Thursday, 17 April 2008

Day sixteen-tick tock Bakewell-Peak District

The Rutland arms in Bakewell should be the setting for a detective novel. It’s crammed full of antiquated clocks of all descriptions. Each clock is set a couple of minutes off the time of its neighbour so not to chime at the same time. What was the story about the man whole tried to set all the clocks in a huge house to the same time and ended up insane? There are parts of working clocks mounted on the walls-their huge pendulums swinging rhythmically from side to side. Tick tock, tick tock, grandmother clock cases with no faces stand in the corners of rooms while the portraits of long dead nobles stare studiously down on them. A clocking in machine sits, now dormant in the entrance hall. The clocking in times of men long gone still stamped on its reel.
Ladies of a certain age, huddle together gossiping around the huge log fire, pashminas and tartan scarves strewn absentmindedly around their tweed shoulders. A coffee table full of large glasses of thick red wine, Earl grey and abandoned forks still sticky from small cakey indulgences.

“Oh I shouldn’t, Oh go on then”.

The Rutland Arms has definitely tried its utmost to get the best of local food into its dining room. Locally sourced loin of longhorn beef, Rillettes of pork and rabbit and cauliflower soup with wild sorrel grace its menu. Beautiful food but we had to wait over an hour in a quiet period to receive our main course.

Still the succession of sequentially chiming clocks entertained us and Oskar had a new Thomas the Tank engine magazine which luckily came with a free Thomas story book.
I would eat there again, but I think that you are required to be relaxed about the speed of service, fill the gaps with wine and gossip. It’s more of an adult friendly environment , although Oskar behaved himself impeccably. He’s such a star.

Bakewell is a bit short of venues to dine in after dark. There’s an Italian completely decorated in cream colours, the cream decor being enough to put off anyone with children. An Indian and the Rutland Arms. The town seems to be set up for the hordes of daylight visitors . There are plenty of coffee houses serving traditional Bakewell puddings( and cafe food (Sandwiches and something and chips). Pubs with real ales and locally made pies featuring local meat and a really good award winning butchers Andrew Armstrong (Farmers & Butchers) Ltd . Market day is on Mondays and is reported to be well worth a visit with the majority of the stalls selling local produce.

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