Friday, 2 March 2012

A Devonshire gem in Derbyshire!

I thought that I was going to have to modify the title of this post after our first breakfast at 'The Devonshire Arms', Pilsley, following a minor altercation with the waiter, a young chap who started arguing with me when I complained about the lateness of the toast, blaming it on the toaster rather than admitting he'd forgotten us.

The Devonshire Arms, Pilsley, Derbyshire
These things can critically affect one's enjoyment, when, in the time honoured fashion, you wish to squidge your fried egg onto a piece of hot toast and the damn stuff doesn't arrive on time! It can ruin a hostellery's reputation!

I was instructed by my dearly beloved and the two friends who were accompanying us to let the matter rest until after breakfast the following day, just prior to our departure, thus avoiding the likelihood of me suffering a heart attack!

Pilsley, 'Devonshire Arms' at end of road
Sure enough, the following morning, breakfast was served in impeccable fashion with toast overflowing from the table and our every wish was met by a charming smile and total courtesy. In fact we left the table best of friends, almost blood brothers!

Hardwick Hall
That was the only slight blip on our second visit to 'The Devonshire Arms', Pilsley, one of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's Hotels/Pubs, offering first class accommodation and food. .

It is situated on the Chatsworth estate and is in fact just a couple of minutes from the Chatsworth Farm Shop where you can savour many 'goodies', at a price! The hotel is a perfect base for exploring the Peak District in your Morgan, although we were in the Volvo on this occasion.

Chatsworth House
We enjoyed a most memorable visit to 'Hardwick Hall', a National Trust property just south of Chesterfield, . It is a stunning Elizabethan house created in the late 1500's by Bess of Hardwick, the richest woman in England at the time, after Elizabeth the First.

Early morning, Derwent valley
Following some four hours there, we moved on to Stainsby Water Mill another NT property, and then on to have a look at Chatsworth House , gleaming in the evening sunshine, across the parkland opposite, because both the house and gardens were closed, which is the reason why we were able to secure a very reasonable rate for our accommodation at 'The Devonshire'. 

As I have said, it would make a perfect base for a Morgan adventure and next time we visit this super little hotel I think that we will definitely go in the mog, seasonal weather conditions permitting!

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