[AD] Monsal Dale is one of the most loved spots in the Peak District – but have you been to the café there recently? I visited Hobbs Café at Monsal Head on a dull and drizzly day in October and was greeted with a very warm welcome from new owners Kim and Nick (and their beautiful son – this is very much a family affair) and treated to a delightful afternoon tea in the company of landscape photographer Wes Kristopher.
A new era for Hobbs Café at Monsal Head
Over the last six months Kim (originally from Kenya) and Sheffield born, Nick have been busy renovating. I loved the ochre yellow walls and cosy, eclectic mix of décor (much of it sustainably sourced from Bamfords in Bakewell) punctuated with lots of seasonal touches.
A delectable cake counter is mostly filled with homemade bakes, plus a few that are bought in from specialist patisseries such as kronuts (more on them later!) served with barista coffee and a good selection of speciality teas.
We were there to have afternoon tea and were presented with a heaving stand, absolutely laden with the most tantalising array of savoury and sweet treats. One of the defining features for me was that Hobbs Café are keen to personalise the experience. When we booked we were asked for a choice of sandwich and quiche from their menu – and then we opted for kronuts (a croissant doughnut hybrid) rather than scones. They’ve even done brunch themed afternoon teas before featuring sausage and bacon sandwiches etc!
Everything felt very fresh, with the sandwiches generously filled. Highlights for me were the spiced plum and honey frangipane (utterly divine), the Bakewell tart and the apple and butterscotch kronut but everything was delicious. I loved the little spins on classics, for instance the inclusion of Mars Bar in the rocky road and so on.
Everything about it was wonderful – from the warm welcome to the abundance of delectable food and those stunning views – this is a very special place that I highly recommend.
Wesley Kristopher, Landscape and Wildlife Photographer
The lovely Wes (@peopleofthepeak on Instagram) has very kindly allowed me to post some of his work on to my own account over the years for which I am eternally grateful for.
Not only has Wes’s work graced several front covers of Derbyshire Life, but for the third year his work is featured on the front of the Marks and Spencer shortbread tin – which, in my eyes, is rather iconic. Please do check out his online gallery or visit Hobbs Café to purchase some of his prints.
Delicious home cooked food in a cosy, eclectic space with world class views.
Hobbs Café, Monsal Head, DE45 1NL
Short stay pay and display right outside the café. Large pay and display car park behind the hotel where I paid £2.50 for two hours. Then you can walk through between the buildings and turn left.
Family friendly with high chairs and changing table available.
Accessibility – there is a small step to access but Kim assures me they’ve had many people in wheelchairs come into the café, and there are some disabled parking spots in the short stay car park outside.