Pilsley Bakewell Derbyshire DE45 1UL
Those pesky Devonshires get everywhere! The Duchess has most recently applied her great eye for design to the old boozer in the tiny estate village, a mere stone's throw from Chatsworth House, and even nearer to the peerless farm shop at the top of the lane. Pilsley is chocolate-box pretty, the soft sandstone buildings glowing in sunlight. The pub – always popular with the locals but a bit frayed round the edges – has had a careful facelift, and whilst some of the traditional bits have been kept, there's a stylish, contemporary vibe which doesn't detract from the comfort factor. Chef Alan Hill sends freshly cooked local dishes out of his kitchen, with most of the ingredients coming from the aforementioned shop. Start perhaps with smooth game pate with blueberry centre, farm shop chutney & toast followed by slow cooked corned beef hash with fried eggs & HP sauce (£5.50 and £10.25). My personal fave is Paul’s Farm Shop faggots with vegetables and mashed potato, after which it's hard to resist the jam sponge & custard. The Dev (as it's known locally) is a great place to break your day before striking out for a personal tour round The House. I might be making the last bit up. There are seven stylish bedrooms, again designed by the Duchess, all different, all the height of luxury. Rates are from 79 prpn low season to 139 high.