When planning to go out for a meal in Buxton, you might not have considered the Old Hall Hotel, perhaps under the assumption that it’s only for hotel residents. England’s oldest hotel emanates a certain grandeur when you enter its revolving front door and the brand new menu seeks to reach out to everyone.
Situated opposite the famous Buxton Opera House, the Old Hall enjoys a prime position in the town’s “West End” and over the centuries, it has entertained many well-heeled guests, most famously Mary, Queen of Scots. Wandering into the resplendent interior, you’ll pass by portraits of dignitaries from bygone eras. The hotel oozes ambiance from the moment you walk in and the staff are welcoming, helpful and inpecably polite; they clearly want you to come in and enjoy the food and soak up the historic atmosphere. Having not dined here for some time, we thought we’d give the new menu a try.
The Old Hall offers a fine dining experience at a reasonable price with starters and deserts at £5 to £10 and mains under £20. With favourites like pie, chips and mushy peas on the menu, the Old Hall endeavours to make your tummy comfortable and full. The homemade pie certainly takes some beating.
The pan fried salmon was cooked to perfection too (we asked for it well done). The dining room feels a little special, offering a view over the Pavilion Gardens and suits an occasion like an anniversary or a birthday or perhaps just a mid-week treat. If it feels slightly too stately, you can always plumb for the cosy, more informal, wine bar. The (new) menu is served in both the restaurant and wine bar.
You’ll probably be full after your main course but it would be a mistake to leave without having a dessert. The chefs have really gone to town on the sweet stuff. The creme brûlée was really lovely and the cheese cake tasted like cheesecake should do, in other words not bland.
The new menu features plenty of favourite dishes we all know and love, such as beef bourguignon, battered fish with hand cut chips, steaks and various fish dishes; seemingly achieving that tricky combination of fine-dining / comfort food, perfectly. There’s a superb selection of gluten free and vegetarian dishes too.
So don’t walk past the Old Hall thinking it’s not for you. It’s part of the town’s history and they want you to enjoy it. Dining there not only gives you the chance to eat some great nosh but also the opportunity to reflect on Buxton’s many centuries as a spa destination. Sitting in the Old Hall, you feel like you are breathing in the years and digesting a sense of place. Check it out, we’d love to hear what you think.
With the log fires lit, the trees decked with fairy lights and plenty of comfy corners to cosy up and call your own, the Old Hall Hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Festive Lunch during the Christmas period with family, friends or work colleagues…
Throughout December indulge from one, two or three courses from the festive menu. Whether it’s a work’s Christmas luncheon, an overdue catch-up with friends or a family get-together, enjoy delicious food made with the finest local ingredients in their elegant restaurant overlooking the Pavilion Gardens. Click here to find out more.
Old Hall Hotel, The Square, Buxton, SK17 6BD
T: 01298 22841