Last Thursday night, Mr Mess and I found ourselves at a loose end, sans children and it just so happened that it was payday. All of which led us to one conclusion – we should treat ourselves and go out for dinner.
After some deliberation we both agreed that we fancied the picturesque drive out to Derbyshire and a meal at the Devonshire Arms at Beeley. We’ve been there a few times and have always had a lovely time so it seemed like the perfect pick for a peaceful, grown-up evening.
I really love the decor and styling at The Devonshire Arms. You walk through the front door into the main bar area, which is the epitome of a traditional pub with wooden beams, low ceilings and cosy seating nooks. The carpet even features the Cavendish family crest.
The waiter then leads you through to the main dining room, or the Brasserie, and the atmosphere is completely transformed. The Brasserie is light and airy, with contemporary art work and modern light fittings. The long glass windows look out over a small stream and the picturesque village of Beeley. It really is the perfect place to sit and enjoy a meal. (I’m so miffed that this photo is a bit blurry but I literally had to grab a snap in between the waiters walking across the room, blocking my shot!)
We decided not to have a starter, but as I was absolutely ravenous we opted for the sharing olives instead to tide us over until the main courses arrived. The olives arrived in a teacup, which was a really cute idea, and they were mixed with tiny pieces of celery and even the odd grape. They were a delicious little snack and just kept me going before the main event.
Although I do have a love of the finer things, I am also a simple girl at heart and I’m sometimes a bit afraid to try some of the dishes at The Devonshire Arms as I worry they will be a bit sophisticated for my incredibly bland palette. Luckily for me, their menu also included a classics section, which featured their take on some traditional pub favourites. Mr Mess opted for the fish and chips and I went for the sausage and mash (the smaller portion, as I’m trying not to overeat.)
Our choices may have been traditional but the food was far from ordinary. My meal was absolutely delicious. I was very glad that I had ordered the smaller portion as I could easily have eaten twice as much of this even though I really didn’t need it. As they say, it is always better to be left wanting more.
I asked Mr Mess to describe his meal. I can’t write his first response. But once he started being serious he described it as the Platonic ideal of fish and chips. Which then led to a lengthy lecture on what the “Platonic ideal” is, but I’m not going to try and explain. Google it. I think that was his way of saying it was good?! He did also mention that the portion size was perfect – they didn’t overload the plate but there was enough to leave you pleasantly full.
We decided not to have dessert, as I don’t think I could have done it justice, but we did decide to have a coffee as I wasn’t ready to leave the restaurant so soon. One latte and one cappuccino later, there really was nothing left to do but ask for the bill.
Thankfully even the bill was a treat, as our Friends of Chatsworth gold cards got us 20% off the price of our meal. The whole thing came in just under £30 which I thought was incredibly reasonable considering the quality of the meal.
As with everything else linked to Chatsworth the whole experience was polished to perfection. Both Mr Mess and I agreed that it was a lovely evening and we’d definitely be happy to go back again.