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Saving water in a sizzling summer

Farming always has its ups and downs but this year has been particularly challenging. The winter snows were severe with the Beast from the East which meant a late spring, followed on by the current heatwave which is causing havoc with the harvests.

cows and sheepSunshine and heat is wonderful for our holiday guests staying in our log cabins and glamping pods, but not so great for the farm animals. June 2018 has been the driest on record. I can’t recall when I last saw the farm fields so brown and the grass is so dry it scrunches underneath your feet.

Making hay while the sun shines

hay making We usually make silage for winter forage for the cows and sheep and around 900 small bales of hay.  Hay making was interesting as the cut grass was so light and dry that half of it blew away! Whilst the sizzling sunshine has produced excellent quality hay, the excessive dry weather has meant the quantity is about half the usual yield at just 430 bales.

We are not alone and there will be a shortage of winter feed, compounded by the fact that farmers are having to feed their cattle and sheep now in midsummer as there is so little grass growing. It also means reduced income as the price of lamb has fallen due to an increase in supply as many farmers are having to sell their lambs early due to the lack of feed.

1967 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor
1967 Massey Ferguson 135 tractor

Whilst the scorching heat continues here in the Peak District with temperatures over 30 degrees we carry on farming with animal well fare a top priority.

Mike wrestles with a sheep

The sheep have been shorn and shed their winter woolly jumpers and we are keeping a special eye on the troughs to make sure the cattle have sufficient water to drink.

We also have a new member of the team. This week also saw the arrival of Havenfield Lotus, a new pedigree Hereford bull, who seemed right at home with his new ladies!

Use water wisely

water glas  by RawpixelDid you know that only 3% of the world’s water is fresh and less than 1% of this fresh water is available for human use? The rest being frozen or located too deep within the earth for us to reach it.

Our Derbyshire ancestors have always celebrated the importance of fresh water by dressing the village wells and giving thanks.

Saving water is always important, but especially so whilst the sizzling summer continues.

Top ten tips for saving water
  1. When you wash your dishes by hand, remember to turn the tap off in-between rinsing. And don’t rinse dishes before you put them in a dishwasher – that’s what the machine is designed to do – just scrape all the excess food off the dishes and let the machine do the rest.
  2. Stop! Before pulling the plug out the kitchen sink, use the washing up water to rinse out bottles, food cartons and cans before putting them in the recycle bin.
  3. Switch off the tap whilst brushing your teeth – you can waste at least half a pint of water per minute if you leave the tap on!
  4. Keeping a large bottle of tap water in the fridge ensures you can have chilled water all the time. Waiting for the tap to run cold can waste more than 10 litres of water a day.
  5. A shower uses 2/3 the amount of water as a bath – keep it short and turn off the shower head while soaping! Every minute you spend in a power shower uses up to 17 litres of water .
  6. Switch to an efficient shower head which will allow you to lather up in less water
  7. Washing a full machine load of clothes uses less water and energy than 2 half-loads 
  8. Modern dual-flush systems save huge amounts of water. They use just 6 litres – or 4 with a reduced flush – much less than the 13 litres for each old-style single flush.
  9. Or fit your toilet with a ‘hippo’, a bag (available free from your water company, usually) that could help you save up to 3.5 litres of water per flush.
  10. Drive round in a dirty car – you don’t need to wash it every week! A hose with the tap turned on full can use up to 320 litres of water in half an hour!

We hope you found our top ten water saving tips useful and would love to hear if you have some more ideas to share.

Felicity 

Introducing Rose Hip, could this Gypsy caravan be our lucky charm?

At a recent local farm auction our heads ruled our hearts when we purchased this traditional Romany horse drawn caravan, which we have christened Rose hip!

This horseshoe top Gypsy caravan is known as an “open lock” which means it has no front door but a detachable canvas cover which zips open like a tent and can be completely removed in seconds.

At the time it needed a bit of work to bring it up to the high standards that our guests are used to, so I have been busy landscaping the area where it will sit. Meanwhile Felicity has been very busy adding some very intricate art work in a traditional style, making new soft furnishings and adding the finishing touches. 

The traditional layout has a raised double bed which slides out when required, with a large storage cupboard underneath. There are bench seats on each side with a small set of draws, which double up as a bedside shelf. There is a small foldable table and other little nooks and crannies are used for storage.

Two outdoor seats on the very front provide the perfect spot for sitting in the evening with a G&T or glass of wine whilst enjoying the uninterrupted views down the valley.

 

 

 

 

 

Although there are no cooking facilities in the caravan there is a fire pit/BBQ for authentic outdoor cooking. However if the weather is unkind or you just can’t be bothered there is a toaster, kettle and microwave in the new reception block in the yard. There is also a spacious shower room with underfloor heating, and we even provide a torch so you won’t trip up in the dark!

Don’t worry you are not completely without modern comforts as we have installed a 12 volt LED lighting system, phone charging point and the WI-FI reaches down to the site – although many of you may wish to be disconnected from the hustle and bustle of the digital world!

 

 

 

 

Be one of the first to experience this romantic bolt hole with views to die for!

See more details here

Book now Click here to see prices and availability.

Sorry no children or pets

David

 

Take a tour of the Peak District

Why not take a tour of our stunning Peak District countryside?

One of the best ways to explore our special Peak District is to get out and about on the country lanes. To make life easy we have been working with Ashbourne Community Transport to put together some mini bus tours of Derbyshire, including places of interest.

Instead of driving you can have a complete break, relax back, enjoy the view, and let someone else do the hard work for you!

Derbyshire Connect Bus

Mini bus tours

The Derbyshire Connect minibus can seat up to 16 people, has a wheelchair access tail lift and is spacious. The cost is extremely reasonable and includes the driver with local knowledge of the area. One of our favourite routes is the Southern villages, and moorlands, which includes short breaks at Tissington, Ilam, Butterton, Ecton and a two hour stop over in Buxton.

Monsal Head Peak District

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other themed excursions include Denstone Farm Shop and Churnet Valley Railway, Dambusters tour and Castleton, Chatsworth House, Crich Tramway Village, Peak Rail and Cromford Trust, and Thornbridge Brewery and Bakewell. There are so many exciting places to visit that you could stay at Hoe Grange for a month and still not see everything!

Prices

The bus will pick you up directly from your cabin and prices range from £57 up to £143 – extremely reasonable, even if you don’t fill all the seats!

How to book

It’s quick and simple to book too, just call the booking line 01335 300670 to discuss the various options, where you would like to go and when, or e-mail info@ashbournect.org.uk.

Chatsworth house

We hope we have inspired you to explore a little further afield – you will be surprised how varied the landscape of the Peak District is from North to South!

Felicity 

All aboard the steam train

What is it about the sights and sound of a steam train? It is such a romantic image, viewed through rose tinted spectacles, which takes you back in time to a bygone era!

I think it’s the fact that it’s a multi sensory experience; your senses are brought alive as you watch the smoke swirling skywards, hear the sharp hissing of steam escaping and breathe in the unique evocative smells of a real steam engine.

FelicityPeakRailSmall (002)

A ticket to ride

You can experience all this at Peak Rail, watching the engine get up steam, before climbing on board and settling back in the beautifully restored carriages to enjoy a unique view of the Derwent Valley.

The Peak Rail line has been re-instated mostly by volunteers and was originally part of the old Midland Railway line between Manchester Central and London St Pancras which was closed in 1968. It currently operates both steam and diesel trains over a distance of 4 miles between Rowsley South Station and Matlock Platform 2.

Rowsleystation

Whilst the line is relatively short it is still an interesting experience. Peak Rail’s long term aim is to reopen the line between Buxton and Matlock, and extend the heritage train services.

PeakRailturntable

Rowley South Station has an impressive 60 ft working turntable and a steam engine/restoration shed (not open to the public) and is the main base of all Peak Rail’s operating activities.  There are many events throughout the summer including the popular 1940’s weekend on 4th & 5th August 2018.

All aboard

Good news for many of our holiday guests is that Peak Rail have thought about accessibility and have space for up to 3 wheelchairs in one of their carriages. Just ask the staff for help and to use the mobile ramp to board the train. Rowsley South Station has the easiest access up a wide ramp to the platform and the best disabled facilities.

PeakRailsteamengine

There is also a station buffet serving mouth watering bacon rolls, home-made meals and cakes, whilst the shop stocks a range of railway goodies for both visitors and railway enthusiasts alike.

Dine in style

PeakRailcarriageTo add to the authentic experience you can you can also enjoy the luxury of Pullman Style dining as the train leisurely travels along the line.

Make Sunday extra special with a delicious roast dinner, (£25 per head) or treat yourself to a sumptuous cream tea with a sparkling glass of Prosecco (from £15.50). Peak Rail believes in the old fashioned values of quality and customer service, so you are guaranteed a good time.

A link to the past

The Midland Railway route linking Derby and Manchester carved through Derbyshire’s great limestone hills, and has been described as the most scenic railway lines in Britain. The hilly terrain meant that numerous tunnels and other impressive civil engineering features had to be constructed, including the magnificent viaducts at Millers Dale and Monsal Dale. You can still take in these breath taking views today as The Monsal Trail is now a traffic free walking, cycle and horse riding route.

peakRaildieselThe railway was not just a passenger line, but freight traffic was also of great importance throughout its history.

Following the demise of the Lancashire coalfields during the inter-war years, much of the coal to power the industry of the north-west had to be transferred across the Peak District from the East Midlands.

Take a ride on the footplate

PeakRailstokerImagine yourself on the footplate, taking hold of the regulator, the heat of the roaring fire and steady beat of the loco under your control! You can gain an understanding of what it was like to be an engine driver by booking a Steam Experience Course (from £115).

My grandfather was a fireman on the Great Western Railway, which judging from the dirty face of today’s stoker must have been a very hot, grimy and tough job!

PeakRailsteamengine2

Ticket Prices for 2018

Peak Rail timetableDuring the summer months trains run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

Adult – 8.00
Senior Citizens – £6.50
Children under 3 years (maximum of two per paying adult) – Free
Children 3 – 5 years – £2.30
Children 6 – 15 years – £4.30
Family Ticket (2 Adults and up to 3 Children) – £24.00

Fares allow unlimited travel on date of purchase.
(Fares may change on some special events)

David and I had a fun day out and I hope our blog will inspire you to take a trip on a steam train at Peak Rail during your stay with us at Hoe Grange Holidays!

Felicity

PeakRail junction box

Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football 2018

On Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, the town of Ashbourne takes on a strange appearance with shops and houses boarded up. If you are not a local you will be wondering what on earth is going on!

Shrovetide footballIt’s all in preparation for the ancient game of Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football. As 2 o’clock draws near the town springs to life and crowds start gathering on Shaw Croft car park in anticipation of the start of the game.

It is basically a frantic football game played through the streets with hundreds of people and few rules. The painted leather ball can be carried, kicked or thrown, but not transported by car! A goal is scored by banging thrice upon the millstones at the goals at Sturston Mill and Clifton, which are 3 miles apart .

It is regarded as a great honour to be chosen to throw up the ball to start the game. The honoured guest is carried shoulder high from the town centre to the “plinth” carrying the painted leather ball. The noise and tension rise as the crowd sings Auld Langs Syne followed by God Save The Queen, before the ball is thrown sky high into the jostling sea of people.

Down'ardsFrom there on it is a scramble as the die-hard players form a “hug” round the ball trying to gain control for their team – either Up’ards born North of the River Henmore, or Down’ards born to the South.

It’s like a huge rugby scrum with tens of players on each side, and many more onlookers, shouting encouragement. There is a lot of jostling, shoving and pushing and you rarely see the ball – often the only way to work out where it is from the steam rising from the hug!

shrovetide3

Due to the sheer number of players the ball often gets stuck in one place for a long time, before suddenly and very briefly emerging into the air above the crowd, where it can move very quickly indeed – you need to be on your toes not to get caught up in the action by mistake!

Shrovetide football in Ashbourne was first recorded as long ago as 1682, and hasn’t changed much over the centuries, except that it is now watched by hoards of people from all over the UK, not just the locals!

More photos and videos of todays #Shrovetidefootball action on our Facebook page. It’s a fabulous friendly atmosphere, so why not catch more of the action tomorrow on Ash Wednesday?

Felicity

Pamper yourself on holiday

The winter months with dark evenings and gloomy misty days can leave you feeling tired and in need of a little pampering – why not pamper yourself and book a relaxing beauty treatment or massage whilst on your holiday at Hoe Grange? As mentioned in our last blog such indulgence is a perfect #hygge way to perk you up and help you breeze through the dreary winter months.

Pamper Yourself

Relaxing massage Close your eyes – now imagine you are relaxing in one of our cosy cabins or glamping pods, wrapped in a warm fluffy towel on a heated treatment bed, soft soothing music playing in the background, and heavenly scents filling the air.

Under the skilled hands of an expert therapist, you’ve just experienced the most fabulous facial using natural, organic products, or perhaps a stress relieving back massage with hot stones, and all your aches and pains have melted away.

What better way to make the most of your relaxing self-catering holiday in the Peak District hills, than to pamper yourself?

With the professional and friendly My Personal Sanctuary therapists you are in safe hands and feel as though you are actually in a spa. However when your “spa day” in your cosy cabin is complete the therapists leave quietly allowing you to continue to soak up the calm and tranquil atmosphere. That to me is the real added bonus.

Valentine’s Day Special

Romance is in the air as Valentine ’s Day approaches. Why not experience some hygge relaxation as a couple? Two therapists can visit your holiday cabin at the same time to deliver treatments simultaneously. You can both choose the same treatments, or perhaps a hot stone massage for her and deep tissue massage for him?

Neal's Yard natural remediesThe price for two therapists delivering 1 hour treatments each is £240, for more information on MPS packages for couples click here.

The friendly MPS therapists use only the very best techniques and Neal’s Yard organic products to nurture your body, mind and soul. Such gorgeous natural remedies smell divine, and leave you soothed; they also fit in beautifully with our eco ethos.

Valentine's Day flowersComplete your romantic package with a Hoe Grange luxury log-fired hot tub experience for two 

What woman doesn’t love a bunch of flowers? You can surprise your loved one with some gorgeous roses from #LoveLocal florist Sheila at Freedom Flowers in Wirksworth, or think ahead and order a bunch of sunshine for your mother for Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day

Heading into March Mother’s Day is a very important day! Many of us are Mums, and have Mums, or are even Mums to be!
MPS can provide treatments from young to old including mums in pregnancy to give a special gift to celebrate Mother’s Day.
relaxing facial Why not book a longer package and share the time and enjoyment between generations?
Mum may like to take some time to relax with a relaxing Aroma Massage, and Grandma may prefer to restore and relax with a Calming Foot & leg treatment.
You can even get the children involved to with the selection of MPS Mini/Kiddie treats!
It’s a perfect way to share an afternoon or a morning with loved ones and create wonderful memories.

A Mother’s Day package could include an Aroma Massage for Mum, a Calming Foot for Gran, a Kiddie treat and one mini treat, all delivered by one therapist over 2 hours for just £180. For more treatment ideas for family and friends click here.

After massage glow
The after glow – you too could look like this!

Go on and book a treatment for your stay with us – find that inner calm and serenity without leaving the comfort of your cosy cabin or glamping pod!

David and I treated ourselves to a My Personal Sanctuary spa day (I know, the things we have to do for our guests!).

With first hand experience I can definitely promise you will go home relaxed, refreshed and revived, but beware it may not be your best look!

Felicity

Christmas Gifts inspired by The Peak District

Christmas is just round the corner so to help you get Christmas all wrapped up we have handpicked some gorgeous gift ideas inspired by our beautiful Peak District – things that are produced locally here in the Derbyshire hills, some of which are utterly unique!

We #LoveLocal and are sure you will be inspired by our Christmas selection

Top 10 Christmas gifts

1. Pet Pawtraits

Rural Pictures pet portraitOur pets hold a special place in our hearts. Why not capture your pet to perfection with a “pawtrait” from local photographer Ruth Downing? Ruth of Rural Pictures is used to working with animals, and has a wealth of experience in producing fabulous pet portraits and action shots. You can even arrange for Ruth to come to Hoe Grange during your holiday stay so you can take some special memories home with you.

2. Dovedale Ceramics

Beautiful handcrafted ceramics from On a Wick and a Prayer at Tissington uses clear water from the Dovedale River over the glaze. The minerals in the water react when the pottery is fired in the kiln giving each piece a unique distinctive pattern.

Dovedale ceramics
3. Upcycled lights and furniture

upcycled lampLet a little light brighten up your home! Upcycled Creative specialise in making funky, functional, upcycled lights and furniture. Upcycling is the art of transforming unwanted items into something better and more beautiful, it’s kinder to the environment than recycling, and the only limitation is imagination! These bright sparks don’t just recycle, and reuse, they go one step further and relove, renew, and repurpose.

 4. Landscape art
Peak District landscape in felt
Higger Tor from Stanage Edge

Carrie of English Tilly creates gorgeous felt art decorations and accessories, using naturally-dyed, rare-breed fleece from Whitefaced Woodland sheep. Much of her inspiration comes from the ever changing colours and textures of the Derbyshire Peak District. Living and working in the Peak District, Carrie is as passionate about caring for our special landscape as we are and also holds the Peak District Environmental Quality Mark.

 

5. Beautiful bespoke wooden pieces

wooden candle holder

If you are looking for something unusual Ingrained create beautiful bespoke wooden pieces for the home, from quirky, simple designs, such as their fun, frosty snowmen and Christmas decorations, to unusual candle holders, lamps, and stunning statement pieces. The starting point and inspiration for each piece is the natural shape of the tree.

wooden light
6. Natural handmade soaps and bath products

handmade soapGet all scrubbed up with some gorgeous soaps from Coconuct Blush, handmade with natural olive oil, and mositurising shea butter and scented with pure essential oils. Jane sources sustainable ingredients and particularly avoids using palm oil from felled rainforest. If you’ve stayed with us you will have received our Coconut Blush lavender gift pack. For the avid gardener why not give the Gardener’s Tea Tree exfoliating soap & hand balm set? There is free delivery on orders over £20 until 31st December.

7. Drive the Peak in a Porsche

Finding the right Christmas gift for the man in your life can be challenging – however if that certain person is a car enthusiast, and over the age of 25, why not consider hiring a Porsche Boxster from Peak Performance Hire? What could be better than fresh country air and the wind through your hair!

Porsche car hireEnjoy complete freedom of planning your own tour, or take a recommended route with historic towns, independent coffee shops and restaurants, picturesque roads and vantage point stops for photos. Daily hire starts from £210, including fully comprehensive insurance.

8. Silver jewellery

More imaginative upcycling and renewing from Dandelion Silver, just a couple of miles up the road in Brassington village. Gorgeous jewellery for the woman in your life; from pendents, earrings, rings and bracelets to bespoke commissions.

silver jewelleryDandelion Silver love nothing more than taking forgotten and neglected vintage and antique cutlery and giving them a new lease of life as stunning pieces of designer jewellery.

9. Fresh Roasted Coffee

There’s nothing like the fresh smell of coffee. Peak Bean was born out of a love for coffee. Coffee that brings a smile to someone’s face. Like first brew in the morning that helps start the day on the right foot. And enjoying a mug whilst catching up with good friends, not to mention how it can round off that great meal perfectly. Coffee brings happiness.

roasted coffee

Deidra and Andrew of Peak Bean are artisan producers, roasting small batches of ethically sourced coffee beans and creating blends that burst with freshness, flavour and really hit the spot. You can order direct from the Peak Bean, straight to your door, or sample our smooth Hoe Grange blend on your next stay with us!

10. Holiday Voucher

And last but by no means least, buy your loved one a Hoe Grange Holidays Voucher to come and stay next year and share our special place. Available from £50 upwards – just e-mail us at info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk.

Hoe Grange Gift VoucherYou can relax in the hot tub, de-stress in the sauna. You could also visit all the fabulous businesses mentioned in this blog and perhaps get ahead by starting next years Christmas shopping early!

Derbyshire has a wealth of artisan producers, so for further inspiration you can read last years Top 10 gifts inspired by The Peak District, or there are lots more interesting and unusual ideas from Made in Derbyshire and Peak District Environmental Quality Mark businesses – happy shopping!

Felicity

Christmas at Chatsworth

Here is a sneeky peek at the enchanting winter wonderland created for Christmas at Chatsworth House this year, inspired by the time-honoured classic, ‘The Nutcracker and the Mouse King’ by ETA Hoffmann.
Chatsworth great hall

The stunning, sparkling Christmas decorations are enhanced by the historic backdrop of Chatsworth House. I particularly loved the sparkling suspended snowflakes in the Chapel.

Chatsworth Chapel

Why not get into the festive spirit and join in Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince?

clockworksThe Nutcracker story

It all begins on Christmas eve with a special present. Clara and Fritz have a very special, skillful godfather who makes inventions out of clockwork parts (or perhaps they are magical) and his Christmas presents are always amazing and wonderful.

However this year he gives them something different, something rather small and simple  – a nutcracker-doll in the form of a soldier.

nutcracker toy

mice It’s somewhat ugly, and soon broken by her brother, but Clara loves the little soldier all the same. Clara falls asleep under the Christmas tree and dreams of adventures in candy-filled kingdoms.

Her wish comes true when the soldier-shaped nutcracker springs to life and becomes a true hero, taking her into a magical world to defeat the scary seven-headed Mouse King.

However I think the Chatsworth Christmas mice are more cute than scary!

sweetie train

 

The Nutcracker Ballet

The story also inspired Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker. For those of you who can’t get enough of the magic at Chatsworth, Buxton Opera House is showing The Nutcracker on January 7th 2017.

Christmas tree of ballet shoesA treat for you our guests

we thought you would like to know that when you buy tickets here for the ballet, you can also purchase discounted tickets to the Christmas at Chatsworth experience. Hope you all have fun!

Felicity 

nutcracker ballet

More food glorious food – share your favourite recipe

As you discovered in our previous blog David and I #LoveLocal food and eating out is one of our favourite past times. Food, glorious food, is even better when shared with friends and family at home.  So as part of our fundraising for our special 10th anniversary year for our chosen charity Canine Partners I have decided to put together a favourite recipe cook book.

We need your help – recipes required!

This is where we need your help. Have you got any recipes to write home about? We would love you to send us your favourite recipes, maybe a treasured family dish handed down to you by your mother, a classic with your own creative twist, a regional speciality, or something decidedly delicious, but simple to cook. You may have some fabulous top tips, or time saving shortcuts to share. It can be spicy or plain, anything from starters, mains, deserts, and baked breads to chutneys, cakes, and cocktails.

For a little inspiration and to get you thinking I will share one of my mother’s recipes which is in the latter category of delicious, but extremely easy – in fact it’s “simples” ! It is definitely retro and 1970’s inspired, but none the less worthy of inclusion.

Olive’s Peaches in Brandy

Ingredients

1 large tin of peach halves in juice
2 tablespoons brandy
2 tablespoons demerera sugar
2 tablespoons ground almonds
3oz ratafia biscuits

Method

peaches4Drain the peaches (retaining the juice) and arrange in an ovenproof dish.
Add 4 tablespoons of the peach juice to the other ingredients and mix well.
Fill the peach halves with the mixture.
Pour over the remaining peach juice and bake in the oven at 150 for 20 minutes.
Serve cold with whipped cream, creme fraiche or ice cream.

I told you it was “simples” !!

I am sure David’s entry is going to be his favourite pudding, (his mother’s recipe which he regularly requests, but doesn’t always get!), bread and butter pudding with a meringue topping.

So act now and send us your recipes to include in our charity fundraising recipe book – just e-mail info@hoegrangeholidays.co.uk or pop in the post. Don’t forget to send us any photos too and tell us why you chose the receipe, or who it was inspired by. Also if you have any inspirational ideas for a title for our recipe book let us know – maybe barking bakes, canine cookery, or delicious doggy dinners, or maybe something more sensible!

The cook book will be available later in the year and all proceeds will go to Canine Partners to help buy and train an assistance puppy.  Not only will you be inspired to get creative in the kitchen and try out some exciting new recipes you will also be helping to make a real difference to someone’s life.

Felicity

Food, glorious food

Artisan cafe barWe #LoveLocal artisan food and drink, so in our never ending task of trying out the local bars, restaurants and cafes on you behalf, we have been hard at work again!

This time we reviewed the new Artisan Cafe Bar recently opened on St Johns St in Ashbourne town centre. This contemporary bar serves great food, delicious cakes and an astonishingly wide rage of beers of all strengths, including one called “ring your Mother” at a leg platting 10.5% – not for the faint hearted, or those driving home!

cheese platterThe coffee and cakes at £3.50 looked very tempting, but Felicity and I went for the sharing platter for lunch, which included an interesting selection of cheeses, and meats and a variety of scotch eggs. As it was a Tuesday lunch time I stuck to the coffee!

Our less able guests will be delighted to know the cafe has level entry and space for wheelchairs, with level access to the toilets, although the toilets are not equipped with any grab rails. It is also dog-friendly, and the owners are extremely helpful.

However if you want spirits with your meal you may be in luck! The building was historically a bakery (you can still see the salt cupboard by the old fireplace) which used to belong to the family of good friends of ours, and the ghostly goings on are legendary. The new owner reports that he has already found electrical switches that were definitely on get switched off overnight!

If you want a ghost tour you could also try out our local, The Olde Gate Inn in Brassington, which has recently been taken over by Tony and Mel Cashart. The oak paneled room is also reputedly haunted by a grey lady. However many times we visit we have never personally met her, so we just have to keep popping in !

The Olde Gate InnOnce again there is level access and you’ll get a warm welcome. The food is delicious, with fabulous cream teas too, and best of all you can walk, cycle or ride over the hill to the pub from Hoe Grange.

Onward with our quest to try out as many local Derbyshire pubs as possible – food, glorious food, where next is the question!

David