You’ll be delighted to know the French posts are over; it’s all rural England for a while now.


Starting with a walk from gritty urban Ashbourne out to Mapleton in a stretch of the White Peak that rarely troubles the Guide (more to do with scant GBG allocations than shoddy beer). In fact, you really have to head west towards Wirksworth and Belper for great GBG pubs.

In a tiny village, St Mary’s Church was more affecting than anything I saw in Paris.


The Okeover Arms is certainly in the “solid pub” camp though.


Lovingly unmodernised in the Derbyshire/Staffs border style, I warmed to its plainness, despite being the only non-diner/pretend walker.  Flagstone floors for the muddy boots that were noticeable by their absence.

Pashminas, purple and perms were all on display.  They don’t make them like this in the 21st arrondissement.

Ladies who lounge

I’m afraid the return to the UK does mean a return to unnecessary jam jars, but look !  Working handpumps.

One beer you’ve heard of, anyway

Their website says;

“As well as well known beers and ales, we also offer 2 local ales from Peak Ales Brewery, namely ‘Swift Nick’ and ‘Chatsworth Gold’ “ 

I can assure you some folk still think Landlord is exotic.

Always a risk picking the local beer, but I knew immediately I was in luck.  A cool, rich, fruity half, worth at least NBSS 3.5 if I ever remember to post scores on WhatPub.


One long room, part restaurant (unused), part casual dining near the fire.  I had the slight challenge of having to claim a table for four myself, while giving the Landlady that weird look that says “I’ll move if a table of four come in“.  She didn’t have a clue what I meant.


Always good to see folk doing crosswords while they wait for their fish and chips, rather than playing on their phones like I was.

Unpretentious Proper pub, weird sign on the Gents.



16 thoughts on “PEAK PRACTICE

  1. What a pleasure it always is in the White Peak, reading the place names such as Fenny Bentley, Parsley Hay, Ashover, Birchover, Okeover, Mapleton, Mayfield, and indeed Ashbourne.

    But then, chalk and limestone always made for worlds better farming, and so for a more comfortable life, than did millstone grit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fine pub even rated highly by my mum. Peak Ales seems to be consistently good and probably not unrelated to the fact that their list of beers doesn’t change every week.
    What gets in the GBG in the White Peak seems to be a bit random probably due to the fact that it’s shared out between so many branches and very much on the edge of most. Sheffield, Chesterfield, Matlock, Ashbourne, Staffordshire Moorlands (and probably others) all get a chunk. Doesn’t help that a large range doesn’t make any sense particularly outside the tourist season.
    In terms of consistency of beer quality I’d say Old Eyre Arms, Hassop; Queen Anne at Great Hucklow and the Lathkil at Over Haddon are the best, only one of which is in the GBG. They should all be in compared to some parts of GB.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, if all those people weren’t waiting for their fish and chips, the pub would probably be empty. All the local people will be at work, probably a fair distance away too.

    Point of order – those aren’t flagstones in your image, they are factory produced floor tiles, possibly imitation.


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