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The Yeaveley Arms, Yeaveley, Ashbourne, Derbyshire Restaurant Review

PUBLISHED: 16:41 02 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:57 20 February 2013

The Yeaveley Arms

The Yeaveley Arms

It has been empty for ten years but in defiance of the current climate Neil re-opened it last November and it is thriving. The long, low and well-manicured exterior is a foretaste of the newly refurbished bar and restaurant.

The Yeaveley Arms, Yeaveley DE6 2DT Tel: 01335 330771

After a quick hallo from restaurant manager Dan Brown, drinks were swiftly arranged and we took them to the squashiest of the sofas to survey the scene. There's plenty of room for both drinkers and diners, with lots of red, brown and cream seating, and some interesting brick piers punctuating the walls to add to the character of the room. There are two bills of fare - a bistro menu and an la carte selection which is changed monthly. The bistro menu was full of everyone's favourites: rib-eye steak, gammon and eggs, steak and Pedigree puff pastry pie, a daily curry, award-winning sausages and mash, beer-battered fish and chips - and plenty more. A traditional Sunday roast is served all day at 7.95. My partner chose a starter from this menu, a roast beetroot and goat's cheese salad. I decided on what I thought might be an interesting combination from the la carte menu: pan seared fresh king scallops with Scotch haggis and sweet pepper salsa, although other dishes sounded equally appealing, with plenty of choice for vegetarians (or non-meat eaters at least). A ham hock terrine with green bean and shallot salad; black pudding with poached egg and crispy pancetta; and a ballotine of salmon with tomato fondue and basil oil all ruffled my taste-buds. Starters from the la carte menu are priced from 5.95 to 7.50.

We were shown to a table at the far end of the restaurant area so were able to appreciate the elegant cutlery and glassware en route. Sitting down, I was thrilled to see real damask table napkins - and in napkin rings! Our starters arrived promptly on large white platters. His was a neat slice of goat's cheese prettily topped with a grilled orange slice, under which the beetroot was just visible. Leaves on the base lent a bit of crunch. The cheese was light, velvety and mildly flavoured, and perfectly complemented by the subtle earthy taste of the beetroot. My own dish featured 'masters-of-the-universe' rather than mere king scallops. Tiny jewels of sweet pepper salsa were dotted generously around the pice de rsistance - the haggis. Its rich, meaty flavour and robust texture married with the creamy fish, the tangy peppers sharpening each mouthful. Some good bread was served with this, as well as our choice of nicely-chilled Sauvignon Blanc, offered by the glass.

Choice of main course was, as usual, fraught with indecision, with seven dishes on offer. Ranging in price from wood pigeon with confit of pomegranate or honey-glazed chicken with a vine tomato and shallot salsa, both at 10.95, to fillet of beef topped with pt and mushroom, baked in puff pastry with red wine and shallot sauce, which was 19.95, there was something for everyone - although, this month, not if you were a meatless, fishless vegetarian. In that case, the bistro menu could accommodate you, but nevertheless it was a bit of a shame if you wanted to experience the full range of chef Stephen Radford's expertise. My partner liked the sound of the pan-fried seabass on creamed cabbage (12.95), while I couldn't resist the spinach element in the pork tenderloin stuffed with peach and spinach wrapped in Parma ham, with lemon and peach velout (12.75).

The two generous and beautifully cooked fillets of seabass perched on some juicy spring green cabbage were speedily eaten. The buttery new potatoes that accompanied the meal could have done with slightly longer cooking, although the carrots and creamed leeks were perfect. My tenderloin was delicately sliced, the juicy pink flesh encased in crispy ham and enclosing a green and gold nugget of spinach and peach. Instead of the traditional tart apple sauce, the peach and lemon made a fragrant and delicious change.

By now, to rehash a saying from my youth, our dinner compartments were full. Our pudding compartment still had plenty of room, however, so we asked to see the dessert menu. One of us had to sample the Yeaveley Arms lemon bakewell with cream and I dug into the crumbly, almondy, frangipane, topped with toasted flaked almonds and encased in perfect pastry, well deserving of bearing the name of the establishment. My partner had bread and butter pud with sultanas and cinnamon, a wonderful combination of flavours. All the desserts, including apple crumble or sticky toffee pudding with sauce Anglaise, chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice cream and marshmallow dipping sauce, home-made butterscotch crme brle, and Bailey's cheesecake with an orange syrup, were priced at 5.50. An excellent cup of espresso, served with a smile, as was the rest of the meal, by assistant manager Rebecca Clarke, rounded off our evening beautifully.

The Yeaveley Arms, Yeaveley DE6 2DT Tel: 01335 330771


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