Food review - Derwentwater Arms, Calver

The Derwentwater Arms' famous pizzas

The Derwentwater Arms' famous pizzas - Credit: Archant

We run the rule over an 18th century pub/restaurant known for its ‘fine food, excellent ales and great accommodation’

The interior at the Derwentwater Arms

The interior at the Derwentwater Arms - Credit: Archant

Dating back to 1708 the Derwent Water Arms, which stands with elevated views within the beautiful Peak District village of Calver, is one of those places that lends itself to any season.

In the summer months, it is light and airy with beautiful spots to sit outside and enjoy the scenic surroundings, while the stone walls and elegant, traditional interior gives it a cosy feeling as the nights draw in.

However it is often the food that ends up being the star of the show. The Derwent Water Arms prides itself on sourcing high quality, local produce where possible and its extensive menu, which caters for all requirements and tastes, certainly benefits from this ethos.

As we sat down for our meal the atmosphere was warm and relaxed and the staff friendly and helpful. Covid measures made us feel safe in our surroundings but equally, they were not overbearing and had no effect on our enjoyment.

A fitting (and delicious) finale

A fitting (and delicious) finale - Credit: Archant

The specials board is always worth taking a look at and my partner and I both chose our starters from it. My partner choosing the butternut squash soup (£4.50) and I the grilled halloumi with a delicious sweet chilli dip and accompanying dressing (£5.50). The portions were perfect and seasoning spot on and it was, in fact, my partner’s favourite course - nothing was left!

While the award-winning pies were tempting, we both opted for the pizzas for our main, having been lucky enough to sample them on several occasions before! My partner went for the Rocketto with goats cheese, pesto and rocket (£9.50) while I tackled the Meatbeast with pepperoni, ham. Spicy sausage and chorizo (£10).

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Both main courses went down a treat, my partner noting the freshness of the ingredients while I was extremely impressed with the high quality of the meat – a world away from many ‘meat feast’ pizzas I have sampled before. Having devoured our mains and being suitably stuff, the only question was whether we could manage a dessert.

A quick look at the menu and we decided we had a bit of room left and we weren’t disappointed. Service was quick and we happily tucked into our choices, I, a moist sticky toffee pudding with delicious toffee sauce and accompanying local Hope Valley Dairy ice cream (£5.50) and my partner a beautifully presented gluten-free chocolate brownie (£5.50) which lasted no more than a couple of minutes – every meal needs a bit of chocolate!

The rooms offer country style with a modern twist

The rooms offer country style with a modern twist - Credit: Archant

To wash it all down, we had a wide variety of choices – the Derwent Water Arms excelling at providing a range of renowned real ales, guest ales, lagers, gins and the like. I went for a refreshing Stowford Press cider while my partner opted for a crisp and zesty sauvignon blanc ‘Le Charme’ from France.

Safe to say we were, as expected, left suitably impressed and suitably stuffed! The price point too is also more than fair. It won’t break the bank but equally you’re left in no doubt that you’re sampling high quality ingredients, lovingly put together.

For those wishing to indulge a little further, we were interested to hear of the new accommodation available at the Derwent Water Arms; three en-suite bedrooms very much in keeping with the look and feel of the place; created in a country style with a modern twist.

Given its location close to so many beauty spots, what better way to spend an evening and night after exploring all the Peak District has to offer.

We thanked Kat, the Derwent Water Arms’ manager, for her usual friendly custom and vowed to return again soon.