Have you been to Derbyshire? If not we suggest you go. Sitting snug in the middle of the country it’s a perfect place to visit if you’re in to wide open spaces, wiggly roads and higgledy-piggledy stone walls. With grand houses such as Chatsworth House that make Downton Abbey look pokey – this county has nature aplenty and history round every corner. As my husband says, “If they ever close, Yorkshire I’d move to Derbyshire’. Quite a compliment from him, I promise you.
Lovely as it is, the question we always toy with is where to stay. Here’s where the Peacock at Rowsley comes in. Handy for all the sites and the open countryside of the Peak District National Park, the Peacock is a gem. Originally a manor house, built in the late 1600’s as part of the Haddon Estate, the building has been a hotel since 1830’s. So it’s no surprise that hospitality runs deep. Expect friendly staff and great food in a building that feels comfortable in its own skin. Here’s how we’re rated it for the sleep factor on our latest visit…
Comfort level: 8.5 out of 10 – The giant four posters and well-made antique dark wood furniture chosen for our room, both fit the setting perfectly. We love the splashes of colours dotted through the whole hotel in the form of smartly upholstered armchairs dressed in citrus velvet. Plonk yourself down in one and inevitably you’ll find a side table within arms reach – just inviting you to order a cuppa and settled down to do a crossword or get lost in a book for an hour. We loved the little touches in the bedrooms – from Miller Harris toiletries to a well stacked tea tray (just press ‘0’ for a jug of fresh milk). And the turndown service made us smile. Not only were we left a weather report for the next day and a sweet treat on our pillows, but the dogs (of course they came too) each had a night time treat waiting for them too. How lovely is that?
Noise level: 8.5 out of 10 – Although in a small village, the hotel is on a road where cars do speed by at quite a pace. The lovely old leaded windows have been given a helping hand with a sliding set of double-glazing to block out any outside noise however. So, other than the odd bit of road traffic at the start and end of the day, there’s little to disturb.
Light level: 9.5 out of 10 – Most definitely the heaviest, most luxurious curtains we’ve ever had the pleasure to close. If I knew who had made them I’d order some for home. Trust us, the only way sunlight is getting to your room is if you invite it in. Our room had a nice mix of lighting too – bedside table lamps for general mood setting and a directable reading light on each side of the bed for late-night bookworms.
Temperature level: 7 out of 10 – The radiators are serious old school ones and belted out so much heat we struggled a bit to get the room cool enough to sleep in on our first night. Even the open windows didn’t help (but then those extra thick curtains block the fresh air out and trap the heat in I guess). We cracked it for night two, but it took a bit of trial and error and did get in the way of a good night’s sleep on the first night.
Care level: 9.5 out of 10 – We were really well looked after by the welcoming staff. Friendly and proficient, they made sure our stay was a pleasant one. Nothing was too much trouble. Also, a special note to the chef and his team for making every plate of food look and taste best in class.
Total score: 5 ZZzzz’s out of 6 – A perfect spot to slow down, relax and be spoilt by the attentive team who run it. You’ll want to return, we promise you.
The Peacock at Rowsley, Derbyshire, DE4 2EB, UK +44 (0)1629 733518. Book via www.thepeacockatrowsley.com or via www.mrandmrssmith.com