The Greenman Public House
Tasteful surroundings and modern cuisine give every reason to
visit this recently-refurbished coaching inn in Ashbourne
Few buildings have a history as colourful as that of the Green Man in Ashbourne’s St John Street. The iconic coaching inn, built in the 1750s, has been at the centre of local life for centuries. Once known as the Green Man and Black’s Head Royal Hotel, it was visited by Princess Victoria in the 1830s, recognised for having the longest inn sign in the world and – perhaps most importantly in these parts – is the longstanding committee headquarters of Derbyshire’s most famous annual sporting event, Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide Football.
Now, over 250 years since it was constructed, new life has been breathed into the building following the opening of a stylish pub and restaurant.
Tucked away in the courtyard of the Green Man complex purchased by local entrepreneurs Anne and Colin Wright in 2012, the Greenman Public House and Restaurant is the latest in a series of exciting developments at the site, which already includes two premium retail stores and a popular café.
Tastefully blending into its surroundings, the Greenman Public House boasts smart and modern interiors with tan leather
‘Foodies will be thrilled to hear that locallyrenowned chefs Peter and Laura Dale are at the helm’
booths, reclaimed furniture and statement lighting. The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming: guests can enjoy drinks in the vibrant bar (it’s a flagship for Nyetimber Wines), while snacking on beef sliders or triple-cooked chips, or dine in the cosy dining room – which has just 40 covers – overlooking the open-plan kitchen.
The venue has been open for just four months but its owners already have an impressive culinary pedigree: foodies will be thrilled to hear that locallyrenowned chefs Peter and Laura Dale, who previously ran the highly-acclaimed Dining Room restaurant in St John Street, are at the helm, so great food is centre stage.
The menu changes on a regular basis – sometimes daily – to incorporate the best ingredients available and head chef Peter’s unpretentious cooking style focuses on the best local, seasonal and international produce.
This ethos was showcased in the two menus available on the evening of our visit: a winter weekday evening menu (one course £13, two courses £17.50, three courses £22) and an à la carte menu (starters £8-£10, mains £18-£20). Choices ranged from pork terrine or Jerusalem artichoke velouté to start, followed by Ashbourne pheasant, Mayfield Saddleback pork, Derbyshire beef hanger steak and Melbourne parsnip tarte tatin.
As soon as we were seated, restaurant manager Guna delivered delicious homemade sourdough bread and butter to our table, commenting that the Greenman Public House also serves fabulous Sunday lunches.
Our appetites whetted, my starter of smoked salmon soon
BELOW: The Greenman Public House’s snug dining area