[AD – PR invite] I was recently invited to review the autumn menu at Bank House Hathersage. Somehow I hadn’t ever been to this stylish, award winning restaurant and cocktail bar. I’ve only ever heard good things about it, and whenever I’ve walked past it’s been bustlingly busy, so I was very much looking forward to our visit.
Despite it being very early evening, there was a great buzzy atmosphere in the bar. There were also people drinking outside (despite the drizzle!) by a lovely log burning stove. If you are looking for discerning nightlife in Hathersage, this is clearly the place to be!
Bank House, as the name suggests is situated in a beautifully historic former banking building. Chic, contemporary interiors that one might expect to find in a city, instead nestled in the pretty Peak District village of Hathersage.
Cocktails at Bank House
We were warmly welcomed and set about exploring the cocktail menu. Bank House prides itself on its expertly mixed cocktails and wine as much as the food and I was impressed with the range available. There’s also half a dozen mocktails. I ordered a lychee martini – an utterly sublime blend of Grey Goose vodka, lychee liqueur and lemon. One of the loveliest cocktails I’ve ever had, reminiscent of sweet lemon drops but with a recognisable note of lychee, it was superb. My husband ordered a summer berry highball featuring Grey Goose strawberry and lemongrass vodka which I’m assured was delicious.
After the cocktails I asked for suggestions of a wine by the glass to pair with my food choices and was recommended a lovely Sauvignon Blanc.
Food at Bank House, Hathersage
Executive Head Chef, Andrew Wornes has been with Bank House for three years and has helped the venue go from strength to strength. Produce is sourced locally, from seasonal ingredients wherever possible.
The menu at Bank House is divided into small plates, sharing plates, mains and then what’s labelled “a la carte” which is their fancier offerings. Essentially you can mix and match however you wish, e.g. to eat tapas style. I love the concept of being able to eat according to how the mood takes you – it feels really fresh and more akin to a Mediterranean approach.
We were kindly given three of the small plates to sample as our starters and then two mains from the “a la carte” section of the menu – which were divine and I will be raving about shortly. These were really quite posh – but there are also plenty of simpler dishes, like an incredible sounding wild mushroom linguine or a maple glazed brisket with seasonal vegetables, dauphinoise potatoes and veal jus and a couple of burger options (all priced at £16).
What we ate
From the small plates section of the menu, we enjoyed plump cod cheeks with delightfully crispy shards of prosciutto, sitting on top of well-seasoned diced potato in a flavoursome seafood velouté.
Derbyshire lamb cutlets in a herb crust with parsnip puree and parsnip crisp with glazed fig. My husband assured me the lamb was delicious and I thoroughly enjoyed the seasonal flavours and delightful textures of the autumn fruit and veg.
All of the small plates were incredibly good, but my favourite was the deliciously smooth goat’s cheese panna cotta with beetroot textures, whipped avocado and toasted walnuts.
Other vegetarian options to start with (or enjoy tapas style) were patatas bravas, pumpkin skewers in a Dukkha spice with nham jim dressing or mushroom bao buns.
For our main courses, my husband enjoyed the perfectly seasoned venison loin with dauphinoise potatoes, chestnut mushrooms, glazed fig, roast chestnut and veal jus which was served in a little jug.
I was treated to an exquisitely plated pork tenderloin. Three small pieces of beautifully tender pork had been carefully wrapped in Parma ham and were served with different textures of beetroot (including a beetroot tuile – a magnificent feature of culinary engineering), baby turnip, parmentier potatoes and the most delicious pig cheek bon bon. Again, the veal jus was served piping hot in a little jug to add according to taste.
Normally, one tries not to listen to other people’s conversations – but one of our fellow diners excitedly exclaimed, “This is the best steak I’ve ever had in my entire life!” which I thought was worth reporting back on!
Vegetarian options on the current autumn menu at Bank House Hathersage include a maple roasted pumpkin dish, the aforementioned linguine and a king oyster mushroom with beetroot textures, goat’s cheese, baby turnip and mushroom gravy. There’s also a vegetarian mezzo board on the sharing plates section of the menu. Lots of the options are gluten free or can be adapted to be so on request.
I was perfectly satisfied at this point (one small plate each would be ample to start with if you are having a main) and only intended to sample my dessert so I could report back – but what arrived was simply so delicious I practically scraped the plate clean. Oh my goodness! I am not particularly drawn to chocolate desserts usually (despite being obsessed with actual chocolate – strange I know!) but the chocolate marquise was insanely good. Rich, dense, yet creamy marquise (if you’re unfamiliar – I’d describe it as a dense, airless mousse) with a wonderfully tasty orange sorbet. It was so, so good.
My husband had the chocolate fondant with blackcurrant which he assured me was delicious.
We were wonderfully looked after all evening, particularly by the lovely Lawrence, but all the staff were attentive and really chatty and friendly. We arrived at dusk and the view from our table out over the pretty village of Hathersage and the stunning Hope Valley of the Peak District beyond was second to none.
Delectable cocktails, a great atmosphere and incredibly good food.
We parked easily on the street, early on a Friday evening. Parking can be tricky in Hathersage during the day in peak season, so factor in extra time or travel by public transport – Hathersage train station is a very short walk away (7 minutes?).
Access – situated in an old bank with steps to entrance. We dined in the upstairs restaurant.
Kids menu, highchairs and baby changing facilities available (but not overly pushchair friendly).
Dog friendly in the downstairs bar (add a note when booking to ensure a dog friendly table downstairs). No dogs in the restaurant upstairs.