Chatsworth’s Flying Childers. Possibly the best Afternoon Tea in the world

The Flying Childers Restaurant at glorious Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is the latest foodie option to open on the Estate. It is not what you might expect. Named after a prize-winning stallion acquired by the second Duke of Devonshire in 1719, the restaurant offers only Afternoon Tea and brunch. That’s it, a brunch and Afternoon Tea restaurant.

Just four weeks old when we visited, the Flying Childers is tucked away in the corner of the House’s magnificent stable block. I say tucked away as, although there is seating outside (as there is in much of the stable yard), when we visited the signage was so low key as to be almost invisible. Don’t let that put you off though. Once inside the large glass doors you are greeted by a portrait of the eponymous Childers and you find yourself in an elegant, refined and relaxed space that combines mellow grey furnishings with the golden warmth of the original stonework.

The Afternoon Teas are excellent. In partnership with Wedgwood, who have provided the stunning china plates and cups, as well as the opulent gold cutlery, you can enjoy a huge choice of teas (and a glass of Champagne if you are feeling that way inclined), a macaron starter, freshly made traditional sandwiches, savoury and sweet scones and a platter of sweet treats that might include a spicy chocolate mousse, Florentines, savarins, possets and Bakewell cheesecakes. The delightful patterned crockery makes the whole experience extra special. Afternoon Teas need to be booked in advance and can be booked as part of a tour of the house and gardens.

As we were there for a morning visit, we went for the Childers’ Brunch menu. Our host explained the select but distinctive menu. All the dishes bar one – the flat mushroom & Y Fenni Welsh Rarebit – were served cold. Between us we opted for the Parma ham, Parmesan and cantaloupe melon dish, the smoked salmon, crab and avocado, and the flaked mackerel with chargrilled aubergine. We accompanied this with the house sparkling water, a latte, a glass of Prosecco with elderflower (that was mine, naturally) and a Samuel Smith organic lager.

The Flying Childers himself

Each dish (costing roughly around £12 each) was delicious. There wasn’t a morsel left on any of those distinctive Wedgwood plates (for which I would now like to trade my entire wedding gift set of posh china).

We had preceded our lunch with a tour of the House Style exhibition of the astonishing dresses and robes associated with the women of Chatsworth throughout its history, and ended our day with a visit to the superb Chatsworth Farm Shop.

The Flying Childers is just that bit different, offering a delightful brunch or opulent Afternoon Tea in historic and elegant surroundings. What’s not to like?

Read more about Abby’s visit to Chatsworth on her blog.

Abby Brennan
The author:

Abby lives in Radcliffe on Trent with her family and several chickens. She is a former restaurant owner and now mentors food business start-ups, writes recipes, and blogs at The Fishwife's Kitchen.