Two go to Buxton

Friday, 5 May 2017

As part of my recent birthday celebrations my fiancée Vicky (who by the way has an amazing nail art based blog so check out The Polish List) booked us a trip to Buxton. I guess she must have finally got bored hearing me harp on about how much I loved Buxton Brewery and especially about how desperate I was to visit the Buxton Tap House and try Yellow Belly Sundae.

So at around 6.30am on a cool April morning the two of us climbed into my car, armed only with snacks and a Disney sing-along spotify playlist, and commenced our four hour road trip. Thankfully the travel itself went smooth and, after a brief pause for coffee and doughnuts, we arrived safely at our first destination.

Chatsworth house had long been on Vicky's 'to do' list so it made complete sense that with it only being around fifteen miles away from Buxton that we killed two birds. And I'm glad we did. Chatsworth is spectacular. The house itself is as grand as you'd want and the displays give a great insight into it's history. But as good as the house is, the sprawling gardens really stole the show for me. My only regret is that due to how tired I was after the early start and long drive was that we didn't really do them justice.

In Buxton we were booked into The Palace Hotel; can you imagine my heart break my face when being told that we too early to check in but spotting that the Buxton Tap House was barely more than a stones throw from the hotel's reception?!?

So knowing that the car was safely parked I finally got to walk through the doors into one of my beer nirvanas.  The Tap Room, whilst slightly smaller than I'd expected, was everything I had hoped for! Light, airy and most importantly, full of brilliant beer, including plenty of bottles of Yellow Belly and Yellow Belly Sundae behind the bar. I wisely though eased myself in gently, so first up was a pint of Buxton Spa, a very easy drinking pale ale. That disappeared very quickly so I followed up with a bottle of Stigbergets Amazing Haze which was superb.

After a brief interlude which included a stroll around Buxton, a nap and a shower, we returned to the Tap House for dinner and more beer.

This time around I had Buxton Axe Edge (a traditional but very good IPA) and Buxton Myrcia (super smooth Oatmeal Hopburst Session IPA), both of which went very well with my burger. Then after dinner instead of a desert I had a third of Subliminal, an Imperial Stout born of a collaboration between Buxton and Stillwater Artisanal. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's one of the best stouts I've ever had.

After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast in a local café we explored Buxton a little more. It's a beautiful town, full of old stonework buildings. Sadly we did then get hit with a short rain shower so had no choice but to dive into the nearest pub, The New Inn. Here I enjoyed a pint of Robinson's Double Hop, a traditional but very well brewed and kept cask IPA.

As part of this sight seeing I also grabbed some 'souvenirs' from The Tap Room and from Beer District, a lovely little bottle shop with a great range of beers, both local and much further afield.

We then took a short drive to nearby Bakewell, another picturesque market town. Although as beautiful as it was, my highlight here was probably the amazing fresh scone with jam and clotted cream that I enjoyed in a cosy little tearoom.

The evening obviously revolved around food and beer! Thornbridge Brewery are based in Bakewell and are one of the few British Breweries that seem to successfully span both traditional English brewing and more modern craft styles. In fact Jaipur, their hugely successful IPA, is often described as a gateway beer for many. Whilst it may no longer be at the forefront of modern brewing, the pint of Jaipur that I had in 53 Degree North was one of the finest cask ales I've had in a long time. It really was outstanding.

Dinner was in Lonestar Bar and Grill, a family run Tex Mex restaurant next door to The Tap Room. Whilst their beer options were limited, the food was both generous in size and flavour. The sharing nachos to start really hit the spot and the Hot 'N' Spicy Bones (BBQ ribs) were incredible. We both left there very satisfied.

Of course we couldn't finish the night without popping into The Tap House where I had no hesitation in going straight back to Subliminal... damn that's a good stout!

And then back to the hotel for sleep before the long drive home (we won't discuss the tense forty minutes where we lost GPS signal and therefore all navigation).

The whole trip was amazing and it's definitely one I'd do again, hopefully to include a tour around the Thornbridge Brewery. For now I'll console myself with the amazing beers that I came home with... expect to see the reviews soon.


  1. Fab post and a great reminder of our lovely trip!! Def need to go again and this time swing by Manchester and Cloudwater xx

  2. That sounds like a really fantastic trip!

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