Spoilt for choice, The rise of the independents.

Words: Jennie Sim
Images: Pizza PI and Pump & Grind

Living in Chesterfield and being a complete foodie has never been so good, it’s as if there is an underground movement taking place to challenge our taste buds like never before!

Independent venues are opening, sticking around and giving us much more of a taste adventure than your typical stand-alone chains. #localbusiness

The independents are really grasping the need for an ‘alternative’ menu option and by alternative, I mean healthier option, gluten free, vegan or vegetarian. Allergies, intolerance’s and dietary choices are on the increase …. 2019 is the year of the Vegan – there I have said it and won’t mention it again!

Pizza Pi of Beetwell Street have grasped this with their menu. Established in 2017 they got their menu bang on, this came from many discussions taking place over several years prior with numerous beers – and quite rightly so. Their menu sees an extensive loaded fries’ range perfect as a gluten free choice, or those simply not wanting to indulge in their handmade pizza dough.

A personal favourite is the full vegan pizza menu! If I could insert the saliva dripping emoji here I would but the S41 editors are also part of the emoji Police!

What’s great, and I mean mega is that they offer specials. So, if you are a huge pizza lover (lets face it there are lots of us out there) your favourite treat meal never needs to be boring. Most recently the Purple Broccoli and Blue Derbyshire pizza with their signature homemade sauce was an inspiration to the pizza world – Broccoli on a pizza – one of your five a day right there!

For many of us eating out of an evening isn’t always that easy, the constraints of our mini humans and the added cost of childcare can make evening dining tricky. Luckily for us if we fancy a cheeky brunch, lunch or afternoon tea we are spoilt for choice with a wealth of venues to choose from, offering quirky, traditional or boutique when it comes to a dining experience.

Libby’s on Chatsworth road is a true hidden gem with a traditional take on British food, I have lost count of the amount of times I have recommended Libby’s only for the recipient to comment they had no idea it was there. The food is ALL home cooked, scones to die for, quiches changing daily offering a gluten free crust option and cakes to make even Mr Savoury drool! What really gets you though is the staff, the ladies are all so, so, friendly remembering you from your first visit to your last, nothing is too much troublede and there is always time for them to take interest in you and your day.

Another fabulous venue is the H & F tearooms the quote from the owner Sharon Hilton says it all ‘the vintage tea rooms is a place to come and escape from the hussle and bustle of our busy modern lives. With its vintage decor and traditional values, we offer an experience quite unique in this area.”

A step back in time with a modern-day twist on delicacies makes a visit to the H & F tearooms a memorable experience. It is great for a full-on lunch experience or simply coffee and cake. I love the personal touch of free water, infused with cucumber, mint or lime and the friendly atmosphere that encompasses you as you walk in.

If you’re looking for a boutique feel, head to Blu Bistro on the Chatsworth Road, they offer an exceptional breakfast and evening meal menu. Their afternoon tea with an option of Prosecco or G & T might just tip the balance when looking for a daytime dining experience.

I must mention Pump and Grind. They offer superb coffee, craft beers, top cocktails and ace grub. A relaxed atmosphere, super cool vibe and a taco menu that speaks volumes. The menu can be changed to suit all dietary requirements so it’s a win, win, from me. It’s the sort of place you can sit, eat, work and drink exceptionally good coffee on your own but not feel lonely.

Be warned the cocktails are on another level, a piece of art almost a shame to drink – which of course you always do! How many though that’s up to you.

If a traditional friendly pub with homemade grub is your thing then head to The Three Horseshoes in Clay Cross to see Craig and Mark, these guys make you feel at home with exceptional home cooked food catering for all. The fabulous weekly entertainment on every night apart from a Monday means you can enjoy a fun night out even on a school night! Portions are large, homely and give comfort food a whole new meaning, I recommend booking to avoid disappointment.

On the same traditional feel, we have the Three Cottages, they are winning all round with their take on pub classics for their menu, especially as they offer extensive vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. The venue itself has been around for over 100 years changing from three dwellings to an inn in the 1960s. The venue has retained all its wealth and charm from years gone by, making this an easy place to relax, kick back and enjoy some mighty fine traditional food.

The local food and drinks industry are celebrated each year at the Chesterfield Food and Drink awards which is organised by Destination Chesterfield. Nominations are made by the public so if you would like to have your say on where to eat and drink in and around Chesterfield look out for when voting opens in 2019

There are so many other places to try in Chesterfield I am looking forward to continuing my quest to #supportlocal and #supportsmallbusinesses don’t just take my word for it get on board.