The Pack Horse
Humbly describing itself as a “community gastropub”, The Pack Horse is raking in the glowing reviews, including by food critics making a special trip up from That London – it’s even been named one of the Top 50 Gastropubs 2022 and it’s Michelin Guide listed.
In a traditional stone building on the edge of the Peak District, with open fires and plenty of character, this cosy country pub offers classic yet contemporary seasonal, sustainable British food prepared fresh to order, as well as real ales and even cocktails that champion local produce. The menu changes alongside the seasons; the kitchen works closely with farmers and suppliers as nearby as feasible to ensure the best quality produce – fish comes from the north-west coast, caught using sustainable methods where possible; lamb, hogget and mutton is from just four miles away. Fruit and veg wise, the spring menu includes Yorkshire asparagus, English samphire, Jersey Royals and even hand-picked, super-seasonal St George’s mushrooms – occasional tasting menus with paired wines crop up at special dates such as Easter and an ethically sourced nose-to-tail ethos is a big priority: “Eat well and in good conscience.” Think hearty pub dishes with a refined edge: snacks include a breadcrumbed Manchester egg, something of a signature; starters might resemble leeks vinaigrette, Whitby crab, crispy capers, chervil and dill. For mains, pork loin chop may be teamed with charred white sprouting broccoli, Isle of Wight tomato and Tuscan-style butter bean ribollita, sea bass meets brown crab curry sauce, onion bhaji and mint dressing, and there’s a local steak to share: Mettrick’s Derbyshire Angus T-bone comes with house fries, pickled onion rings and Café de Paris hollandaise.
For afters, the classics are covered with vanilla crème brûleé and shortbread or try the sweet-meets-savoury truffled Baron Bigod with treacle and walnut malt loaf, and balsamic onions. That should set you up for a hike on the hills; Kinder Scout is a stone’s throw.
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