The Cavendish Hotel is located on the scenic Chatsworth Estate owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, in the picturesque village of Baslow, Derbyshire. The hotel is easily accessible by car being just 16 miles from the M1 motorway and a 40 minute drive from Sheffield. The nearest rail station is Chesterfield with connecting bus services to Baslow.
Arrival and check-in:
The charming hotel is set back from the main road through the village (A621) and has a large car park for guests use. After removing our overnight bags from the car boot we entered the hotel into its welcoming entrance hall. This is decorated in an elegant style with a fresh flower arrangement adorning a circular table close to a roaring open fire. To one side of the lobby stands the reception desk from where we were welcomed by a smiling receptionist who had our details at hand and was able to check us into our room without delay.
Our room was conveniently located on the ground floor just along a corridor that was adorned with paintings and antiques collected by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Opening the door, we realised instantly that we were assured of a very relaxing stay as our twin bedded room was luxuriously appointed and oozed country house charm.
Everything had been carefully thought of from the comfortable sofa positioned perfectly to take in the views of the Chatsworth Estate through the sash window to the tea tray with fine bone china Chatsworth mugs and an entire box of chocolate cookies for us to enjoy.
The room came equipped with a Smart TV, had fast reliable Wi-Fi, and a fridge containing a bottle of fresh milk for our hot drinks. I also liked the fact that the wardrobe incorporated an internal light making it easy to find items of clothing tucked away at the back of shelves.
The stylish bathroom featured a bath with shower over, Noble Isle pear and rhubarb fragrant toiletries, Egyptian cotton towels and thick bathrobes. We were asleep in seconds tucked between the fine cotton bed linen, our heads rested on beautifully soft, goose down pillows.
Dinner: We’d reserved a table for dinner in the hotel’s 3 AA Rosette fine dining Gallery restaurant. Seated at a table with starched white linen near the open fire we perused the menu over glasses of wine.
Everything looked delicious and I’m certain we would have enjoyed all of the dishes but finally we managed to make our selections. Our starters of Derbyshire venison tartare and goose liver parfait were a feast for our senses as well as being beautifully presented.
Moving on to our mains I opted for roast guinea fowl with mushroom, parmesan and roast garlic sauce whilst across the table my son was in raptures over his fillet of beef with truffle gnocchi. We couldn’t resist desserts and savoured every spoonful of the delectable sweet treats on offer.
Dinner at The Cavendish strikes the right balance of a fine dining experience without being too formal and stuffy.
This was also served in the Gallery Restaurant and proved to be a splendid start to the day with a wide variety of both hot and cold dishes on offer, brought to the table by friendly and efficient waiting staff. We both opted for the full Derbyshire cooked breakfast with the sausages, bacon and eggs all locally sourced from the Chatsworth Estate.
The Cavendish has several lounge areas each with sumptuous furnishings, comfortable sofas and armchairs including an attractive bar lounge perfect for pre-dinner drinks.
In addition to the Gallery restaurant, there is a second less formal Garden restaurant which is bright and airy with windows overlooking the estate and an attractive black and white tiled floor.
There are electric charging points available for guests use in the car park and a footpath from the rear of the hotel leads directly onto the Chatsworth Estate.
Out and About:
Just a five minute drive or a gentle 20 minute stroll through fields from the hotel. A visit to Chatsworth House is a must for all visitors. The house is home to the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. Visitors are able to explore over 25 rooms including the Painted Hall, State Rooms and Sculpture Gallery.
Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop
Visit this wonderful farm shop in the neighbouring village of Pilsley and take an opportunity to stock up on its extensive range of seasonal fresh produce, cheese, chutneys and bakery items. There’s also a cafe serving some delicious bakery items to enjoy with your hot drinks.
Visit the charming small town of Bakewell, which is the only town wholly in the national park. This historic small market town is lovely with its characterful stone cottages and old buildings.
The River Wye winds it’s way through the town beneath the town’s Gothic five arch stone bridge. Monday is market day so if your visit extends over a weekend enjoy a wander around the stalls then call into the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for a pot of tea and a Bakewell pudding or a slice of Bakewell tart.
I suggest also visiting the spa town of Buxton. This elegant town has been welcoming visitors since Roman times due to the healing properties of its thermal spa waters. It’s also the highest market town in England standing 300 metres above sea level in the High Peak.
Much of the town’s Georgian architecture is linked to the 5th Duke of Devonshire who carried out ambitious plans to make Buxton a spa town to rival that of Bath in the 18th century. Admire Buxton Crescent and the nearby Pump Room which was built for the 7th Duke of Devonshire in 1894. It was last used to take the waters in the 1970’s and today visitors can freely fill up their water bottles from the spring outside its doors.
Another delightful place is Castleton which is one of the most beautiful villages of the White Peak. The Castleton area is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) famous for its large deposits of Blue John stone. This semi-precious mineral is a rare form of fluorite characterised by bands of purple, blue or yellow and is unique to this part of the Peak District and can be viewed from a visit to one of its four cave systems.
We visited Treak Cliff Cavern on the edge of the village and gazed in wonderment at the results of hundreds of thousands of years of multi-coloured flowstone deposits leaving stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations and of fossils embedded in the limestone rock.
Hassop Station/ Monsal Trail
For a spot of exercise head to Hassop Station where you can take a walk or hire bicycles for a ride along the Monsal Trail.
This traffic free cycling and walking route runs along the former Midland Railway line with the 8.5 mile scenic route passing through four illuminated railway tunnels each about 400m long and two additional shorter tunnels. This can also be combined with a ride to Bakewell. Afterwards enjoy a drink in the old station building which has been transformed into an attractive cafe, book and gift shop.
We knew that our short break at The Cavendish Hotel would be lovely but it even exceeded our high expectations as our stay was faultless with all the staff going the extra mile to be helpful. With its tranquil setting on the Chatsworth Estate the hotel is perfect for a relaxing stay and a wander around the surrounding villages or for the more energetic, an ideal base for hiking in the surrounding National Park.
Details: The Cavendish Hotel, Church Lane, Baslow, Derbyshire DE45 1SP.
We were guests of The Cavendish Hotel and Visit the Peak District and as always all views and opinions are entirely my own.
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