It’s just a year since couple Nick and Kimberly Morgan took on the much-beloved Hobbs Café at Monsal Head, near Bakewell. Derbyshire born Nick had spent the past 20 years in the Middle East, where he and Kim met but relocated from Dubai to Monsal Head in 2023 to purchase Hobb’s Cafe with their sons, Conor, 10, and Arthur, 1, from Dubai. In that time, they have transformed this cool café with cakes, bakes, salads and savoury snacks that are just as tasty as the views outside are stunning. Here, they share their food loves.

Tells us a little about Hobbs Cafe and why you took it on.

Hobb's Cafe sits on one of the most stunning viewpoints we've ever seen, and our vision was to bring the cafe to life again to be able to properly complement the view. There's still so much to be done, but we are making progress. Most of our projects have been in the interior this year, but we will be making the outside just as wonderful.

First dish/cake you learned to cook?

Kim: When we first moved here, I hadn't tasted a Bakewell Tart, let alone cooked one, so that was the first bake I really had to master. It's such a popular treat at the cafe, especially during the busy holidays and summer months.

Most vivid childhood food memory?

Kim: I visited a small town in Canada every summer with my family and one of my most cherished food traditions we had were the ‘sticky buns’ from a local bakery. You had to get to the bakery early to make sure they didn't sell out and they were delicious buns, covered in gooey toffee caramel. It's a memory that brings a smile of my whole family, including cousins, aunts and uncles, sitting around the table with fresh sticky buns for breakfast.

Most memorable meal out?

Nick: We’ve had a lot of great meals in Dubai and around the world. A favourite would have to be sitting in front of the Burj al Arab, enjoying the Greek cuisine at a restaurant on the beach. We are looking forward to trying a few more local places this year.

Favourite ingredient?

Both: Well, butter is like the culinary superhero of the kitchen - it swoops in to save the day, making everything taste richer, creamier, and downright delicious. Whether it's slathered on warm toast, melted into a golden pool for sautéing, or whipped into a fluffy frosting for decadent desserts, butter brings an unrivalled richness and flavour to every dish it touches. Plus, let's not forget its magical ability to transform simple ingredients into mouthwatering masterpieces with just a swirl and a sizzle.

Your go-to snack?

Both: Probably chicken tikka pasties. Flaky pastry filled with spiced chicken tikka really hits the spot – especially if you’re on the go and rushing around the café.

If you weren't running Hobb's Cafe, what would you be doing?

Both: We would probably be living somewhere in the woods in a cabin, enjoying and exploring the nature around us... or running a boutique hotel from a castle in Scotland. We have lots of dreams.

Your dream dinner guest?

Both: J.K. Rowling would have to be a top choice. Her books have been a joy for the imagination and both of us have enjoyed different series that she has written. We also hear she loves baking and cooking so that could make for fun dinner discussions.

Your guilty food pleasure?

Both: We do love a burger. We love making our own so that everyone in the family can have theirs exactly as they like it. Nick has recently been experimenting with tortilla wraps instead of bread and we are all happy to be taste-testers.

Who are your local food and drink heroes?

Both: We really enjoy working with 4 Eyes Patisserie and Bakery. They make some truly amazing breads and pastries. A big favourite at the cafe is their kronut. The flavours change monthly with innovative and delicious combinations!

A place you love to eat?

Both: We really enjoy the Bulls Head in Ashford in the Water. It's perfectly located by the playground and football field so little people can get their energy out while we enjoy a yummy bite to eat!

A career highlight?

Both: Our previous careers were so different to what we are currently doing. Nick worked in the Oil and Gas Industry as a CEO with Altrad and I had my own management consultancy where I worked with brands on digital marketing as well as specialist position recruitment for companies. But a highlight for us is being able to work and build something together. While it has been a busy year with a baby and settling into an entirely new country for everyone, we are so appreciative of the wonderful support and encouragement we receive from our customers.

What's next?

Both: Monsal's Enchanted Emporium. Magical sweets, treats and ice creams. We will be opening in the Easter holidays in a part of the cafe we are currently renovating. It's going to be an experience unlike most sweet or ice cream shops and we will leave it at that until we are open. We will also be opening a two-bedroom Airbnb soon with exquisite views over the Monsal Dale.

Our favourite bake

I think one of our favourites has to be the classic Victoria sponge which we make in a bun with raspberry jam and freshly whipped cream piped on top. It is such a quintessentially English treat and reminds us of warm days enjoying the sunshine! It's the perfect light-ish bite after the steep walk up to the cafe from the Headstone Viaduct for walkers.

Great British Life: Tasty treats at Hobbs CaféTasty treats at Hobbs Café (Image: Kimberly Morgan)