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Dave Dykes

Dining Out at Viva Restaurant

Matlock is known for its great walks and heritage; it also has good facilities for shopping, leisure and recreation including the lovely Hall Leys Park. The skyline of Matlock is famously dominated by Riber Castle, gracefully overlooking the town. We are privileged to live on the outskirts of this beautiful town and one evening we […]

Dining at Jeera

It was a cold, dark, Thursday evening in the middle of January. The forecast was for it to get colder with possibly a heavy snowfall. The worst of the winter was yet to come. So, we decided it was time for a spicy evening out to banish the winter blues. We headed to Codnor Market […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

Dining at The Railway Inn

Trains have been running through Shottle on and off since 1867.  I say on and off because in 1947 the line was closed for passenger trains and used for goods trains only. However the recently opened Ecclesbourne Valley Railway now serves this delightful area of Derbyshire, which is rich in scenery and beautiful walks. The local […]

Kedleston Country House

From the beginning of the 18th century Derby has had a reputation for fine town houses. A slow walk along Friar Gate and on to Ashbourne Road will reveal many fine examples but if you continue that journey out of town along the Kedleston Road you will come across the grade II*-listed Kedleston Country House […]

Dining at Santo’s Higham Farm

Dining out with your partner, family or friends should be a memorable experience for all the right reasons; beautifully cooked food, pleasant surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere. What a delight when all these things come together as they did recently for my wife Susan and I on a chilly Autumn evening at Santo’s Higham Farm, […]