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“Great Atmosphere” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Old Poets' Corner

The Old Poets' Corner
Butts Road, Ashover, Chesterfield, England
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Ranked #3 of 6 Restaurants in Ashover
Cuisines: British
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Derby, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Great Atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

This is a great pub with lots of 'nooks and crannies' which helps to give it its atmosphere. The beer is pretty good too!

Visited November 2012
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Matlock, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Tough.....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

Yes, I've already written a review for this place, I know. I've been moved to write this additional one because of a recent visit....and all is not well.
The Poets remains a nice environment to be in - fires lit, hops everywhere, dribbly candles, wood.... you get the picture, but good god the food!
Two of our party had the venison roulade. I like venison, it's not easy to cook well, but £11 told me that someone in the kitchen knew what they were doing. I was wrong. The mash tasted of nothing, the sprouts were boring, the sauce was ok, the stuffing was inspired, but no, no, no, no, the venison was so tough that had it been a shade over 5ft tall, I would have backed it against rocky in a boxing match. It was totally uneducated cooking at it's worst. When my mum said to the chef when her plate of gristle was being removed "It was really really tough" the chef just looked at her and didn't say a word. Quite bizarre really.
The Poets has a huge menu for a tiny place and therein lies the problem. My tip - do few things really well rather than lots of things poorly. Oh, and learn to say sorry. I could also go on.... - we had no cutlery and had to ask a waitress, who then didn't bring any despite walking past our table at least 4 times. The pork and cider casserole didn't taste of anything either and looked like something you'd find on a city pavement early on a Saturday morning (certainly not cider!)- ...but I won't.
The experience this time actually put me off eating there and I honestly don't know if I'll be back any time soon as a direct consequence of the poor standard of the food.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous country pub with rooms”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

A selection of real ales, great food, cosy logs fires and a comfortable bed made for a great weekend at the old poets' corner.

All this, and the beautiful village of Ashover with the walks and spectacular views! We'll be back!!!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Matlock, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“A dying ember...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Here's a review I've been putting off until I ate there again this week.

I have strong emotions about the Old Poets Corner, it's where I met my partner. I want it to be both empty enough for me to sit by the fire and full so that it doesn't close like so many pubs are doing at the moment.

It sits in a pretty (ish) derbyshire village. It's quite rural and difficult to get to, especially in winter where the sniff of snow or low overnight temperatures bring ice and horror on the roads around here.
Inside the Poets it's just almost perfect. It's the closest thing I've found to childhood pubs in Kent; hops tied along beams, open fires, dogs, candles in wine bottles, locals, conversation, no jukebox or slot machine, bar snacks. When I sit in the Poets I kind of don't care if the food is rat pellets, just light the log fires and let me sit here.....but I kind of do care, hence the review.

The food is the usual pub stuff but it's done with a little bit more care - local sausages, occasional game, battered fish, home-made pies (real home-made, not the pre frozen bought in lies some places sell you), all befitting the surroundings. Weirdly it has a very full Curry menu for one night a week which looks both out of place and desperate. I want to think that the chef is a pub food genius who spends all his/her time making pies and stuffing pheasants with chestnuts, not glooping chicken vindaloo about. What's the phrase....do a few things very well rather than lots of things poorly? Name one great English pub which is famous for it's roast pheasant and chicken tikka masala? No? There isn't one.
The food here is almost always very good quality. Personal favourites include the steak and ale pie, fish and chips, game pie. It's the medium to higher end of pub cuisine and it's usually cooked very competently. The northern part of Derbyshire is truly blessed with good eating pubs and this one ranks very well amongst them.
Last night 5 of us turned up for drinks, not intending to eat, but my partner was getting hunger anger and I value my life, so we ordered a few bowls of "cheesy chips" for us all to share and a prawn baguette for me to eat as much as I could before having to cut the obligatory "want to try a piece dear" bit from it. I've never eaten cheesy chips because the name makes me think of foot clinics, but they were both home-made (again), dark brown, old fashioned, really delicious. Not so the prawn sandwich, which had a strangely over-vinegary sauce - fairly bad value at nearly six quid.
Other meals I've had at the Poets have been good. Fish and chips is great, the batter is lovely and eating their pie and chips by one of the two real fires in winter time is one of my little pleasures in life. The downsides? -
It can get very busy.
The only outside seating area is tiny, taken over by smokers, doesn't cater for diners, and looks out onto a scruffy car park, which doesn't make use of the view in summertime.
It's not in walking distance from my house.
That's it. Not bad eh?

The Poets is one of those places that I wish there were more of. A whole range of gourmet beers, good honest pub food, and an ambience that only good English pubs have. Places like this are dying out, so I encourage you to support it......but only if I'm not planning to go and sit by the fire.....

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Nottingham, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“first class service from everyone at the old poets corner”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

visited on sunday september 30 2012 with 3 australians the staff and landlord made the visitors very welcome, the landlord took us into the micro brewery to explain the way it all works, good old fashioned service, friendly and pleasant bar staff.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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