Short Break - Devonshire Arms, Beeley

Short Break - Devonshire Arms, Beeley

Short Break - Devonshire Arms, Beeley - Credit: Archant

Janet Reeder gets into the festive spirit at the Devonshire Arms in Beeley

When we think of being in the countryside perhaps on a morning when the branches are glittering with haw frost we fantasise about being in a place like the Devonshire Arms, Beeley.

This 14 bedroom hotel on the Chatsworth Estate easily fulfils everything we’d ever want from a country inn at Christmas. The stone walled bar with roaring fire and smells of woodsmoke, cosy nooks and crannies and comfortable bedrooms with windows opening out onto idyllic scenes of village life.

But the hotel goes a little bit further than olde worlde charm because there has been a very successful marriage between the old and the contemporary.

We stayed in one of the newer bedrooms across the road. Decor was “boutique” in style designed by the Duchess of Devonshire with fabrics prepared by seamstresses at Chatsworth, so it already came with upper crust credibility and we had all we needed for comfort, from tea, proper coffee and Chatsworth biscuits on the hospitality tray, to sweets in a jar!

Trousering some Drumstick lollipops (remember them?) we pulled on our wellies and went on a hike over to the big house itself, wonderful Chatsworth, which was hosting its annual modern sculpture show Beyond Limits. The exhibition which is held in a glorious gardens is now finished but there’s always loads to do here from walking in the grounds themselves, or shopping for Christmas gifts in Chatsworth’s shops to Bonfire night on the lawns and nativities, festive floral workshops and Yuletide markets.

We strolled back, dodging autumn showers and dressed for dinner - although even in the chic modern brasserie the dress code is smartly casual. I had a glass of champagne and opted for warming tomato soup and a wild mushroom tart with a Stilton bon-bon which was really good fun . The chap enjoyed pigeon to start and Chatsworth reared Limousin steak with chips and onion rings. Always leaving a little corner for puddings I ate most of the very rich dark chocolate tart which came with a curious little strawberry milkshake , while the sticky toffee pudding lived up to its name in sticky toffeeness.

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The bar was buzzing on a Friday night but across the road in our little romantic haven we heard nothing and awoke next morning feeling really rested and (rather greedily) hungry for breakfast! The full English was what you would expect from a country inn, large and hearty and afterwards we set off for a day exploring the local countryside with a spring in our step.

The Devonshire Arms, Devonshire Square, Beeley DE4 2NR

Bed and breakfast starts at £159 per room.

Tel 01629 733259

www.devonshirebeeley.co.uk