Review: Lamplight Restaurant, Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Lamplight restaurant has been around for around 30 years. Located in Victoria Square, Ashbourne, just off the cobbled market place, the 15th century former coaching inn has retained all its character. It’s a wood-beamed jewel, cosy and atmospheric yet minimalist. It’s run by proprietors, chefs and sisters Pat and Linda, and was formerly managed by their parents.

My partner and I chose a Saturday evening visit and booked a table in advance (recommended). Friendly waiting staff greeted us as we entered up a small flight of stairs to the first floor. We were shown to our table in one of two rooms separated by a spiral staircase, one overlooking the market place, the other neighbouring the soulful kitchen.

The menu is seasonal. We chose a three-course option for £23 (£21 Wednesday to Friday). Our starters –asparagus & Parma ham accompanied by a perfect soft-poached egg and balsamic glaze – and poached pear, blue cheese & walnut salad – were faultless. For mains we chose chicken breast in mushroom, leek and tarragon cream sauce, and Mediterranean vegetable & halloumi tagliatelle. Both were excellent and delicious. Although sated, we ordered desserts, which were heavenly: chocolate & raspberry brownie, and peach melba Eton mess, both served with whipped cream.

Conversations overheard in the kitchen were friendly with lots of laughter. Overall, a lovely dining experience and great value for money. We’ll be visiting Lamplight again.

Stephanie Walsh
The author:

Derbyshire correspondent Stephanie Walsh lives in the Peak District.