Friday, 24 July 2009

Things to do...

A friend (you know who you are) was complaining recently about the lack of interesting local places to take a visiting ex-pat relative, including places for a lunch out. I'm never one to skip the opportunity for making a Top 5 list so here you go - "what to do with visiting ex-pats in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire"
1: proper dining out: no question, Cast restaurant at Nottingham Playhouse, with or without a play, though the theatre itself is closed for August. (elder daughter recommended Piccolo, an Italian restaurant which wouldn't let her in)
2: day out with lunch: Belton House, Grantham. National trust cafe/restaurants always do good food. eat too many Walkers crisps and you can get free entry tickets. You could also try Hardwick Hall or Kedleston, but I prefer Belton with children as it has large adventure playground.
3:day out with lunch: Cromford. Take them round Arkwright's Mills, birthplace of the industrial revolution, then lunch at the cafe across the road at the wharf, sit outside and watch the ducks and swans on the canal if the weather's nice, then have a short walk along it afterwards to work off some calories.
4:day out with lunch: Chatsworth. Take them round the house, garden (particularly with Sotheby's sculpture exhibition on in September), send the kids to the adventure playground/farmyard, then walk over to the old post office in Edensor for lunch (queues are frequently too long at Chatsworth itself)
5:walk with lunch: Monsal dale. Walk down the dale, look at the viaduct that Ruskin moaned about, walk back up, lunch or afternoon tea at the cafe.