Richard and I were thrilled to be invited to The Peacock pub at Barlow for an evening meal and I must say the experience didn’t disappoint at all in terms of food, service or the wonderful festive decor within each room; we both thoroughly enjoyed our visit! The wheelchair access was exemplary and allowed me to easily access the entire restaurant and lounge/ bar area so I could view each space that The Peacock staff had filled with festive, cheerful decorations. The food was delicious; a perfect partnership of the heartiness of conventional pub meals but also with the high-quality ingredients and culinary expertise you’d expect from a bistro restaurant. More on all of this below but I just wanted to express what a lovely evening we both had at The Peacock in Barlow (https://www.thepeacockatbarlow.co.uk)! Those of you who have followed my Blogger for a while may have noticed that we’ve featured the amazing access and culinary experience at The Peacock at Barlow in June of this year (https://disabledtravelwithgeorgina.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-peacock-at-barlow.html) so please check that out if you’d like to see sunnier pictures of the countryside view from The Peacock. Otherwise, read on for some festive fun at this lovely countryside pub!
The exterior area of the pub is very well-well-designed. Blue badge holders can park in two dedicated disabled parking bays at the far side of the pub building. The bays were the perfect size to allow Richard to park up and have the space to unload my powered chair. I used the WHILL Model C during my visit because it’s very quick to unload from the boot and assemble so Richard didn’t have to spend long in the freezing car park! These parking bays are ideally located to allow a wheelchair user to wheel into the side entrance of the pub where there is step-free access (picture 2). There are even automatic doors to allow you to enter the building with ease if you are entering alone as a wheelchair user. If you don’t have mobility problems then you can use the main entrance of The Peacock and marvel at the beautiful Christmas decorations as you go down the staircase. There are also lovely modern sculptures outside the building that are great decorations to view as you enter or even to take photos with (see below!).
Obviously the exterior balcony area is used a lot less frequently in the cold/ rainy English winter months but The Peacock staff still made it feel like a welcoming, festive space with a multitude of bright Christmas lights hanging from every surface. Honestly, you would please your staff base immensely if you booked your work Christmas party to take place at The Peacock as all of the lights and decorations gave a truly magical, festive appearance!
The interior of The Peacock is wonderfully festive too! There are combinations of classic garlands, twinkling trees and presents wrapped in bright Christmas wrapping paper over each surface! There are many different areas you can sit in; a lounge area with homely sofas and chairs which is a perfect space to sample the crafted cocktails or beers that are brewed onsite in the local brewery and a restaurant table area where you can dine in small or large groups. We loved the atmosphere when we visited as there was a variety of different group sizes ranging from couples on a date night, families having Christmas meals together and large groups having parties or festive gatherings! The pub had a lovely, bubbling atmosphere with people gathering for drinks together or having meals also. Even when the Christmas decorations are taken down in the new year, the rooms are already beautifully decorated with rustic furniture and comfy pieces of furniture. The staff at The Peacock had also clearly thought carefully when spacing the tables out. They left enough room between each table that I could access most of the restaurant in my wheelchair. There were some tighter areas when the dining area became more full and we had to ask one lady to pull her chair in slightly but, otherwise, we could easily get to and from our table. Luckily, my WHILL Model C is very manoeuvrable and allows me to weave between tables very easily but I possibly wouldn’t recommend bringing very large mobility scooters unless you rung in advance to book an easily accessible table at the outskirts of the dining area.
The Peacock have a brilliant system that’s clearly explained when you’re seated at the table where you have a pad of paper and pen at the table so you can write down your meal choices before placing your order at the ordering point beside the bar. You can order wine or water by the bottle at this order point to be delivered to your table but otherwise drinks orders are placed at the bar. If you struggle to carry your drinks to the table (perhaps if you are self-propelling in a wheelchair) then don’t hesitate to speak to a member of staff who would happily help you get these to your seat. The staff were all so welcoming and helpful during my visit that I’m sure they would be eager to do anything they could to help! The bar has a really picturesque, traditional look and it really suited all of the Christmas decorations laid across it! The Peacock owns the Collyfobble Brewery onsite (http://www.collyfobblebrewery.com) so you can get Derbyshire brews from the bar; Richard tried the festive beer which had a lovely rich, smooth, fruity taste! You can even get brewery tours or buy sets of different beers from The Peacock also. If beer isn’t your thing then ask at the bar about the cocktail and wine menus – they have such a wide selection that there will surely be something for everyone!
Richard ordered our food at the order point and we continued to enjoy our drinks while we waited the short time for the food. The Peacock share all of their menus online (https://www.thepeacockatbarlow.co.uk/eat) so you can have a look through these before you visit if you want. They have now added a new section to their menu since we visited in June called ‘Nibbles’ and these are absolutely brilliant if you’re wanting a sharing snack while you’re waiting for your food or if you want to share a platter amongst friends to accompany a drink. There are options such as camembert, nachos and olives but we chose their bread basket off of here as our starter. This came on a lovely wooden platter and included freshly baked white bread slices, brown bread slices and toasted ciabatta alongside both normal butter, butter with a garlic & herb flavouring and oil and balsamic vinegar also. We really enjoyed eating this whilst our main courses were being cooked and I think these dishes would be really social if shared between a larger group!As a main course, Richard chose the Chicken Tikka Masala curry. This was perfectly spiced to a medium level so many people could enjoy it without the spice level being overwhelming. The chunks of chicken were really generous in size, moist and tender; they complimented the delicious spice level well! Alongside the basmati rice, this was served with a fluffy garlic naan bread, a large poppadom and a homemade pickle tray that included cucumber and mint yoghurt raita and a spicy chutney. There was plenty of food within this dish and Richard said it was delicious and very filling. You could definitely tell that high quality ingredients had been used, particularly with the meat as it was very succulent!
I chose the classic bangers and mash option from the menu and paired this with a large home-made Yorkshire pudding. The menu says that these local Derbyshire sausages have won multiple awards and it is very easy to see why – they were large and succulent and the meat was very tasty! I liked the fact that the herb seasoning in the pork sausages was fairly mild so you could taste the high quality meat alongside the herbs rather than having them overwhelm the flavoursome meat. Alongside the three large sausages, there was a large portion of smooth, creamy mashed potato, a homemade Yorkshire pudding and a mustard and onion gravy. I would absolutely order this dish again, it was hearty and filling whilst also retaining all of the taste that the high quality ingredients added!
Surprisingly, we also had room for dessert; I’ll use the age-old excuse that it’s nearly Christmas after all so calories don’t count!! Richard always chooses the more savoury option so he went for the cheese board. This included a brilliant selection of different cheeses alongside crackers, celery, grapes and a delicious pear chutney. I of course stole a few mouthfuls and agreed that the cheeses were tasty and high quality! I have a real sweet tooth so I selected from the cake range that The Peacock displays so customers can enjoy a coffee and cake treat if they don’t want a full meal. I chose the toffee and walnut cake which was served alongside crystallised sugar orange peel and red seasonal berries. The cake was wholly moreish with a tasty, sweet icing layer between the cake layers and to top the cake off. I really enjoyed this dish and would be more than happy to visit The Peacock in Barlow just for coffee and cake after tasting this! The coffee and cake option would be ideal for friends meeting during the day or even for those going for countryside walks in the Barlow area and treating themselves after their exercise!
Of course this wouldn’t be a disabled access review without pictures of the disabled toilet! The Peacock absolutely ticks all of the boxes in this regard; there are many grab handles to help with transfers, the emergency pull-cord reaches the floor to alert staff in the event of a fall, the sink is at an ideal height and the sanitary bin is within easy reach of the toilet. The disabled toilet didn’t require a customer to have a RADAR key with them and it was spacious enough to easily turn my wheelchair around. I use the WHILL Model C which has the great of the front omniwheels that allow responsive, tight turns very easily in small spaces but even without a powered chair as easy to use as this, you would be perfectly fine to rotate your chair in this area.
Overall, Richard and I had an absolutely wonderful time at The Peacock! The access was ideal for blue badge holders to easily park in the disabled bays and have a level-access entrance to the building. The level-access continued throughout the restaurant so both Richard and I could enter each area and admire the wonderful, festive decorations. The toilet had all the necessary adaptations to allow disabled guests to use this easily. We were served by friendly, welcoming staff who were really helpful throughout our visit such as removing the chair from the table so I could sit in my wheelchair to eat. We both thoroughly enjoyed the food and drink we sampled! There was plenty of choice for both food and drink and the food dishes we sampled were both tasty and hearty with clearly high quality ingredients. Overall, whether you are a disabled customer or are just looking for that perfect place to visit near Chesterfield and the Peak District, I would highly recommend The Peacock at Barlow! If you’re in the area, please give them a visit and let them impress you as much as they impressed me!