CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Derbyshire Life today CLICK HERE

Short break - The Peacock at Rowsley, Matlock

PUBLISHED: 09:42 21 September 2016 | UPDATED: 09:42 21 September 2016

The Peacock at Rowsley

The Peacock at Rowsley

Archant

The Peacock at Rowsley is a romantic hot spot and more, writes Janet Reeder

The Peacock at Rowsley RestaurantThe Peacock at Rowsley Restaurant

The Peacock features in those upmarket sites for couples looking for somewhere to enjoy quality time à deux and no wonder. The former 17th century manor house on the Haddon Estate in the Peak District has romance in spades.

There’s something about old walls and beautiful gardens in places like this that make you feel like Lady Chatterley on an awayday with Mellors the gamekeeper. The location is made for long walks before lingering looks over dinner.

But even the most loved-up couples want something to do and here there’s plenty. In fact, the hotel has launched a programme of events to keep guests amused and that’s how we ended up joining a merry band for a spot of foraging.

Foraging in foodie one-upmanship circles beats ‘organic’ hands down and not only did we get an expert on hand to ensure we didn’t overdose on toxic mushrooms but we were also joined by Lord Edward Manners, the owner of Haddon and its hall which has been described by writer and former National Trust chief Simon Jenkins in ‘1000 Best Houses’ as ‘the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages’.

The Peacock at RowsleyThe Peacock at Rowsley

We set off to root about on Lord Edward’s land under the guidance of Dr Patrick Harding, quite the ‘character’ who helped us hunt for edible plants and remedies.

First up was lesser celandine, a plant which Wordsworth loved and which had the not very romantic non botanical name, ‘pile wort’ (two guesses what that was supposed to cure). We found sorrel which tasted like lemons and can be used to make soup and grand elder, which can be cooked like spinach. Wild garlic was recognisable by its pungent smell and we discovered fungi and feverfew which is good for migraine.

Then it was all back to The Peacock for an absolutely splendid lunch which the chef had created using some of the foraged ingredients available on the land.

We ate poached pheasant egg, Wye Valley asparagus, morels, hazelnuts and wild asparagus, as fresh and spring-like as you could get. For mains we chose from either a richly flavoured piece of Haddon estate longhorn beef fillet, accompanied by an unctuous oxtail bun, salt-baked kohlrabi, watercress, horseradish and nettle or a sensational wild garlic gnocchi, plump and buttery, accompanied by the salt backed kohlrabi, spring vegetables, goats’ curd and a dash of nettle velouté.

To finish we could choose from a forced rhubarb fromage frais, mousse and mint ice cream but the best dessert by far was a lemon parfait, meringue, lemon and olive oil cake with mint ice cream which felt both naughty and good for you at the same time.

Although lunch was late we ‘forced’ ourselves to eat supper in The Peacock’s stunning bar area - all oak panels and antique furniture.

Prince Charles has been here, so too have Keira Knightley, Benedict Cumberbatch and a host of other famous and upper crust too many to mention. The bar, a mixture of tweedy and chic, suits its town and country clientele.

Lunch was off the menu next day as we’d already enjoyed a hearty breakfast following a restful night in a very comfortable country bedroom, so we rode the steam train from Rowsley to Matlock. I must say I could have walked the five miles quicker but it was a jolly experience. Then we went to Haddon Hall itself, which is often overshadowed by Chatsworth, a few miles away, but is extraordinary in its less showy beauty and therefore a must-visit attraction.

The Peacock at Rowsley (from £120 a room a night)

Bakewell Road, Rowsley, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 2EB

01629 733518 www.thepeacockatrowsley.com

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Derbyshire Life and Countryside visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Derbyshire Life and Countryside staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Derbyshire Life and Countryside account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

A ten-minute drive from the western edge of Sheffield brings thrill-seekers to a Derbyshire valley where outdoor activities are thriving.

Read more

Andrew Griffiths meets Jim Dixon, the former Chief Executive Officer of the Peak District National Park.

Read more

This walk offers a dance with the Dove and a meander by the Manifold, whilst along the way passing a church, castle remains, country houses and a hollow way

Read more

With winter on the horizon, trees glow with colour, migratory birds arrive and house spiders set off in search of a mate

Read more

Ann Hodgkin investigates a case of the sincerest form of flattery… or industrial espionage!

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s vision is of landscapes rich in wildlife, valued by everyone. They will achieve this 
by pursuing their mission of creating Living Landscapes. Here Julia Gow, the White Peak Reserve Officer at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust tells us about the reserve above the River Wye

Read more

Nigel Powlson visits Sudbury where a shopping courtyard is attracting even more visitors to this quintessential English village

Read more

If you’re walking in the Peak District, the chances are that you could encounter a reservoir at some point during your ramble. There are dozens of resevoirs dotted around all corners of the national park, we pick some of our favourite walks from our archive.

Read more
Peak District

A five-year Heritage Lottery-funded scheme, launched in 2010, was designed to encourage the restoration and conservation of the distinctive landscape character of a large area of north-east Derbyshire.

Read more

Enjoy the wonder of woodland in our glorious Derwent Valley on this park and ride special.

Read more

Paul Hobson reveals some of the fascinating wildlife there is to be found in this month of transition

Read more

From far away constellations to gas clouds, our night skies are bursting with natural wonders – if you know where to look... Viv Micklefield goes stargazing in Derbyshire

Read more

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust works across six Living Landscapes with 46 nature reserves to ensure there is wildlife and wild places for everyone. Reserve officer Sam Willis tells us about one of his favourite places – Ladybower Wood Nature Reserve

Read more

A multi-million pound makeover attracts more leading brands to one of the UK’s biggest shopping destinations

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Topics of Interest


Local Business Directory


Property Search