I think one of the things we have all missed in one way or another is eating out, going for coffee and just the general experience. Businesses have adapted with the takeaway options, the delivery services – but if I’m honest, I’ve really missed sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop!
The government has now launched the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, from 3rd August – 31st August, you can get 50% off a meal and non-alcoholic drinks up to £10. For most places, this is available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The restaurant will then be supported by the government for them to reclaim the difference.
Large chain restaurants have signed up to the scheme, but there are SO many independents to explore across your county and the government website includes a pretty handy tool – entering your postcode will show a list of cafes/restaurants and pubs taking part in the scheme, you can find this here.
As I live pretty much on the border of two counties, here is list of a few of my favourite places to check out in Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
JACK RABBITS, ASHBOURNE – Local produce is the USP here and Derbyshire is home to GOOD local produce. The new menu includes freshly prepared sandwiches and with the outdoor seating area, it’s especially one to visit on a sunny day.
THE BULLS HEAD, REPTON – This is a firm favourite of mine for a REALLY nice meal and cocktails, it’s a place that you would most likely always pick for a birthday meal out. Along with three other pubs in this group; The Swan, The Joiners Arms and The Hunloke Arms, there is always good food to be had. With the Bulls Head you’ve got ‘different places’ to eat within the venue and I love that. If you can pick, I’d say to go for the ‘Garden Room’.
THAI BASEMENT, ASHBOURNE – This has been in Ashbourne for as long as I can remember, located in, as the name suggests, a basement. There is so much on offer and if you need convincing of how good it is, I’m thinking about the mixed vegetable and cashew nut stir fry as I write this. It’s open for the scheme on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
THE DRAGON, WILLINGTON – I’ve only discovered The Dragon in the last year or so, but it’s one of those pubs with all the character and backs onto the Trent and Mersey canal – you’ve got a pretty nice view! Booking is recommended to make the most of the scheme for Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays!
BEAR, UTTOXETER (AND DERBY & STONE) – This is my GO-TO for every occasion. Coffee? Lunch? Cocktails? Bear has it all and I love it. As lockdown eased, they opened for takeaway in Uttoxeter first and the first caramel latte that I had was DREAMY. Food wise, my fave has to be the smashed avocado with feta and chilli and if we’re talking cocktails, you can’t go wrong with an aperol spritz.
DENSTONE FARM SHOP & CAFE, DENSTONE – In 2019, Denstone was voted Best Large Farm Shop Retailer & Cafe in the UK and rightly so! They have reduced the number of tables inside the cafe for social distancing and are still taking bookings for their afternoon tea – which I would say is not one to miss.
PLUME OF FEATHERS, BARLASTON – This pub is an absolute gem, not only for great food, but I love that it is in association with Neil Morrisey (who you may know from his roles in Waterloo Road and Line of Duty). The ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will be available all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from the 4th August. There is currently a limited menu but my favourite, the Chargrilled Portobello Mushroom Burger is still there!