Baslow is basically the food metropolis of Derbyshire. Over the last few years, with weekly hikes, we have found it a fun yet strenuous game of “where should we go for lunch” and do you know… whenever we are stuck for ideas or haven’t planned ahead – Baslow is where our stomachs take us.
You may have seen me rave about The Bridge Inn at Calver previously. Well it’s not TECHNICALLY Baslow, but it’s right down the road. Wanna know something fun? The same incredible people who own my favourite tapas restaurant, The Bridge, also own The Devonshire Arms. So, it goes without saying, this place is pretty effing special.
I have to come clean, this review is long overdue. Since my first visit, I have actually been a few times… but I took a little blogging hiatus at the end of last year, so here we are. Not wanting to sell them short, I thought it better to wait and write about ‘The Dev’ in the right mind frame and properly do them justice.
I’ll set the scene: Think of a stretching bar, adorned with every gin you can think of, offering ales and ciders beyond compare. Think long tables with stool seating and sofas where you and your friends can meet for one of many drinks on offer. Think cosy seating by a proper log fire, big hugging arm chairs and sleepy corners where you can take the dog after a long walk. I don’t think your imagination will do it justice, and neither will my words. You HAVE to go and check it out for yourself.
We stopped by after one of our walks and were greeted by none other than one of our fave gal pal’s from The Bridge, Emily. I don’t know if this is a sign that we drink too much but I’m going to put it down to Emily’s attentive nature that she knew which wine we would like, and better yet, to just bring the bottle of it. The worst thing you could do, is assume that just because I have eaten at The Bridge countless times, or that because all I do is rave about them, is that I get special treatment – I do not. If anything, the more comfortable you are with the staff, the more likely they are to laugh at your expense, as I have found out (cue violins and sad sympathetic music). Emily and the rest of the gang at The Devonshire Arm’s bustle about the bar and restaurant with big, beaming smiles, giggling away with every customer they see (oh yeah I’m a people watcher, creepy I know) and it’s such a contagious effect. You can’t help but be sat there all smiley and fuzzy… I feel like when I leave I need to shut a door in someone’s face or drive through a puddle as a pedestrian is going by just to balance out the universe.
ANYWAY, the food:
The FIRST time I visited ‘The Dev’ I went with the Teriyaki Salmon and Chris chose the crab linguine. Both. Were. Divine. We sunk a bottle of our fave Savvy B and had a good ole catch up as Chris had just come back off his jollies. We took a seat by the fire and absolutely inhaled our food in record timing, leaving us to slowly inebriate ourselves with the remaining wine.
The next time I visited, after glancing over with envy at a couple who had ordered them on my previous visit, I went with the hanging halloumi kebab and Chris followed suit with the beef counterpart. What arrived were the most extravagantly presented meals I have ever had in a pub. Hanging vertically was a mix of halloumi and vegetables over a bowl of chips. The top of the apparatus had a dish with a pool of garlic butter in it, dripping down the kebab and on to the chips at the bottom… I mean, it certainly isn’t the healthiest thing I have eaten, but my gosh, it was one of the tastiest.
Not usually one for puddings, because I always fill up on starters and sides (FYI a must try here is the calamari, you may thank me later) I managed to save room and push the boat out, I ordered the sticky toffee pud. I can only apologise for the noises I was making whilst diving in to it. It really was something special, and combined with lashings of hot custard, it was the perfect sweet treat to end on.
This is now my go-to pub in Baslow, just as The Bridge is my go-to lunch spot. My favourite places to bring friends or stop by after a long muddy walk. You won’t find better service, staff, or food in Derbyshire.