The Bulls Head
“A rising star in Derbyshire” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's view
In a lovely location in the heart of the Peak District, not far from Chesterfield, you could be forgiven for thinking The Bulls Head is your standard classic pub, with its neatly painted exterior and hanging baskets, but step inside and you’ll find it’s been stylishly renovated, giving a more contemporary feel, while retaining a classy, welcoming pub vibe. In the dining room, mis-matched chairs and bare dark wood tables with quality glassware, classic cutlery and white linen napkins lend an informal, eclectic air, while on warm days the covered outdoor terrace really comes into its own. The atmosphere is relaxed, with most of the food presented by the chefs, including owner Mark Aisthorpe. There’s a well-constructed, good-value wine list, and unpretentious sommelier service, with wine pairings available. You can choose the tasting menu or go à la carte, and expect seasonal, modern British cuisine featuring local and high-quality products. The bread is good – a nice home-made sourdough, spread perhaps with deliciously umami Marmite butter for those who don’t hate. Ham, egg, truffle, brioche, Hendersons (the local alternative to Worcester sauce) and smoked bacon is a lovely start to a meal, with tender, moist ham hock topped with a 68-degree egg and a bacon hollandaise; served with toasted brioche fingers. Main course Derbyshire beef comes as a succulent fillet, served with a smooth pea purée, wafer thin radish and a crisp hash brown, finished with tomato concasse. Alternatively, you might choose West Coast turbot with fennel, or loin and belly of Derbyshire lamb. Mocha, chocolate, coffee and malt makes for a sophisticated finale – light coffee sponge with chocolate jelly and a crisp tube filled with creamy mousse, or you might go for the cheeseboard from the Courtyard Dairy near Settle, served with home-made biscuits.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
- Cuisine style: Modern British
Also in the area
About the area
The natural features of this central English county range from the modest heights of the Peak District National Park, where Kinder Scout stands at 2,088 ft (636 m), to the depths of its remarkable underground caverns, floodlit to reveal exquisite Blue John stone. Walkers and cyclists will enjoy the High Peak Trail which extends from the Derwent Valley to the limestone plateau near Buxton, and for many, the spectacular scenery is what draws them to the area.
The county is well endowed with stately homes – most notably Chatsworth, the palatial home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, with its outstanding collections of paintings, statuary and art. Other gems include the well preserved medieval Haddon Hall, the Elizabethan Hardwick Hall, and Kedleston Hall, whose entrance front has been described as the grandest Palladian façade in Britain.
The spa town of Matlock is the county’s administrative centre and other major towns of interest include Derby and the old coal mining town of Chesterfield, with its crooked spire. Around the villages of Derbyshire, look out for the ancient tradition of well dressing, the decorating of springs and wells – the precious sources of life-sustaining water – with pictures formed from flowers.
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