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About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Technically nimble, creative cooking in an aristocratic manor

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Vegetarian menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Credit cards accepted

Deep in the heart of the Peak District, the Peacock does boast a certain social cachet. It's owned by Lord and Lady Manners of nearby Haddon Hall, and also has the Duke of Devonshire for a neighbour, with Chatsworth only a stone's throw. The place itself is a weathered stone-built manor house of the late 17th century that became a hotel at about the time Queen Victoria acceded to the throne, so it has had plenty of practice. The grounds alone are a delight, and certainly worth a wander, while keen fly-fishers might join the in-house club and find the Wye and the Derwent at their disposal. Inside, the place has been maintained with all the conscientious attention to detail you would expect, some of its rooms boasting four-poster beds. While the bar has the feel of a village inn, with its low ceiling, venerable timber columns and stone walls, the dining room is the last word in contemporary chic, with plum-coloured walls to offset modern fringed light fixtures as well as old oil portraits. This is the setting for Dan Smith's technically nimble, energetically creative British cooking, which sources from nearby estates for organically reared meats, as well as the Peacock's own kitchen gardens, for finely crafted modern dishes. Slow-cooked pork collar is given a finishing crisping to the surface before being partnered with smoked eel and black pudding for a successful ensemble, with a little celeriac purée and a strong note of Pommery mustard helping things along. Alternatively, there might be a very countrified wild garlic and nettle velouté, adorned with goats' curd, sourdough croûtons, and a floating garnish of croquet-monsieur. Main courses turn up the volume, building complex layers of flavour from pedigree prime materials. Brill fillet turns up chaperoned by an oyster for impeccable sea-fresh smartness, alongside leek and hispi cabbage, in a velvety-rich champagne sauce, the detail of hand-rolled macaroni emphasising the labour-intensiveness of the dish, or there may be positively traditional seared cutlet and braised shoulder of local lamb with crushed potatoes, in a vividly green spring array of peas and broad beans and a lamb jus edged with mint vinegar. Neither do desserts stint on intricacy: there's something to be discovered in every corner of a plate that takes in caramelised white chocolate mousse with citrus meringue, cranberry sorbet, jelly and compôte, all sharpened with a little rhubarb. Roasted pineapple with matching sorbet are the accompaniments to golden syrup sponge that comes with spiced caramel for extra richness. With inventive canapés and petits fours bookending the deal, this is a class act all round.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Days closed: Bank holiday Monday
  • Closed for dinner: 24–26 December, Sunday
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9

Chef

  • Chef: Daniel Smith

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines under £30: 9
  • Wines over £30: 41
  • Wines by the glass: 16

Price guide

  • Starter from : 7.45
  • Main course from: 24
  • Dessert from: 7.45
  • Credit cards accepted

Accessibility

  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 2
  • Accessible toilets
  • Assist dogs welcome

Facilities

  • Seats: 40
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20
  • On-site parking available

Additional information

  • Seats: 40
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 20

Getting here

A6, 3 miles before Bakewell, 6 miles from Matlock towards Bakewell

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Nearest train station

Matlock, Chesterfield
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