The Bull Shed – set in idyllic Derbyshire countryside near Belper – has been earning a reputation of late as one of the best places in the county for an atmospheric meal.
With locally-sourced food and drink becoming ever more popular, the restaurant certainly ticks all the boxes.
It is located on a 60-acre working farm and only opens three nights a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday – offering a real taste of the country.
The meat, vegetables, cheese and beer served up by the self-confessed ‘grumpy farmer’ are all produced on the premises so could not be fresher.
I had enjoyed the delicious offerings at a Thursday pie night previously and was looking forward to trying the steak night one Saturday recently.
The Bull Shed experience begins on the journey – with the tiny track to Handley Farm deeply rutted with potholes and a definite smell of the country in the air.
The Bull Shed is booked up weeks in advance and places can only be reserved by text.
As part of a larger group, my partner and I had both ordered a fillet steak.
After parking up, we headed into the Bull Shed, an old farm building which has retained many of its original features, including a large open fire and stone walls. The ale produced at the restaurant’s own Shottle Farm Brewery had quite a kick to it and the cheesy garlic bread and mushrooms starter was very welcome to soak it up.
Unfortunately, the venue was suffering from a few technical issues on the night we visited – perhaps understandable given the isolated location – and there was a delay in getting our main courses.
However, the 8oz fillet steaks were definitely worth the wait.
The meat was tender and cooked to perfection, while the simple sides of chips, mushrooms, peas and onion rings really enhanced the flavour.
The long wait for our mains and the draughty location next the door on a cold night would be my only slight criticisms – but in a way these added to the rustic experience.
And with food that great it really is worth getting your wellies on.
Our rating: 8/10