As a traditional Leo, I am somewhat resistant to change, unless it involves trying out new menus heralding a new season.
Plus, I was in the mood for a pizza, and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate National Pizza Day than to partake in cheesy goodness, so off I went to The Farmhouse at Mackworth.
I have visited before (see original review here), but as my last few visits were sans pizza, I decided it was high time I checked out their pizza offerings.
Seated towards the back and adjacent to a large window, we settled down and peered outside. I cannot wait for warmer weather (come on spring, hurry up already) and look forward to al fresco drinking and dining here. For now, we were gazing at a grey and chilly expanse, all the more reason for ordering a hearty meal.
It’s a diverse menu, but my eyes had zeroed in onto the pizza section. If you like smoky flavours, then you’ll get excited (like me) by the prospect of The Farmhouse at Mackworth’s wood-fired pizza. It’s made with a unique dough recipe to make the crispest sourdough pizzas in Derby, and diners are free to watch pizza being made – maybe I’ll do a nice little video next time.
It’s a versatile menu, boasting glazed pig cheek starters, sharer boards, burgers, Sirloin steak and of course pizza.
We kicked off with a couple of starters. Crispy plaice goujons swiped through brown crab mayonnaise, were delicious and tangy, the succulent fish giving way at the lightest of bites. The charred lemon was a nice touch and lifted the dish, both in terms of scent (who doesn’t love the lingering scent of Sicilian lemon?) and presentation.
Dining partner had garlic mushrooms with a twist. Chestnut mushrooms in garlic butter were the nutty and delectable base for crispy prosciutto ham and a generous dollop of Béarnaise. I swiped a forkful, and loved the toasted muffin that had started to soak up all the scrumptious juices from the mushrooms and garlic butter.
There are a good range of pizzas, from straight up Margherita-inspired offerings (marinated buffalo mozzarella, semi-dried tomatoes, basil) to meaty goodness in the pancetta, fennel and Old Spot Sausage creation.
Now, I have always wondered about the stigma attached to the notion of eating fish and cheese. Apparently, true Italians balk at this combination, however I like knowing things for myself, which is why I plumped for the seafood topped pizza.
Marinated garlic king prawns, chorizo ibérico, chilli, ricotta, mozzarella was a delicious marriage. I especially liked the fragrant garlic on the chunky prawns, whilst creamy, dreamy dollops of ricotta into melted mozzarella was a joy to eat. I’m not a fan of “too doughy” pizza but my dish was lovely; I found the base moreish and with a gorgeous tang that is found in good sourdough.
Dining partner had Shepherd’s Pie. Heartiness and generous portion aside, what really stood out was the stunningly succulent lamb shoulder.
When topped with Butler’s Mature Cheddar mash and eaten with a bite of the accompanying pickled red cabbage, this dish ticked all the boxes. It may not be the cheapest item on the menu, but the stellar quality of ingredients, coupled with cooking expertise, makes this dish worth every penny.
What I love about this new menu, is that it is fresh and grown-up. Head Chef Matthew’s interpretation of flavours is inventive, and I look forward to seeing more of the menu in the coming months (yes I will be back and try dessert next time).
Restaurant name: The Farmhouse at Mackworth, Derby
Owner: Managed by Revere
Open since: 27 March 2015
Covers: Approximately 110 (including The Restaurant and The Conservatory and The Den) plus the bar which is predominantly used for drinks and casual food.
Function rooms: The Library which can be used for private dining for up to 30 people or buffet/afternoon tea for up to 50. The Folly can accommodate anything from 40 people up to 200 for a buffet and 140 for a sit down meal.
Address: 60 Ashbourne Road, Derby DE22 4LY
Closest train station: Derby
Breakfast: 7am – 11:30am
A la carte: 12pm – 9.30pm
Bar open till 11:30pm
Bedrooms: 10 bedrooms with 1 luxury suite, 3 family rooms and 3 super king, 3 king rooms.
Current food offers:
241 pizza (Monday – Friday, 12pm – 7pm)
Lunch offer £7 (Monday – Friday, 12pm – 3pm)
50% off steak (Tuesday 12pm – 9.30pm)
Current drinks offers:
£3.50 – selected draft pints
£3.50 – Medium house wine
(Monday – Friday, 5pm – 8pm)
How to make reservation: online and telephone
Phone: 01332 824 324
General Manager – Robert Hattersley
Wedding & Event Manager – Katie Gordon
Head Chef: Matthew Williams
Whilst in the area check out: HobbyCraft at Kingsway Retail Park, for all your Bullet Journalling needs. (Yes I am a stationery fiend, and loving customising notebooks into cute as heck organisers.)