Just a ten minute drive from Derby city, you'll find an 18th Century farmhouse serving up 21st Century cuisine. With a contemporary menu and wood fired pizza oven, you can join the friendly lot at The Farmhouse for breakfast, dinner or Sunday lunch. I went along with my grandparents, who live in Mackworth, for a weekend lunch. My grandpa remembers the pub as his local many years ago, so was looking forward to seeing the transformation.
The interior is cosy and inviting, with pops of colour and modern touches. You're greeted with the scent of a log burning fire and a well stocked wine cellar - the makings of the perfect country pub.
In contrast to this, the decor comes in the form of canary yellow seating, Scandinavian inspired chairs and a bright blue tiled floor. I loved the mix of old and new with geometric shapes and vivid colours; something I aim for in my own home.
We ordered a glass of red and draft beer whilst we looked over the menu. Of course, I'd already had a peek in advance. I love the typography and layout of their menu in print and on their site, which are totally in keeping with the classic meets contemporary vibe.
To begin, we went for Charcoal oven-roasted marinated duck skewers, Asian salad, sticky plum dressing and toasted sesame (£7.50), Smoked mackerel & horseradish pâté with grilled sourdough (£5.50) and the Chorizo, roasted pepper & potato hash and poached duck egg (£6.50) for myself.
Done well, this medley should combine a smokey and slightly crispy chorizo with a contrasting soft gooey egg. This was executed perfectly, and went really well with the crunchy, well seasoned potatoes. If you've read about my outings with my granny before, you'll know she always orders duck dishes. As her favourite, she high hopes and wasn't disappointed with this combination. The pate was flavoursome. smooth and a really generous portion. None of us actually tried each other's starters; everyone knows not sharing is code for "that meal was awesome".
For mains, we all couldn't wait to try the pizzas. With the scent of their wood fired oven swirling through the air, how could we resist?
Using their signature dough recipe and well sourced toppings, their sourdough pizzas are cooked until crisp at around 350 degrees in a flaming wood fired oven. I went for the vegetarian Goat’s cheese, marinated mozzarella, peppadew peppers, spinach and olives (£8.75) whilst they both opted for the Smoked mackerel, king prawns, confit garlic butter base, marinated mozzarella, mascarpone, rocket with a soft boiled egg (£12.50).
The distinct sweetness and slight spiciness of the peppers came through with the creamy goats cheese, slightly salty black olives and peppery rocket. I loved that we all got a proper wooden board and individual pizza cutter. The seafood offering had a great range of subtle but tasty toppings, along with a soft boiled egg on top. It was sort of like a Niçoise salad presented in pizza form.
Adorably, my grandparents' had both set their heart on the same dessert too, the Crispy fried ice cream with caramelised banana & butterscotch sauce (£5.95). Sadly on this occasion they had sold out of that pud and decisions were quickly made. My grandpa went for the Rich, sticky date & toffee pudding with clotted cream (£5.95), like myself, and my granny chose the Vanilla pannacotta, poached summer fruits and lemon biscotti (£5.95).
I had definitely made the best choice - the photograph makes me drool everytime I flick through it on my phone's photo album. Deliciously gooey, firm enough but ultimately very sticky and sweet. It came with a vanilla clotted cream for the ultimate British dessert heaven. My granny enjoyed her pannacotta, which she described as very light and equally creamy. Unfortunately the accompanying biscuit was far too hard and we thought this would be better replaced with a melt-in-the-mouth sugary shortbread to offset the tart berries.
We loved the touch that your bill was served in an old book. To my granny's delight, this was in a 1950s photography almanac. She used to work in the photography department and dark room at Derby college so loved flicking through the old tips, tutorials and advertisements.
Overall we both agreed what a lovely find it was. They have really brightened the place up whilst maintaining a cosy and welcoming atmosphere. We were sat by the window, with a view of the greenery and grounds where they host weddings and private events. I could totally imagine the bliss of ordering their French toast, a freshly brewed coffee and reading the daily paper with those views. You can also spend a night at The Farmhouse boutique hotel rooms, which look like the perfect mix of old and new features too.
Don't be put off by the fact I took my grandparents either. The Farmhouse is a modern venue with a modern menu. Plus, my grandparents are pretty cool.
60 ashbourne road
Note: I received a press discount on top of my bill. All opinions, words and photography my own.