The Duncombe Arms

UK England West Midlands Staffordshire Uttoxeter

  • Bar
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Restaurant
  • Wifi
  • Walking
Great food and room at this terrific Staffordshire country inn - if only all village locals were like this!
It was written that Johnny and Laura Greenall would take over this pub: not in the stars but on the pub sign itself, which bore Laura's mother's Duncombe coat of arms.  Formerly empty and rather neglected, the couple of used to drive past the pub every day and dreamt of restoring it, and that's exactly what they have done, taking this 1850s village boozer and turning it into a modern country inn renowned for the excellence of its food and the comfort of its rooms.

Just over the border from Derbyshire,  the Duncombe Arms also enjoys a great location overlooking the Dove Valley, on the edge of the Peak District National Park. It's a 5-minute drive from Alton Towers, making it an excellent place to stay when visiting the resort, and not far from the pleasant country town of Ashbourne, renowned for its antiques dealers. The rooms - 10 in total, in a separate building (Walnut House) behind the pub – are individually decorated in a contemporary country style that really works; think stylish artisan fabrics and wallpapers, mood lighting and bespoke art on the walls. They are large enough for a comfy chair or two and a writing desk, and the bathrooms are modern and well-conceived, some with spacious walk-in showers, others with a shower and bath, and all stocked with fluffy robes and fragrant Bamford toiletries. Each room also has a Roberts radio, a flatscreen TV with Freeview, tea and Nespresso coffee-making facilities, bottles of mineral water and homemade biscuits. The ground floor rooms open up onto a private patio area, while the junior suites are equipped sofa beds and can accommodate a young family. Dogs are also welcome in 2 of the 10 rooms, and they also offer slf-catering alternatives – the nearby 3-bedroom Old Barn and the 3-bedroom Garden Cottage, on the nearby Wootton Hall estate.

The pub itself still has the feel of a village local but one where the emphasis is on good quality food, with a menu that features both well-established pub classics and more refined fare, all beautifully presented and above all local – using game and meat from nearby farms, local cheeses and seasonal produce. The food is delicious and the surroundings ideal – pretty much everything in the kitchen is homemade, and the ambience is suitably pubby, with various different rooms, a roaring fire in winter and an attractive outside terrace for the warmer months. As for drinks, they serve their own Duncombe Ale and the extensive wine list is carefully chosen by the pub's veteran general manager James Oddy, who has also brought his love of craft gin to the pub, with over 28 different varieties on offer. James also organises regular wine tastings, game season dinners and other events. If only every local pub could be like this!

Details

Nearby

You are very close to Alton Towers but you can also walk through the fields behind the pub down to the river and pick up the footpath that leads to the ruins of  Calwich Abbey, the original seat of the Duncombe family, from where you can loop back to the village. Walking by the Dove is said to have inspired Handel to write his 'Water Music'.

Open

Open all year.

Pricing

Double rooms from £195 a night, Junior Suites from £225 a night – £30 extra for use of sofa bed, £20 a night for dogs. 

Rooms

Ten rooms, including 2 family rooms, 4 large doubles with shower and 4 large doubles with bath and shower.

Location

Contact Website  01335 324 275  The Duncombe Arms, Ellastone, Ashbourne, Staffordshire DE6 2GZ

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