Sunday, 10 July 2016

Samuel Fox Country Inn

Hidden gem in the Peak District

Soused sardines, pickled fennel, grapefruit and saffron

It is not easy to spot a great restaurant when you are on holiday in the countryside, with no local knowledge and limited information on the internet. On my trip to the Peak District, Sammuel Fox came to my radar with an impressive collective of awards, it had a Michelin Bid Gourmand rating as well as being ranked the number 1 restaurant in Hope Valley. Judging from the pictures and the menu online, it seemed like it is a very solid restaurant with some playful and creative elements in the mix which warranted me a visit. The cooking was very British with some classic dishes, using seasonal and local ingredients.

Spiced fish soup
Tortello of goat’s cheese with beetroot and hazelnut pesto
Slow cooked belly pork with crushed violet potatoes, carrots,
 red cabbage, cider and sage

Between us, we shared a few dishes from its al la carte menu. The soused sardines was a simple dish but captured plenty of summer flavours with a eye pleasing presentation. The fish itself was rich and oily which worked well with the sharp taste of the pickled fennel and grapefruit, it was a very refreshing dish. The slow cooked belly pork was another very well executed dish, the pork was very tender and the crackling was perfect, everything on the plate such as the red cabbage and violet potato was finely seasoned and tasted divine. The other main, braised beef cheek showcased a more European cooking style from the kitchen. The super moist cheek absorbed all the richness and elegant flavours from the red wine, together with the black truffle, it added another layer of powerful and earthy element, both in aroma and taste.  

Braised beef cheek, red wine sauce, mushroom,
truffle, broad beans
Vanilla panna cotta
Summer fruit pavlova

What a hidden charm Samuel Fox Country Inn was, I was really impressed with the high level cooking that the kitchen delivered, I was not expecting to discover such a fabulous restaurant right in the middle of the Hope Valley countryside. James Duckett, the chef proprietor and his team has done a fantastic job and I would love to return if I ever take another trip to the Peak District. Great cooking, big protein size and humble service, not to mention it is very affordable, it it hard not to love Sammuel Fox, this is a great place to dine if you ever visit the Peak District.

Food 4/5

What I paid: 

£45 per head with a glass of wine

Average cost without drinks and services:


Stretfield Rd, Bradwell, Hope Valley S33 9JT

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