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Dining Out In Derbyshire


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Harpur’s of Melbourne

Derbyshire’s newest 2 AA Rosette restaurant Derbyshire is a county of contrasts. From the dramatic vistas of the gritstone edges scarring through the purple heather, to the gentle rolling pastures and the newly created National Forest along the meandering Trent, the landscape could not be more different. The towns in the county reflect this diverse […]

Matlock Gurkha Inn

A few weeks ago the old Royal Oak in Tansley finished its transformation from a country pub to a new Nepalese and Indian Restaurant, and in keeping with this, it changed its name to the Matlock Gurkha Inn. You can’t miss the restaurant on the main road from Tansley into Matlock with its brightly painted […]

The Dovecote at Morley Hayes

The Dovecote restaurant at Morley Hayes has always maintained a good reputation for its’ consistently good food and beautiful surroundings. Set amongst acres of beautifully manicured fairways the surrounding golf courses make this a haven of peace. But even the most mature establishments occasionally need a little tlc and the Dovecote has recently been beautifully […]

Meynell Langley Tea Rooms

I’m a hoarder. My garage is so full of stuff that the car has to be parked on the drive at the full mercy of the English weather. However, if I sold the entire garage contents at a car boot sale, it wouldn’t raise enough to get the car fully valeted at my friendly local […]

Dining at The Black Swan, Ashover

Kate Morrison, the new manageress at the Black Swan Ashover, has embarked on a fresh venture that has come to fruition after working for many years in the food and restaurant industry. Their new chef was in the kitchen on our visit on June 15th, he comes with a great reputation and has years of […]

Dine Out at Kathmandu Gurkha

The recent monsoon weather left me wondering ‘Where the monsoon is a fact of life; does it have an influence on what you eat?’ An expedition was called for; actually a short drive for Susan and myself to Ripley and an evening at the Kathmandu Gurkha Restaurant on Church Street. The exterior of the restaurant is […]

Dining at Marquis of Ormonde

Why have so many songs been written about Monday and not, for example, Wednesday? According to Bob Geldof and The Boomtown Rats they don’t like Mondays and on Monday the Easy Beats had Friday on their mind. I’d like to change their opinions of that much maligned day; because Monday Night* is Steak Night at […]

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Derbyshire Lost houses


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Lost Houses – Swarkesstone Old Hall

If you drive along the road from Swarkestone Bridge to Chellaston you will notice, just as you turn east after passing the Crewe & Harpur Arms, a pair of sturdy stone gatepiers topped with large ball finials. Those not having to concentrate upon the road ahead will also see, in the field beyond the gate […]

Lost Houses – South Wingfield Manor

Some lost houses leave no trace behind, some fragments, some a wing or two incorporated into something else, and some, like the Manor at South Wingfield, end up as a stupendous ruin. Wingfield Manor is just such a stupendous ruin, and one that never fails to amaze me once I go through the gate from […]

Spondon Hall

The entire building was set in a small landscaped park and embellished with a pair of fine Wellingtonias – giant redwoods – and with dense planting to shield the house from those on Sitwell Street. I suppose that, if one counts Locko Park as part of Spondon, one could say that the village (now Derby […]

Lost House – Derwent Hall

Architect Joseph Aloysius Hansom undertook the work of creating an Elysium amongst the dark hills above Derwent. Next time you turn on the tap, you might spare a thought for poor old Derwent Hall. This interesting and distinguished house disappeared slowly beneath the waters of Derwent Reservoir between summer 1943 and 1945, when the last […]

Lost House – Parkfields Cedars, Derby

When architects design their own houses, there is always something of interest. Richard Leaper was Derby’s Regency period amateur architect who, according to historian Stephen Glover ‘…has had great taste and much experience in building family mansions…’ Leaper was a municipal grandee, a banker and tannery proprietor, but despite these responsibilities, was indeed a fairly […]

Babington House Derby

If you go into Waterstone’s in Derby, you will be entering a late 19th century edifice called Babington Buildings. High above your head, you will see a carved device – a visual pun called in heraldry a rebus – of two baboons either side of a barrel or tun: ‘baboon-tun’ thus Babington. The building, now […]

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Walking In Derbyshire


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Walking The Erewash

A comment from a reader who had walked my ‘Up the Nottingham and down the Erewash’ canal walk published in Images May edition, drew my attention to the fact that it is possible to expand May’s walk as a figure-of-eight, starting and finishing at the same place near Ilkeston; namely the sports ground opposite the […]

A Walk around Chatsworth

A walk that turned out to be different to what we intended. We are becoming addicted to TM Travel’s 217 simply because it stops outside my house on its way to Chatsworth. It was one of those rare fine days a week or so ago and having the day free we decided to go for […]

A search for Betty Kenny’s Tree

Looking for a single tree in Shining Woods might seem a fool’s errand, something akin to searching for a needle in a haystack. This tree, though is rather special, or, to be truthful, its scant remains are historically special. The tree in question was, in its younger days, a 2000 year-old yew, the pride of […]

A Walk around Rowarth

The chances are that if you are not acquainted with the area, you will be thinking to yourself, ‘Rowarth, where on earth is Rowarth?’ The village of Rowarth, the subject of this month’s walk, is one of those little known places one finds from time to time tucked away in some pleasant corner of the […]

Walk Around Froggatt Edge

This is a walk full of contrasts and interest.  Starting near the mouth of the longest and still used railway tunnel in the Peak District, it passes some of the most natural woodland in the region and also the one-time home of two priests martyred for their beliefs. Partly wooded valley strolling then follows, and […]

Up the Nottingham & Down the Erewash

There is industry, old and new along the Erewash Valley, but strange as it may seem, parts of the valley are so free of industrial overtones, that they have become a series of nature reserves. Safe from the noise and bustle of traffic along the cross-valley roads, water fowl and semi-rare plants have made their […]

Featured Articles


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Calke Abbey And Its Gardens

In the years before Calke Abbey became a National Trust property, a visitor who had heard rumours of rooms full of abandoned relics, decided to ‘explore’.  Making an excuse to visit a toilet, he deliberately wandered along neglected corridors, opening doors into rooms where years of sunshine had bleached the colour out of Victorian Turkey […]

Images of Wessex

Brian Spencer takes a look at the towns and monuments of the ancient kingdom of Wessex During the fine weather in late summer we took a trip into an area I haven’t visited for decades and this is a brief rundown of my impressions.  Basically the route we took was by way of Bristol, Bath, […]

The Last Lady of Hardwick

Following the death of the 10th Duke of Devonshire on 26th November 1950, his wife, Duchess Evelyn Devonshire, moved into Hardwick Hall where she lived as the Dowager until her death in 1960. Brian Spencer traces her far from reclusive life there. It is fitting that two determined ladies should be associated with Hardwick Hall’s […]

Belton House, A Monarch’s Hide-away

Belton House, a mile or so outside Grantham is the one-time home of the Brownlow family, who, as Brian Spencer discovered, were closely involved with an attempt to stave off the abdication of King Edward VIII, the short-reigned monarch who chose love before duty. The short walk from the car park at National Trust’s Belton […]

Exploring New Mills

The end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago saw massive floods careering down what became the Sett and Goyt valleys. The power generated by the force of billions of gallons of flood water carved a deep gorge, around which the town of New Mills now stands. This water was a heaven-sent opportunity […]

Derbyshire’s Homegrown Cricketing Heros

IDEALLY, county cricket’s trophy winners are saluted by an ecstatic home crowd or by a full house at Lord’s. Four of Derbyshire’s five major honours fit this category: the NatWest and Benson and Hedges finals of 1981 and 1993, the Sunday League title clinched at Derby in 1990 and promotion and the Second Division championship […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested


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Benefit – Tried & Tested

Roller Lash £19.50 Why We Love It: Curl Power!! It’s a roller for lashes! The eye-opening Hook ‘n’ Roll brush grabs, separates, lifts and curls, while the instant curve-setting formula holds for 12 hours. Contains provitamin B5 and serin, ingredients known for their lash-conditioning benefits. Ink black or brown, satin finish, Water-resistant and easy to remove, 87% said it […]

St Tropez – Tried & Tested

Bronze Beauty with St. Tropez Lack of British summer sun? Try getting that lovely healthy glow using St. Tropez for a natural looking tan. NEW Gradual Tan In Shower Golden Glow 200ml £14.50. Taking our outstanding gradual tan in shower to the next level. 2015’s bestseller and our biggest beauty launch to date just got […]

Liz Earle – Tried & Tested

Keep Naturally Hydrated with Liz Earle For further information visit www.lizearle.com SuperskinTM Moisturiser with natural neroli 50ml £39 Since day one, Liz Earle has maintained a refreshingly honest approach towards the reality  of ageing. In keeping with their Naturally Active philosophy to harness nature’s most powerful botanicals, at levels that make a genuine difference to skin, […]

Tried & Tested: Balance Me

Restore Your Skin’s Balance with Balance Me For more information and to buy visit www.balanceme.co.uk RESTORE AND REPLENISH FACE CREAM 50ml £40 Firms, smooths and promotes collagen production At the core of the new Collagen Boost line is the Restore and Replenish Face Cream, a super hydrating daily moisturiser containing a unique peptide complex to boost collagen […]

Love the skin you’re in with Clinique

Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 Hydrating Colour Corrector 40ml £28 Natural, glowing skin is the picture of health. However, Clinique’s guiding dermatologist confirms skin’s complexion and tone can sometimes change and cause skin to look different. In this global, fast paced environment, skin can use a boost to look refreshed. Today, women want a […]

Paul Mitchell – Awapuhi

Luxury care for dry, damaged hair. Since 1983, we have harvested awapuhi on our sustainable, solar-powered Paul Mitchell® Awapuhi farm in Hawaii. In 2010, tradition met technology with the launch of the Awapuhi Wild Ginger® collection, which combines the moisturising benefits of awapuhi with our revolutionary KeraTriplex protein blend to transform dry, damaged hair. KERATIN […]