For some unpretentious pub food in a refreshingly relaxed atmosphere, you can do a lot worse than take a detour off the A6 to the Fishermans Rest.
The much-loved pub, on the edge of Belper and surrounded by the greenery of the Derwent Valley, prides itself on locally-produced ingredients – with many of the menu’s highlights all about the venue’s own livestock.
My wife and I arrived at the pub one sunny Saturday evening recently and ordered a white wine and pale ale from the bar before being shown to our table.
The pub is small and fully admits the menu isn’t vast. However, there is more than enough choice for most – with all the usual pub favourites taken care of.
You can also create your own pizza with a decent range of toppings to choose from.
My wife chose deep fried Camembert with a herb breadcrumb crust with tangerine and beetroot salsa as her starter and fish and chips to follow.
I opted for Stilton pate with biscuits and Tim’s Special Burger for my main course.
There is nothing particularly fancy about the pub’s interior and that is one of its strengths.
There were plenty of regulars at the bar, families playing dominoes as they waited for their food and dog walkers popping in for a quick pint.
Our starters quickly arrived and my Stilton pâté was deliciously textured and creamy.
The starters did their job of whetting our appetites and we didn’t have to wait long for our mains to arrive.
My burger featured a rare breed Shetland beef patty with bacon, Stilton, caramelised red onion and salad in a brioche bun with homemade chips.
It was juicy and cooked to perfection, and nicely complemented by the crispness of the chips.
Although it was a sizeable feast it wasn’t quite the mountain of food you are often presented with in a pub - and was all the better for it.
Our two courses with drinks came to just over £20 a head which also made the Fishermans Rest a bargain.
Strongly recommended if you find yourself in this beautiful part of Derbyshire one summer evening.
Our rating: 8/10