I love the Peak District, the rolling hills and the wide expanses of green, so I recently got the chance to escape for a few days to stay in a nice secluded little cottage. Whilst out on my travels I had heard of a pub not far from where the cottage was called the Barley Mow in Bonsall.
Tucked away in Upper Town and across the flooded car park (well where isn’t in the UK at the moment) was the Barley Mow, from the outside it doesn’t look anything too fancy, and with a sticking door to get inside I was started to wonder where I had ended up. From inside the pub I could hear a voice going ‘push it!, harder!’ until finally it gave way. I was greeted immediately by a puppy with a bone looking extremely proud of herself. i was asked if I was okay with dogs and I walked in to be greeted by a solid normal down to earth pub. If your thinking fancy bistro/gastro pub you are in the wrong town. The room itself was very small – possibly seating about 30 people all mismatched and in need of a little TLC, however more importantly the atmosphere was welcoming and warm.
The voice belonged to Colette the landlady who is larger than live, chatting bubbly and ever so friendly, it was a place where you instantly felt at ease. No need for a village hall in Bonsall as the heart of it is definitely the Barley Mow. With a wide range of drink, locally sourced as well a the bigger brands and a great range of food as well it may be small but it is well equipped. The bean buritto I had was home made, warm and flavoursome, good hearty food.
However that is not all the Barley Mow has to offer it has entertainment too until 2am often at the weekend
If you’ve never been to the Barley Mow before, then the first question you will probably ask is, “So where do they play the music ?”… because most people cannot believe we can fit musicians in this cosy single room pub !
This is one of the reasons that we get such a unique atmosphere.
The tables are moved, the lighting is turned down low, backdrops are setup over the fireplace and this tiny little village pub becomes an incredible stage !
We have had all manner of musicians here over the years, from comedians and solo acoustic artists to seven piece ska bands and internationally acclaimed blues artists and everything in between !
Seeing is believing, and to experience a Saturday night at the Barley Mow for the first time is truly an experience both to remember and enjoy !
For a warm welcome and a place that is obviously dear in the hearts of the locals, everyone seemed to know everyone by name, the Barley Mow certainly has a place in my heart in Derbyshire. I could have easily have spent more than a few hours there, chatting and talking to the locals. It may not be posh, flash or glam, but it is solid welcoming and down to earth, and after a brisk walk in nature, with muddy shoes and salt of the earth people. Well that’s all I could hope for and more.