Top 50 Gastropubs


The Duncombe Arms

Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Landing on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list for the first time in 2021, Peak District gastropub the Duncombe Arms has put in another strong performance in this year’s list.

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The 19th century pub – and Bib Gourmand holder – the Duncombe Arms prides itself on serving classic and modern British food of fine-dining quality in warm and relaxed surroundings.

With decades of brewing, cooking and hospitality experience between them, co-owners Johnny and Laura Greenall took on what was once their village’s boarded up local and reopened in March 2012 following a wholesale revamp.

Described as “the local we all wish we had” by food writer Tom Parker Bowles in the Mail on Sunday, the pub boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen, a naturally lit dining space and the original 1850 inn’s nooks and snugs, as well as Laura’s mother’s maiden name and family crest above the door.

Overseen by general manager James Oddy – previously of the three AA Rosette-awarded restaurant of the Alderley Edge Hotel and Knutsford’s High Legh Park country club – the Duncombe Arms offers a list of some 200 wines and regular wine-tasting dinners.

What’s more, the management team work closely with local producers and huntsman to champion local ingredients while the Duncombe’s bar is a showcase for local brewers and spirt makers alike.

The team pride themselves on mixing pub classics with more adventurous, modern dishes, specialities have included crab, pickled radish, pear and yuzu mayonnaise; lamb rump with miso glazed carrot and jus gras and peanut butter and jelly soufflé with peanut butter ice cream according to the Michelin Guide.

The pub sits on the edge of the Peak District and is close to the market towns of Ashbourne and Uttoxeter and just three miles away from the popular theme park Alton Towers – although we’d suggest going to the pub after a rollercoaster ride and not before.

As well as being close to many stunning towns and tourist attractions, the pub can also host guests overnight, with accommodation available for up to six people in the luxurious three-bedroomed Garden Cottage, which is located just two miles away from the pub in the grounds of Wootton Hall Estate.

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