- Pubs of the Year 2017
- Clubs Officer 1st Outing
- Beer and Food
- Pub of the Year 2016
- Mild and Ale Trail 2016
- Pubs of the Year 2015
- Look Back In Amazement
- Mild and Ale Trail 2014
Beer and Food
Beer and Food in Derby
Opposite the railway station, Midland Road is straight ahead, and just before the traffic lights at the end of Midland Road, on the right, is the Station Inn. On Monday to Friday evenings, from 6 to 9pm, an appetizing looking menu has dishes to suit most tastes with prices that won't have you looking for a cash machine. Draught Bass is complemented by a changing guest beer.
In the city centre, near the cathedral, is the Old Silk Mill on Full Street which has established an enviable reputation for its innovative cuisine, imaginatively presented. At lunchtime, meals are available for a fiver and service continues throughout until 9pm, or 8pm on Sundays. This is the sister pub of the Exeter and 7 real ales including Draught Bass complement the food.
The Exeter Arms on Exeter Place, off Derwent Street, has a number of characterful rooms. An enticing looking menu frequently changes and, when I called, The Exeter Smokehouse from the pub's own smoker looked a tasty treat for starters. "Principal Dishes" include Moon A La Bouruignonne (ox cheek) and the prices reflect the quality of the culinary offering. Desserts include a cheese board. If you're partial to Derby's Dancing Duck ales, you won't be disappointed here.
The Old Bell Hotel, Sadler Gate, is in the Cathedral Quarter near the Market Place. This is a restoration project par excellence and the front bar and Tudor Room to the rear offer the chance to sate your appetite between 12 and 4pm. As of April 2016, a new lunchtime menu is being introduced that is quite different to that of the Zest restaurant next door which is integral to the Bell. At some point in 2016, the upstairs Belfry Bar will open in the evenings but its culinary offering was being kept under wraps at the time of writing. CAMRA Good Beer Guide listed and letting rooms are planned.
On Tuesday evenings only, the Flowerpot on King Street, serves excellent Gurkha curries freshly prepared on the premises by a chef from one of Derby's Himalayan restaurants. For less than a tenner you get a filling, tasty curry and naan bread, with vegetarian options available. Complementing your curry are several changing guest beers, or, perhaps, Whim Hartington IPA which is on permanently, may take your fancy. Highly recommended for both food and beer but remember it's Tuesdays 7 to 9pm only.
Past the Flowerpot, on Duffield Road, is the 5 Lamps, taking its name from the local area. Most tastes are catered for, from lighter options such as omelettes and salads right up to more substantial fayre, all priced at under a tenner. A reasonably priced specials board looks good value and Whitby fish is advertised outside. Food is available up to 8pm, except Sundays when it's 5pm.
14 real ales, some of which change, keep the real ale aficionado interested.
Derby has three J D Wetherspoon pubs; the best for beer being the Babington Arms on Babington Lane near the Intu shopping centre. The Thomas Leaper, Iron Gate, is next door to the most interesting, architecturally, of the trio, namely the four storey Standing Order. All three serve the standard, Wetherspoon fayre from early morning to late in the evening seven days a week.