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Happy New Year - Sticky Beak Looks Back On 2023


Published On Wednesday 3 Jan 2024 by Sticky Beak
See Recent News Articles


Well, 2023, you’ve been a proper roller-coaster! The highs have come via all the wonderful venues we’ve had the pleasure of visiting and their equally superb teams; the low came via technology, or rather, a glitch thereof.



Spring made a grand entrance with possibly the world’s (ok, bit of an exaggeration!) finest carvery offering at The Fishpond in Matlock Bath at the hands of Chef Extraordinaire, Mr Elmer De Villa and his dedicated colleagues. Elmer offers Beef cooked from rare to well-done, Lamb with and without Garlic and Rosemary, succulent Turkey and juicy Gammon, served with all manner of vegetables and a range of sauces to compliment it all. Better still, and definitely deserving of being shouted from the rooftops in these financially challenging times, at a price suitable for all.



Easter brought an Bottomless Brunch of divine provenance within Chesterfield’s only 4-star Hotel, Casa, in its downstairs bar, Barca. The food here was absolutely exquisite, the staff fantastic, and the endless Prosecco marvellously quaffable. May concluded with some superb Tapas at Darley Abbey, courtesy of Lorentes, who had spread their wings a little further than Derby city centre.



Summer saw His Nibs and I do a road-trip around Scotland’s NC500, something that Covid scuppered temporarily, but couldn’t thwart! Along the way we saw some incredible scenery, ate memorable meals and stayed in some great Hotels and B&B’s. This season also saw us complete a big project over at Mummy Birds’ house, so we entered autumn feeling pretty fine and dandy – even more so as we were off to Paris for a short break.



Our joy was cut short, though, by the announcement that our beloved blogs’ Facebook page was being unpublished!! We had absolutely no clue as to the reason and really had no idea where to begin looking for answers…but this is where our power of positivity came in. A few weeks earlier we had visited the most marvellous café/tea room in Coningsby, Lincolnshire called the Ginger Cow and had left a review (as we do when somewhere needs its praises singing); the owner had an idea as to how to contact the powers-that-be in FB-land, and shared it with us. Lo and behold! The process began to get our page back, and I am beyond grateful that we were successful…thank you to the great FB staff that helped us on our way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.



We drew breath and carried on our blogging endeavours…but this is where I need to be even more grateful. Without the support of all our followers and the messages of encouragement to not give up, I don’t know how we would’ve managed. All of you are tremendous, but Christine Sanderson and Lisa from Coghlans Derbyshire Food and Wine Experience Centre were total stalwarts. However, the star award for sheer belief goes to our Australian friend, Stewy Huckins; not once did this amazing human entertain the idea that we wouldn’t triumph – if I could kiss you, I would Stewy!!



One of the best things about this little blog is the sheer breadth of venues that we visit; we don’t stick to fancy-pants restaurants (that would be too easy, we think), we visit local cafés, tea-rooms, food producers and cookery experience centres and experiences. One minute we’re scoffing juicy burgers at Boo, the next we’re indulging in marvellous cuisine at Deacon’s Bank or the newly refurbished Garden Room at The Cavendish Hotel at Baslow.



In the run-up to Christmas, we were blessed to be dining at East Lodge with friends, again courtesy of Coghlans (who you can find at The Peak Village at Rowsley), where Andrew Coghlan talked us through the plethora of fine wines that accompanied each course. We enjoyed a family Christmas at the nest with Mummy, Fledge and The Beau; our Turkey and accompanying meats came from Percy Dawes Butchers in Alfreton, who did us proud, yet again.

We have visited many, many more terrific venues over the year, but if I listed them all individually, we’d be here until the next century!! You know who you are though, and our fabulous readers can visit the website www.thestickybeak.co.uk to discover them all for themselves.

Here’s to 2024 and the adventures it has in store for us; may it be a Happy, Healthy one for you all!!



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