The Peak District is beautiful, idyllic in fact. From the well-known spa town of Buxton and the famous market town of Bakewell, to the quaint village of Rowsley in the Derbyshire countryside, this part of the country is lovely.
Our travel writer Rachel McAlley fell in love with The Peacock at Rowsley because the old grade 2 listed manor house, now a stunning boutique hotel and an AAA Rosette restaurant is simply exquisite.
Upon check-in, the front of house reception team were relaxed, welcoming and informative, offering Rachel assistance with luggage to her room, a show around the bedroom, and room service of complimentary tea, coffee and homemade shortbread. All rooms within the Peacock are individual, unique and traditionally British. Room 5, which has been newly renovated was full of character from the king sized four poster bed, to the quirky tea and coffee cadet, the fully marbled bathroom, to the pretty dressing table adorned with jewellery boxes, glass jars, and cute leather basket.
The wardrobe, bed, dresser, coffee table, and bedside tables all made from mahogany, were beautifully old and take you to an entirely different era, far removed from the 21st century. The bed, swathed in tweed and plump white Egyptian cotton pillows are part and parcel of the uniquely old English feel of the room.
Comfy chairs covered in light blue velvet and neon green plus cushions in electric blue were a throw to today and they worked perfectly within the room, as did the flatscreen TV, Apple TV box, and huge selection of DVDs to borrow from the library.
Dinner beckoned and a glass of bubbly in the Peacock’s lounge before heading into the dining room for a night of excellent food. Rachel and her guest were taken to the restaurant by Oliver, who knew the menu inside out and could answer any question that was asked of him. The service throughout dinner and beyond was excellent, the Peacock team definitely know how to make their guests feel welcome.
The chef’s Amuse Bouche was a fully flavorsome chilled pea soup with curried lamb bon bon and pickled red onion on the side, a very nice way to start the evening’s dining experience. This was followed by homemade treacle and sour dough breads and in-house churned butter, the highlight being the most unusual and wonderfully delicious treacle bread.
Starters included Dover sole, smoked mussel cream, wild rice, watercress and cauliflower for one dish. This was not only presented beautifully but it was light in flavour, the perfect spring starter. The Arlington white free range egg, white asparagus, shitake mushrooms, and old Winchester cheese oozed deliciousness and didn’t disappoint.
Both main courses were a good portion size and were presented with style in abundance. The first of the mains, local lamb cutlet, braised shoulder, broad beans, peas, crushed potatoes, lamb jus and mint vinegar was possibly the most stunning visually, with perfectly pink lamb sitting central and proud on the plate.
The second main course was the potato & chervil gnocchi, spring vegetables, ricotta, herb & green vegetable veloute. This dish screamed springtime, it was super fresh, and boasted every seasonal green veg in one sitting.
Pre-dessert was offered, a refreshing iced mint granita with lychee foam and little dots of mini meringue, simply divine! Desserts included a choice of 3 cheeses and Peacock crackers with homemade jellies and chutney, and the delectable roasted pineapple, golden syrup sponge, spiced caramel, and pineapple sorbet. Both mouth wateringly moreish.
It was time to retire, and happily fall into the four-poster, which had been turned down and had a little chocolate on the pillow plus the following day’s weather report.
Breakfast was served in the restaurant, with a choice of continental and traditional breakfast; croissants, mini pastries, large bowls of fresh fruit, homemade smoothies, plus plenty of locally produced yoghurts sat alongside cereals and juices. Rachel opted for Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon served on homemade wholemeal toast, which went perfectly with a pot of breakfast peppermint tea – to awaken the senses. An exceptionally beautiful boutique hotel, and a foodie’s dream, The Peacock at Rowsley comes highly recommended by H&N Magazine.
Prices vary on room rates, they start from £130 and rise to £310 depending on room style, and whether dinner is included.
Visit www.thepeacockatrowsley.com for more information on price and availability.