Losehill House Hotel and Spa, Derbyshire Life Luncheon

A summery Derbyshire Life luncheon tucked away in one of the most beautiful corners of the county at Losehill House Hotel and Spa

It would be harder to find a better way to spend a Thursday lunchtime in the Peak District on a gloriously sunny summer day than a luncheon at Losehill House Hotel and Spa. Somewhat off the beaten track just above the pretty village of Hope the long white building tucked into the edge of Losehill appears almost serendipitously through the trees that overhang the narrow road. Inside, decor, furnishings and fixtures and fittings are clearly recently installed and have been chosen with a light and stylish touch. In fact, our hosts, owners Paul Roden and his wife Kathryn, took over in 2007. Since then they’ve given Losehill House a major face-lift, resulting in a contemporary look with a traditional country house feel for the restaurant, lounge, fabulous spa and 21 beautifully appointed bedrooms. The hotel has recently achieved four AA stars, and is the only place in the Peak District to be thus recognised.

We were shown into the pretty Orangerie, with its elegant wrought iron furniture and tables, stylishly laid with pristine white napery. Overshadowing all, however, is an amazing view of the countryside, in particular of Win Hill which dominates the panorama.

A glass of chilled sparkling ros� – perfect for the hot summer day – and then it was time to take our seats. The appetiser arrived to a buzz of anticipation: a smooth, vibrant green velout� of pea and coconut, served in a shot glass with a selection of warm rolls which included our table’s favourite, red onion bread. Even Win Hill took second place for a while.

Having realised that this meal was going to be something special we eagerly awaited the first course and were rewarded with another beautifully composed dish. All Losehill’s ingredients are as fresh and as local as possible and the chefs plan the menu according to the best produce available that day. The talented head chef, Darren Goodwin, and his team had combined local ham and free range chicken in a pink and white roulade, the slightly saltier ham lending the milder chicken its seasoning in a perfect balance. To accompany the meat was a vivid squidge of carrot pur�e and little bubbles of chervil sauce that burst in the mouth, a delightful herby surprise. This course was accompanied by a crisp French Chardonnay.

On to the main course, by which time the convivial atmosphere that great food inspires had pervaded every corner. Each plate of food was a work of art and the next dish didn’t disappoint. With Derbyshire lamb as its star the meat was cooked two ways: tenderly braised shoulder and a rosy fillet encased in a herby basil mousse. A neat slice of golden topped gratin potato was complemented by a melange of asparagus, broad beans and pea shoots, and the dish was accompanied by a velvety Argentinian Pinot Noir.

Portion size had been perfectly judged, so we all fell upon the pudding with delight. A rhubarb mousse sat upon a slim disc of ginger sponge, with a juicy mouthful or two of the poached fruit, some cr�me anglaise, a scoop of the most delicious ice cream and, for a contrast of texture, a golden sail of brandy snap tuile.

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Seamless service delivered tea and coffee and guests began to remember dimly that they had places to be. In this hideaway location, it was easy to forget the real world with its noise and greyness. A glance through the window revealed guests sitting in the hot tub gazing at the glorious view, I don’t think I was the only one to wish I’d booked in for the week.

Menu - created by Head Chef Darren Goodwin

Pea and coconut velout�                                                            Mirabello Pinot Grigio Ros� Spumante, Italy

Local ham and free-range chicken roulade with carrot pur�e and chervil sauce                                                                                       Chardonnay, Ch�teau de Pennautier, Languedoc, France

Braised shoulder and fillet of Derbyshire lamb with basil mousse, gratin potatoes and spring greens (asparagus, broad beans and pea shoots)Alfreda Roca Pinot Noir, Mendoza, Argentina

Rhubarb mousse on ginger sponge with rhubarb comp�te and cr�me anglaise with ice cream and tuile

Tea and coffee

Losehill House Hotel, Edale Road, Hope, S33 6RF Tel: 01433 621219 www.losehillhouse.co.uk

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