Derbyshire, United Kingdom

The Cow

Rates per night from$104.49

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP83.33), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Bucolic bovine beauty

Setting

Green and pleasant land

If we had hooves, we’d clap them together in joyful appreciation of The Cow: a luxury inn near Derby that was a frill-free pub in another life. Reasons to gather your herd and come here include: the best-of-British restaurant (which dishes up devilishly good flatbreads and small plates); the 12 romantic rooms (each with winsome views of the green and verdant countryside), and the snug-as-a-bug bar, where gin-lovers can get their fix – and then some. Farmyard-fabulous flourishes come courtesy of cow-themed artworks, striking lighting and statement furniture, including a hefty butcher’s block that has been reimagined as a table.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of wine in your room on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Cow facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Twelve.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $104.49 (£83), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast; pick from Continental and Full English options.

At the hotel

Kitchen garden, free WiFi, on-site parking. In rooms: Nespresso machine, TV, WiFi, desk, minibar, free bottled water, tea- and coffee-making kit. Ground-floor rooms also have French doors leading to a private patio.

Our favourite rooms

Room 10 is in the eaves, with a huge bed and a bright and airy feel. We also fell for Room 3, which feels quiet and private, thanks to its tucked-away perch at the back of the inn.

Packing tips

No need to lug your GHDs along – hair straighteners are provided.

Pet‐friendly

The six ground-floor rooms are all doggy-friendly. Bringing Fido will cost you £15 a night; beds and food bowls are provided. See more pet-friendly hotels in Derbyshire.

Children

Leave the little 'uns at home.

Food and Drink

Photos The Cow food and drink

Top Table

The obvious rules apply here: sit by the crackling fire when it’s chilly; out on the sun-kissed terrace when it’s not.

Dress Code

Walking boots and Barbour by day, and not much more formal by night. The locals don't dress up.

Hotel restaurant

The tapas-style menu may look to Spain, but its ingredients and produce are firmly best-of-British. Ninety per cent of what goes on the Cow’s plate is sourced from local suppliers: Daltons of Ashbourne Dairy, Anthony Andrews Butchers in Duffield and the Staffordshire Cheese Company in Cheddleton, for example. Highlights from our visit include the flatbread with honey-glazed Packington bacon, onion marmalade and chilli and mint syrup, the blue-cheese and onion focaccia with garlic aioli, and the flawless treacle tart (we’ll wager it’s the best you’ll ever have).

Hotel bar

You’d expect a pub with rooms to know a thing or two about drinking, and the Cow doesn’t disappoint. Gin-lovers will be wooed by the stirling gin selection – no limp lemon slices, flat Schweppes or bottles of Gordon’s here. Be adventurous: try unfamiliar gins paired with flavour-matched garnishes and tonics. A stout selection of real ales and snuggle-inducing wood-burners keep things proudly British; the striking copper-topped bar is worthy of a toast alone.

Last orders

Breakfast is served until 10.30am; dinner is dished up until 9pm.

Location

Photos The Cow location
Address
The Cow
The Green
Dalbury Lees
DE6 5BE
United Kingdom

This boutique beasty is sitting pretty in a quiet country village, half an hour’s drive from the city of Derby.

Planes

Nottingham East Midlands airport is a 30-minute drive away. Let Smith24 sort your flights.

Trains

Derby station is just eight miles from the hotel, with services run by East Midlands Trains.

Automobiles

If you’re driving to the hotel via Derby city centre, follow the signs for Ashbourne A52. At the Markeaton island, take the A52, and follow this road for two miles; go straight through at the traffic lights. Take a left turn into Brun Lane, follow this to the T-junction and head right. After about 250 yards, turn left into Long Lane. Keep going for about a mile and a half, passing a number of right turns before Dalbury Lees is signposted left. Take this left turn and follow the road through the village: you’ll find the hotel on the left, alongside the village green; the Cow’s car park is adjacent to the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Sip your way (semi-sensibly, at least) through the Cow’s impressive gin selection, snuggle up by the fire with a book and taste-test the hotel’s tempting array of flatbreads and small plates. Further afield, explore National Trust treasure in the shape of Kedleston Hall, catch an alfresco flick courtesy of Markeaton Park’s seasonal outdoor cinema, and go for a ramble around charming Chatsworth House.

Local restaurants

Pub grub gets a fine-dining rethink at The Horseshoes on Long Lane in Ashbourne; the ambitious young chef continues to woo an appreciative audience. Have a leisurely brunch or lunch at the snug and friendly Deli Cafe at 11 Main Road in Brailsford. Dress smartly in honour of the dazzling dishes plated up at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Ashbourne, which has a Michelin star-toting chef as its not-so-secret weapon.

Reviews

Photos The Cow reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this cosy hotel in Dalbury Lees and unpacked their walking boots and shortbread, a full account of their British-countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Cow in Derby…

Derbyshire’s rugged rural landscapes – all rolling hills, rocky outcrops and glowering skies – call for something sublimely cosy: the architectural equivalent of a hot cup of tea and a delicious fruit cake. Somewhere that will warm feet, bellies and souls alike… somewhere exactly like the Cow, in fact: a former pub turned boutique inn, which woos with view-toting rooms, a clever chef and a formidable gin selection. You don’t need to be a cagoule-clad walker to appreciate the Cow’s blissfully comfy beds and crackling fires (though it certainly doesn’t hurt). This cow has character, too: walls are decorated with beastly good artworks by a local artist, there’s a butcher’s block table in the bar and plenty of eye-candy flourishes, such as striking lighting and artfully mismatched furniture.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Cow’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The rooms and bathrooms are gorgeous, the food is delicious and the staff are lovely. Our 15 year old labrador was thoroughly spoiled, which is definitely a sign of a good hotel for us. Unfortunately being 7 months pregnant, I couldn't enjoy the vast gin selection on offer, although the team made me beautiful drinks with the tonics - I could almost forget the main ingredient was missing!

Don’t expect

Lively nights. The bar and restaurant closes at 11:30pm / midnight, which was perfect for us!

Rating

Stayed on 24 May 2019

We loved

The quiet village. The room itself was well designed. 

Don’t expect

We were let down by lack of staff, so our room was not serviced – the bins were not emptied, the bed was left and the water and biscuits weren't replenished. Not the usual Mr & Mrs Smith standard. The food was ok, but not outstanding. Don't order everything at once, you will have finished dinner in 30 minutes!

Rating

Stayed on 19 Apr 2019

We loved

We loved the warm welcome from the staff. The room was really spacious and spotlessly clean. Both the evening meal and breakfast were fabulous. Overall, a very enjoyable stay.

Don’t expect

Dont expect fine dining. The meals are tapas style and designed for sharing. 

Rating

Stayed on 28 Mar 2019

We loved

The styling of the Cow - it was the perfect blend of rustic/country/modern! The staff were all very friendly, and the food and drink were really good. A great spot for a weekend getaway.

Don’t expect

...your satnav to take you to the door (well, ours didn't anyway!), but we still found it without a problem by following the road signs for the public house. Also, don't expect to be kept awake by passing traffic noise - it's very quiet outside, with a great atmosphere inside.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Mar 2019

We loved

We loved the rooms, the staff, the location, the atmosphere. Great rooms and staff very friendly and helpful. Place clean and tidy and relaxed. Rooms all a bit different and all gorgeous. Nice shampoo in the rooms and delicious biscuits as well. Large selection of gins and good advice to help choose. Food delicious - but didnt understand the whole concept (which was explained to us) of dishes coming out as/when they were ready rather than the steak and vegetables being delivered to the table together! Several others in the restaurant were obviously thinking the same as us too.

Don’t expect

The food was the only issue we had. All delicious, tasty and hot but ruined by how it was sent to the table. We hadnt finished our yummy beetroot and horseradish hummus before our steak was delivered. Would have been nice to have a gap and another drink maybe before the steak. What good is a steak without anything to go with it? Veg all delivered in stages some time later. Weird and not enjoyable. Steak was delicious.  All very tasty but strange. We just wanted a meal on a plate!

Rating

Stayed on 8 Mar 2019

We loved

The decor and ambience, the food and beer and room number 4! It was the perfect getaway. 

Don’t expect

A rowdy atmosphere

Rating

Stayed on 1 Mar 2019

We loved

Good food, thoughtful Valentine's menu and actually a very fair price luxurious rooms, if not large, plenty of tea/milk/nespresso/toiletries etc.

Don’t expect

Low prices.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Feb 2019

We loved

The Cow had great character right from our entrance as two frozen and soaking wet walkers who had been exposed to the elements of the Peak District's changeable December weather. We were met with warm welcomes, a warm fire and muddy boots weren't a problem. The room was exactly as described on the site, we chose room 10 and the rainfall shower and kingsize bed were a most welcome reviver in advance of dinner later that evening. The pub was lively with Christmas parties but maintained a relaxed atmosphere throughout the evening. All the staff knew their areas expertly. The beers wines we drank all came recommended, the foods were superbly presented and tasted even better. The whole experience had such a relaxed and welcoming feel, it was strange to think this was our first visit. The food is served as a sharing concept which meant with 5 dishes between 2 of us we got to taste a variety of delights, the cauliflower cheese bites were a particular favourite. Breakfast the following day, served by the roaring log fire, was equally as delicious and relaxed.

Don’t expect

Don't expect to be disappointed or hungry. Please don't book room 10 if you are tall, even at 5'5 I banged my head in the eves in the bathroom a couple of times.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Dec 2018

We loved

The food was amazing and the staff were so friendly.

Don’t expect

A three-course meal: it's a different type of dining experience.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Oct 2018

We loved

Our room, number 11, was attractively furnished, with a good use of wood and very modern bathroom. Drinks, teas, infusions, coffee and mini bar. Spotlessly clean.

Don’t expect

A restaurant. You eat in the bar, which is what we expected.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Oct 2018

We loved

The pub had been imaginatively transformed into a cosy, welcoming and friendly dining space with an updated twist on traditional pub food – 'British Tapas'. Fabulous food with excellent service. The bedrooms were fantastic stylish and very well equipped continuing the bovine theme and agricultural heritage of the pub through. Faultless!

Don’t expect

Banging nightlife, traffic and noise!

Rating

Stayed on 26 Sep 2018

We loved

Beautifully renovated pub. Difficult to fault.

Don’t expect

Aircon.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2018