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Dining Out In Derbyshire

The Horse & Jockey

Back in the mid 1960s the Sunday afternoon picnic was something to look forward to. Family and food packed into the Morris Oxford and my father at the wheel conducting us on his own, very special, mystery tour. It could be to Clumber Park and long walks through the woods or to Dovedale; over the […]

Lunch at Lisa Jean at Bennetts Brasserie

The day hadn’t started very well. One of those tiny warning lights had illuminated on the dashboard of the car and, although I thought I was good at solving cryptic crosswords, this combination of hieroglyphics and abbreviations had me foxed. It required an excursion to Derby for a diagnosis. It wasn’t good news. It could […]

Kedleston Country House Boutique Hotel

Stepping over the threshold at The Kedleston Country House Boutique Hotel I realised that the last time I had been here was with work colleagues, some sadly no longer with us, for happy hour in 1989. In honesty I didn’t recognise the place as so much has been done to make this a truly splendid […]

Dining Out at The Sanam

Cooking in a traditional Bangladeshi way has always been the ethos at the Sanam, on King Street Alfreton.  Their philosophy of providing quality food at a fair price has stood the test of time and they are immensely proud of their track record.  The Sanam offers a mouth-watering tasty menu. Whilst enjoying our popadoms and […]

Blacksmith’s Loft

An embarrassingly long time ago I worked in an office on Iron Gate, Derby. Myself and my colleagues never appreciated the grandeur of this elegant street; with its subtle curve that leads the eye from the Market Place towards the Cathedral and the pleasing proportions of the Georgian facades. We simply hated the fact that […]

Dining at Railway Tearooms

Having ventured out on the weekly supermarket shop early Saturday morning and completed the ordeal, we decided that we deserved a (rare) treat; perhaps a trip out to a tearoom would be just what we both needed to start the weekend off properly. With this mission in mind, my partner and myself were fortunate to […]

Dining at Izaak Walton Hotel

I’ve just finished reading C.S. Quinn’s, historical novels centered around her resourceful character Charlie Tuesday. Both stories are set in London in the mid-17th Century; a turbulent time. The English Civil War had lasted 9 years (1642 – 1651). This was followed by Cromwell’s Commonwealth and then the Restoration of the Monarchy (1660). The first […]

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Derbyshire Lost houses

Old Bretby Hall

The name Bretby, although equipped with a Norse suffix meaning ‘place’, suggests that it was, even when the Danelaw was forming in the 10th-11th century, a place known to be (or have been) settled by people of British descent. Yet by 1086 it was attached to Newton (Solney) as an outlier, but by the end […]

The Knoll, Littleover

I have tramped the streets of Littleover many times over the last decade, canvassing or delivering leaflets, and have often wondered, when entering Knoll Close from Swanmore Road, on the south western slopes of the village, whether the inhabitants were aware of the reason for their street’s name. The street itself was built in the […]

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 […]

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Walking In Derbyshire

A Winter Warmer Around Attenborough Nature Reserve

Wrap up well for this walk because the wind off the River Trent at this time is often called ‘a lazy wind’, rather than go round, it tries to cut straight through your jacket.  Nevertheless it is an ideal winter walk for it is along wide, level, well surfaced tracks more than often sheltered by […]

Around Errwood and the Goyt Valley

When the A5004 Buxton/Whaley Bridge road reaches the top of Long Hill, a minor side road on the left, runs steeply downhill across the moors to reach Errwood Reservoir dam. Beyond the reservoir, the road forks, one climbing to the right, steeply uphill towards Rainow following the line of a possible Roman road, but certainly […]

Along Stanage Edge

The eastern escarpment of the Derwent Valley is lined along most of its length almost from its birth and as far as Chatsworth.  Broken into sections where natural weaknesses allow roads or trackways to cross the heights, this abrupt rise from the valley has always determined the route taken by travellers from as far back […]

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 […]

Featured Articles

Not Our Severed Hand

Last time I had cause to write of Knights of old and so forth, it was about Sir Gawain, an Arthurian character not normally associated with Derbyshire. There is another hoary old tale, frequently re-told, especially in South Derbyshire where it is supposedly set. This centres around a betrayal and a severed hand. Unlike Sir […]

Derbyshire’s Corinthian

It was appropriate that a memorial service for Donald Carr, who died on 11 June aged 89, should be held at Repton School, where his cricket and football career was shaped. That career, straddling the amateur era as a player and the professionalism of the Seventies and Eighties as an administrator at Lord’s, was the […]

No Turkey and Very Little Tinsel

No Turkey and Very Little Tinsel with Abigail and Barney Brian Spencer braves the winter storms on the Lancashire coast. When Sheila suggested we try Blackpool out of season by joining a turkey and tinsel trip, I thought ‘why not? At least we can fit in some bracing walks along the promenade and maybe take […]

Neil Heldreich – Celebrates 30 years in business

Derbyshire has always been home to fine craftsmen and one of them, furniture restorer Neil Heldreich, is celebrating his 30th anniversary in business. It’s a milestone reached thanks to help from the Prince’s Trust, which this year marks its 40th anniversary. Traditional furniture restorers and French polisher, Heldreich, based at Hollington, near Ashbourne, has come […]

Into the Realm of the Ice Bear

Part Two by Brian Spencer It took us all night to sail north with the G Expedition in order to meet the polar ice flow, a weird fog shrouded bleak mass with no other humans for at least a thousand miles.  Even Ursus Maritimus, (ice or polar bears) were not around, so it was decided […]

Pollyanna paints the Dawn of Time

Legend has it that the very last wild wolf in England was killed in the Derbyshire village of Wormhill in the sixteenth century. Hearing this piece of local lore inspired award winning wildlife artist Pollyanna Pickering to create a brand new collection of paintings.  She envisioned a time when the Peak District and wild woods […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

All About the Eyes, with Charlotte Tilbury

Rock ‘N’ Kohl £19 Bedroom Black Darlings, this is inspired by one of my all-time favourite looks, the ultimate rock-chick ‘bedroom eyes’. My revolutionary, no-nonsense liquid-eye pencil, enriched with crushed pearl powder, features the silky smooth glide of a liquid liner with the soft, sooty, pigment-rich result of a kohl. Channel your inner rock ‘n’ […]

Swell 3-Step Hair System

No More Fine, Limp Hair! With a staggering 40% of women and a high percentage of men in Western Europe living with fine, limp and thinning hair, it is no surprise this genetic disadvantage is one of the most common hair complaints. Whilst volume and body can be created with styling, few products on the […]

Nourish your skin with Clarins

Winter is on its way so take a little extra time to nourish and care for the skin you’re in with Clarins. HydraQuench Cream 50ml £35 80-70-13…The vital statistics for perfectly moisturised skin. Skin which is ideally hydrated – 80% water in the dermis, 65-70% in the epidermis and 13% in the horny layer – is […]

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, […]