edge Hotel Sunday Lunch menu is a la carte rather than a set menu – so you’re not tied into having a set number of courses. It isn’t cheap, with the main courses starting at £22 for the two vegetarian options (a nut roast with all the trimmings or a watercress risotto) – but then this is not a ‘cheap’ place.
The Peak Hotel has absolutely nailed the relaxed yet refined ambiance of a contemporary, country hotel. It is a lovely, lovely place to be. And ultimately, one pays for such a beautiful experience.
After relaxing in the bar area, we were taken to our table in the beautiful Garden Room. The Red Lion restaurant is bright and airy, with stunning panoramic views out over the surrounding countryside. We were seated by one of the windows (perfect for photography!) and brought some delicious artisan bread and the lightest whipped butter.
I noted that one of the other tables was an older lady dining alone. How very civilised – being able to come out for a good quality Sunday lunch, in lovely settings and enjoy the view. The other diners were a mix of families (some with young children), groups of older people and other couples. A real mix of people – but all seemed to be enjoying themselves – and there was a nice relaxed atmosphere of music and background chatter.
To start my husband ordered the soup, the flavour of the day being butternut squash. This was beautifully presented and came with additional bread. I opted for heritage tomatoes with goat’s curd and olive crust (all lovely) and a tomato consommé which, to be frank, I don’t think added anything to the dish. Cleverly though, this was served in a little jug – and next time I just wouldn’t add it.
There was also a classic prawn cocktail, a gin cured salmon, an Asian style pork starter option (which sounded incredible – a crispy pork rillette served with miso emulsion, dill oil and Asian salad) and a chicken and ham hock terrine.
For mains there were a choice of three meats (beef, lamb or chicken) or a nut roast – all served with roast potatoes, spiced cabbage, cauliflower cheese, seasonal greens, a huge Yorkshire pudding and traditional gravy which was served separately (something I whole heartedly approve of); a fish dish or a risotto.
I knew my husband would want the aged roast sirloin so I opted for the roast leg of lamb. Both meats were from Walton Lodge, a farm owned by the owner of the hotel, and were succulent and very generously portioned.
I always enjoy the whole ensemble of a roast dinner. The potatoes were crispy, the seasonal greens were perfectly al dente, the braised red cabbage has just the right amount of warming autumnal spices, and the cauliflower cheese had clearly been made with a tasty, mature cheddar. The Yorkshire pudding was one of the biggest I have ever been served. Overall, a wonderfully satisfying plate of food. I accompanied my roast dinner with a large glass of Malbec which I thoroughly enjoyed and heartily recommend.
For dessert I was torn between the sticky toffee pudding and a beautifully autumnal crumble (Peak Edge plum, apple and port). In the end the sticky toffee pudding won (as it usually does with me). This proved a good decision since it was an exceptionally good version. Possibly the best I’ve ever had, and certainly in the top two (and believe me, I’ve tried a few!). The little pops of sea salt in the caramel sauce were divinely delicious. My husband opted for the whiskey and dark chocolate cremeux which he also enjoyed.
Overall we had a really lovely, relaxing Sunday lunch. Service was excellent throughout – professional, helpful and unobtrusive.
The sublime setting, seriously great cocktails in a beautiful bar area and good quality food.
Peak Edge Hotel Red Lion Restaurant, Darley Road, Stone Edge, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S45 0LW. Telephone 01246 566142 or book online.
Dogs are allowed in the bar and parts of the restaurant except the main Garden Room.
Family friendly: Helpful, welcoming staff, baby changing facility in the disabled toilet in the Red Lion Garden Room. Plenty of room for pram/pushchair.
Access: Level access and disabled toilet in the Red Lion Garden Room.
Ample free parking.