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Jul 23, 2009 07:16 AM

Ideas for Dinner? (Derby area)

We're going to be in Derby next weekend. Unfortunately, we will have to give the often-talked about Japanese place a miss. Are there any other favourites, gastropubs, anything? Does anyone know anything about Zest? We have a car so driving a bit will be no problem.

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  1. June

    No personal experience I'm afraid but there's mention of a couple of places in town on another board I frequent. First is Ebi Sushi (which I presume must be the Japanese place you mention). The other is Masa, which looks "Modern European".


    3 Replies
    1. re: Harters

      Thanks, John. I'll look into Masa. Usually these are trips where food isn't our utmost concern. Is that heresy? :-)


      1. re: zuriga1

        Yep. Almost certainly Chowheresy.

        Some throughly enjoyable trips involve meals which Mrs H describes as "going out for our tea", as opposed to "going out for dinner". We had a week in the north east recently which was like that - even the one recc that I got from the other board was only in the "reasonably OK" category.

        Good Food Guide mentions "Darleys" at Darley Abbey which looks like it's literally just outside Derby. Another "Modern European" menu - I rather like the sound of chorizo risotto with crispy razor clams.

        Base d on GFG entries, food certainly seems to get better the further north you get in the county.

        1. re: Harters

          After some research, I see that there are quite a few good choices in Derby. I always laugh because I had cousins who lived in Durby (spelled Darby) Connecticut.

          We might just go with Masa which has a nice menu and is close to our hotel. I've never eaten in a converted church before. :-) We got a bargain rate because a new hotel is opening. Would you believe £20 a night? I hope we have a loo in the room.

          I think food all over England is getting better... but wish we had a few new offerings down south near us. I suppose it's not a good climate for new places to open just now.

    2. I usually go to Zest whenever I'm visiting family in Derby and I recommend it strongly. Never had a bad meal there. Sometimes been just all right, but usually it's delicious. They do a great value set lunch. It's usually quite quiet on Saturday lunchtimes when we go, but I hear evenings and week lunchtimes are very busy. I can't vouch for the service during the busy periods but on Saturdays there's a really nice laid back atmosphere (such a refreshing change to my usual London haunts!). Anyway - good, very fresh food.

      Darley's is okay. It has its pretensions and slight delusions of grandeur (awful faff about coats and 'would madam like to take a seat in the bar and peruse the menu' sort of thing', but the food was surprisingly very very well executed. Everything cooked perfectly and tasted great. My tuna steak was delicious, but my mum's lamb was divine!

      9 Replies
      1. re: isabella_deste

        Thanks very much isabella-deste. We've booked dinner at Masa, but maybe we can have lunch at Zest if we are nearby. I think we'll be wandering the countryside a bit, too.

        1. re: zuriga1

          Ah. Now then, if you're going to be out in the sticks June, I may have some other options.

          For instance, if you were going to be in Bakewell on Saturday, you'll find a really good farmers market at the cattle auction hall. And a decent lunch in town.

          Any idea where your travels are taking you?

          1. re: Harters

            We don't plan too much, but maybe your Bakewell idea would be fun. My husband is fond of Buxton, and I wouldn't mind seeing Chesterfield. We'll probably also go to one of the NT grand homes. I've been to Chatsworth - Kedleston Hall looks good. They might be the sticks but what sticks they are, John. I'm still a tourist.

            1. re: zuriga1

              I hope when you were at Chatsworth, you also found time for a quick visit to the Duchess' farm shop? Very high quality stuff. Bloody expensive!

              1. re: Harters

                When I visited Chatsworth, John, I was a Yank tourist and had no refrigerator in this country. Food wasn't of much interest back then... I know - hard to believe. Btw... DH liked the idea of the farmer's market. We have a new Farm Shop one near us so went to have a look at the only NT one in the SE. Fruit and veg was old and crummy. The only appealing items were the breads and rolls. They sell meats from cattle grown right there.

                1. re: zuriga1

                  Big apologies June.

                  Got my dates wrong. Market was last Saturday (last one of the month).

                  However, if you are in Bakewell, there's the Farmers Market Shop, which is a specialist food shop which sells many of the products from the market stalls. That's open every day.

                  And, of course, there's the opportunity to buy Bakewell Pudding/Tart.

                  Hope you catch this before setting off.


                  1. re: Harters

                    Not to worry, John. We will definitely not go hungry. An authenic Bakewell Tart would really be nice. We're not leaving till Friday so you caught me in time.


              2. re: zuriga1

                Both Kedleston Hall and Calke Abbey have excellent restaurants / cafes. We had a lovely Sunday lunch at Calke earlier this year - lovely roast pork (estate reared pigs and vegetables grown in the Victorian kitchen garden).

                1. re: isabella_deste

                  I've always been impressed by most of the National Trust cafes or restaurants. They certainly come in handy and use good products. I wouldn't be surprised if we eat something at either of the two places you mentioned.