10 of the best places to eat al fresco in Derbyshire

The summer terrace at The Peacock at Rowsley is the perfect place to spend an afternoon

The summer terrace at The Peacock at Rowsley is the perfect place to spend an afternoon - Credit: Ian Daisley

Whether you love fancy pants alfresco, street eats on the go, or food and drink with a view, here's our pick of places to gather outdoors with friends and family for that long-awaited catch-up.

The Lighthouse Restaurant, Boylestone 
Self-taught chef Jonathan Hardy, a former winner of a Derbyshire Life Food and Drink Award, has been cooking up delights for diners for more than a decade.
A county dining institution, hiding in the country lanes between Ashbourne and Sudbury, you’ll find ambitious dishes, a great wine list and lovely surroundings.
Until they can open indoors, The Lighthouse Social, will be an informal alfresco dining experience. This is street food and outdoor cooking at its best – think honey and sriracha chicken wings and Wagyu beef burgers with bourbon old fashioned cocktails.
Bookings are necessary and limited. 
From April 16, the-lighthouse-restaurant.co.uk.  

The Peacock at Rowsley, Rowsley 
Although you may have to wait a little longer to eat at this gorgeous stone-built 16th century converted Peak District manor house, it will be worth it.
Sit on the outdoor terrace for lunch, from Monday to Saturday, overlooking the lush gardens.
On the menu are dishes including guinea fowl and smoked ham ballotine, slow cooked lamb shoulder, wild garlic with pearl barley and the Peacock burger with smoked beef. 
From May 17, thepeacockatrowsley.com 

Pic your pod at The Horseshoes

Pic your pod at The Horseshoes - Credit: The Horseshoes

The Horseshoes, Long Lane 
This award-winning gastropub is a Derbyshire institution. A stylish gem in the countryside, there is great food and more than 100 gins on offer, including several from local small batch artisans.
Book ahead for a table in the spacious garden or book one of their lovely garden rooms - stylish garden pods ideal for booking out for a bubble of six. 
Open from April 12, horseshoeslonglane.co.uk 

The Scotsman’s Pack Country Inn, Hathersage 
Located on one of the old tracks leading to Sheffield, The Scotsman’s has for a long time been a regular place to call for food and shelter for the ‘packmen’ who visited farms and villages offering goods and carrying news. 
The best bit of good news is that this lovely inn will be doing outdoor dining. Choose your place on the patio – a sun-baked spot with lovely views over a trout stream while choosing from a menu full of pub classics and local beers.
If the weather is bad, no problem, they also have a marquee to keep you dry. Once you’re done, stroll to nearby St Michael’s Church, to spot the grave of Robin Hood’s fellow outlaw, Little John.  
From April 12, scotsmanspackcountryinn.co.uk 

Take your spot at The Cock Inn in Mugginton

Take your spot at The Cock Inn in Mugginton - Credit: The Cock Inn, Mugginton

The Cock Inn, Mugginton 
Part of the Berkeley Inns stable, there is great food in lovely surroundings.
The Inn, on a once important route from London to Manchester in the 18th and 19th centuries, is a former winner of a Derbyshire Life Food and Drink Award and county winner in The National Bar and Pub Awards. 
It blends the old inn with a contemporary extension to create a lovely restaurant. Until indoors dining can open, you can choose to eat at one of the outdoor tables or in a chic garden pod, ideal for those six person bubbles. 
Outdoor service will resume with a reduced menu from April 12, cockinnmugginton.com 

Laurent Perrier Champagne Terrace, Cavendish Hotel, Baslow 
Spend a warm evening feasting on seafood dishes overlooking gorgeous vistas on the Chatsworth Estate.
The new pop-up restaurant at the Cavendish Hotel – the Laurent Perrier Champagne Terrace – will be open for seafood dishes and the best kind of social bubbles for a special outdoor dining experience under canvas on the lawn.   
From April 12, devonshirehotels.co.uk/cavendish-hotel-baslow 

The Derby Market Place, Derby 
City centre alfresco never looked so good. One of the city’s newer places to eat with reopen this month. Eat outdoors with friends with food from one of your favourite Derby cafes, restaurants or pubs. 
This huge food court and licensed bar has bookable chalets, outdoor tables and a performance area. Order food from your favourite city centre place to eat and it will be delivered to your table.  
From April 17, derbymarketplace.co.uk

Spring sips from The Meynell Ingram Arms

Spring sips from The Meynell Ingram Arms - Credit: The Meynell Ingram Arms

The Meynell Ingram Arms, Hoar Cross  
On the fringes of the county, this fine country inn is the recent recipient of Best New Site in the Prestigious Publican Awards.
The building had sat empty for five years before reopening in in spring 2019 after a major overhaul.
Also, recognised as Best Newcomer in the prestigious Top 50 Gastropub awards, head chef Colin Ansell serves special menus, packed with local produce, designed to impress diners. 
From April 12, meynellingram.co.uk.

Pack Horse, Hayfield 
The full menus are still being kept under wraps but this Hayfield dining destination from young entrepreneurs Luke Payne and Emma Daniels won’t disappoint.
In Hadfield, near the revived cool foodie hotspot of Glossop, you can expect gorgeous small plates - High Peak lamb pie and house salt brisket baguettes will be on our list. A must-try place.  
Outdoor dining will be open at the weekends from April 16th in good weather with indoor dining open on May 20. thepackhorsehayfield.uk 

The Bluebell, Wingfield 
From the same team behind the hugely successful and popular Stones Restaurant, The Bluebell offers top notch, fuss-free dining in a gorgeous old pub. 
Pull up a chair at one of their outdoor tables and choose from their outdoor menu – which on a Sunday also includes a Sunday roast. Fine food, beers and cocktails in the Derbyshire countryside? We can’t wait. 
Open outdoors from April 15. Bluebellwingfield.co.uk.

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