Saturday was a lovely sunny but cold day, the perfect time for a relaxing day out and a visit to the Peak District. The plan was to visit Hathersage for coffee and then visit David Mellor Cutlery for lunch. However things did change along the way. Driving through Chatsworth Park we decided to stop at the farm shop and have our coffee in their restaurant. The farm shop is being extended and it was very busy. You can see why an extension is needed. There is so much amazing food to buy its difficult to choose. I bought some English apples and a loaf of Pumpernickel bread. The bread felt heavy but I have just eaten some for tea and it was delicious spread with honey.
We journeyed on to Hathersage and stopped first at the David Mellor Cutlery factory. It is just a short distance outside the village. The company was set up by David Mellor, Royal Designer for Industry. Mellor was a key figure in British design with an international reputation as a designer, manufacturer and shopkeeper. The cutlery is manufactured in a purpose-designed modern factory, the Round Building, which was designed by Sir Michael Hopkins. It has won numerous architectural awards.
Street furniture David Mellor, Hathersage
Inside the retail shop there are so many fantastic pieces of kitchen equipment. It is very difficult to leave without buying something.
The factory has a small restaurant which offers delicious food. We have eaten there in the past but on Saturday there wasn’t a spare table. We decided to travel on to the Riverside Herb Garden for some lunch.
The Riverside Herb Centre is about a mile the other side of Hathersage. It doesn’t look much from the outside but it is very welcoming inside.
When you enter you walk through their retail shop. I couldn’t resist making some purchases, including several Easter presents, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. They have barrels full of different varieties of oil and vinegar which you are able to taste before buying.
Oil and vinegar tasting
Once you have made your choice the liquids are decanted into the bottle size you wish to buy. If you go back for refills these work out to be about half the price of the first purchase. It is also a good reason for visiting the Herb Centre again. The Herb Centre is the retail outlet for a business called Herb Table LTD from which you can buy herbs, oil and vinegar by mail order. The cafe is a lovely place to eat while watching the local birds enjoying their dinner. There are numerous bird feeders hanging very close to the windows, and we also enjoyed watching one of the local squirrels tucking in as well.
Charlotte Bronte visited Hathersage in 1845 and used it as the ‘Norton’ of the story ‘Jane Eyre’. She also used North Lees Hall, an Elizabethan manor house just over a mile north of Hathersage. This is the house where Mrs Rochester jumped from the roof to her death. I can recommend Hathersage and the surrounding area as a beautiful place to visit whether you are looking for interesting shops, good food or fantastic views.