The Boat Inn: Cromfords 'Best Kept Secret'
"Cromfords Best Kept Secret" turned out to be a Hidden Gem!
This inn is one of three pubs established by Richard Arkwright in the village that was developed for the workers of his mills - this inn is in the hamlet of Scarthin Nick, which surprisingly, .was once part of Matlock Bath.
The date 1772 is inscribed into the stone lintel above one of the two doors to the pub. Originally known as The New Inn, it became ' The Hit or Miss Beer House' in 1835.
In 1867, William Allen, who made a living transporting coal by his barge along the Cromford canal, took over as owner and changed the name to The Boat Inn.
As is to be expected with such an old building, there are stories of sightings of ghosts - a Victorian soldier, a lady floating through a bedroom and a young girl who delights in switching lights on and off have been reported
Entering the pub through a plain door from the pavement, we were faced with a short flight of stairs leading to a dining area, which was possibly the most modern part of the pub.On the walls were paintings of icons such as Clint Eastwood, Elvis, Jimmi Hendrix and the more local legend that was Brian Clough! These were for sale, along with some local scenes.
Turning to the right, the bar area was warm and welcoming. Low beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls, with comfy armchairs and sofas arranged around tables. At one end was an open fire and on the opposite wall was a wood burning stove. Tourist information stand, books and games along with boating and fishing memorabilia. Framed information about the history of the pub made for interesting reading.
The small bar stocked a good selection of Real Cask Ales, ciders, lager, wines/spirits and soft drinks. We received a friendly welcome from the bar tender, who was quite chatty. As designated driver, I stuck to Cranberry Juice, while Phil took his time perusing the draught Ales. We were given menus and shown the Specials Board.
Well, we were hungry and had been caught in the rain, so it had to be pies ;-)
We sat next to the wood burning stove and warmed ourselves while we waited for our food. The food is home cooked, so I had chance to read all about the history of the pub, and also checked out the beer garden - well it was still raining, so although it was covered, it was just a quick 'look-see'. I was quite amused to see a life belt on the terrace fence. While we were eating, we could hear the conversations from the bar between customers, staff and locals, which confirmed how friendly and welcoming this place is. We commented that we'd love to come back here again.
Open Mic nights, live music, pie/steak/curry nights
The Basement area is a sports bar and function room.
Monday - Saturday 12.00 - Midnight
Sunday 12.00 - 23.30
Favorite Dish: From the Specials Board, we both opted for the Meat and Potato Pie.
Food is cooked to order and is home cooked, so expect a short wait.
Our pies were hot and tasty - served in a bowl with puff pastry lid. Plenty of chunks of tasty tender steak and potato.
The chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy inside.
I was hoping to have room for dessert, but I was stuffed!
- Food and Dining
- Beer Tasting
- Historical Travel
The Wharf Cafe - Cromford: Nic But!
While a nice place to have a cup of tea at, if you want anything to eat before 12:00, you have no chance, as they only do tea/coffee and cake till then - (and the cake is from yesterday?). There are 3 to 5 girls behind the counter, of which, only one appears to be able to make anything, and the rest serve - or stand around waiting to serve.
Do not get me wrong - we have usd it serveral times through the year, and its a nice place to sit and have a cupps, but in March - they do not serve food until after 12:00, and in summer there is a heck of a wait as they cannot cope with the influx - so time it right!
Favorite Dish: On a cold day, a hot jacket potatoe with egg mayo - served after 12:00 of course!
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
- Museum Visits
Wharf Cafe: Lazy Days
Recently opened, the cafe is situated in an old wharf shed at the haed of the Cromford canal.
It is a great place to sit outside when the weather is nice and watch the world go by.
Much nicer than a Paris roadside cafe and a damn site cheaper!
Serves snacks, and light meals.
Favorite Dish: Pot of tea and a scone