Bakewell pudding, vintage shops and blossoming parks – discover peak district towns Bakewell and Matlock.
I love these two charming Peak District towns, especially on a weekday when they are not yet invaded by swarms of visitors and their colourful parks and narrow winding streets are still quiet.
This time my first stop was Bakewell and I was on a mission to finally taste the original Bakewell pudding in the famous Bakewell Pudding Shop Restaurant.
When I looked at the menu, at first, I was really tempted to go for an inviting slice of raspberry and chocolate gateaux, but my mission this morning was Bakewell pudding, so I stuck to my plan and quickly ordered one before I changed my mind. And it arrived…warm and inviting with custard on the side.
My experience? I have to be honest here….. I should have gone for that raspberry and chocolate gateaux instead…. The pudding was way too sweet for my taste and really nothing special, I was a bit disappointed.
Otherwise, the shop and restaurant upstairs are really atmospheric, evoking that old world charm with friendly staff and extensive menu, well worth a visit. You can even order things online.
Bakewell is a cute little town, full of little corners and courtyards with tiny shops stocked with vintage and antique goods, local produce or other souvenirs reminding of English countryside and olden days as well as galleries with original creations by local artists – great place to while away a few hours.
Tea rooms and coffee shops are in abundance here, serving English tea from cute vintage china.
Vintage and antique seems to be huge in Peak District – my next stop Matlock has an impressive number of these shops for a small town. On Derwent Way every second shop seems to be a vintage or antique one – you can buy anything from antique furniture and silverware to vintage clothes, bed linen and curtains.
If you have time (and even if you don’t), a stroll in Hall Leys Park is a must – with a carpet of blooming flowers in summer, a children’s playground and pathways in the shade of old trees along the river it’s a perfect place to relax and enjoy a peaceful moment. Ah yes, and there are a couple of coffee shops (with a vintage look, of course!) around, if you need that caffeine fix.
On a final note:
If you decide to visit Bakewell at the weekend, especially on a sunny day, plan to arrive early, since it can become very VERY crowded – I’ve seen traffic extending a few miles outside the town. It also seems to be a very popular place with visitors all year round – summer or winter.