David Mellor Design Museum Cafe
There’s something incredibly relaxing about this spacious, light and fascinating museum café on the outskirts of Hathersage, Derbyshire. It could be something to do with the beautifully designed objects that surround you as you sit down to peruse the short but appealing menu. And it could be because of the pleasant, efficient service offered by the friendly staff. Probably both. Either way, this is a lovely place to visit.
The late David Mellor, originally from Sheffield, is one of the most influential British designers of the 20th century, and the cafe is part of a Design Museum devoted to his work. As you enter you’ll see one of Mellor’s most famous designs – the great British traffic light (in full working order, so expect your glass of wine to be bathed in green, amber and red light). In addition you’ll use Mellor-designed cutlery and see an amazing range of his (and his son’s) other designs, from pillar boxes to teapots. Objects designed by the Mellors are all somehow extremely satisfying. Eating in their presence is proof of how the enjoyability of a meal is inextricably linked to one’s surroundings.
The simple food on offer is good quality and mostly locally sourced, including a decent range of sandwiches, quiches, tarts and home-made cakes. The menu changes daily according to the season. The cafe is fully licensed and you can also choose from a selection of specialist teas and coffees. We recommend lunch here as part of a great Derbyshire day out. But beware! You may end up spending a fortune on the luxurious tableware on sale in the shop next door.
By Matt Wright, founder and editor-in-chief