Our Story

A Home from Home

The Blind Bull is a classic country pub. No fussy people. No frills food. Just a welcoming place to keep warm after a winter’s walk or cool down from a summer’s cycle. It’s a friendly and comfortable place for anyone and everyone.

Beyond that, we have a simple ambition: to bring an unsurpassed drinking and dining experience to the Peak District. In a beautiful and relaxed environment, we want our guests to sample the best local beers and independent wines whilst tasting food that has been locally grown, seasonally picked and cooked with care. Great food and drink doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be done right.

The pub, formerly Ye Olde Bull’s Head, had fallen into disrepair after being left vacant in 2007. Over two years, Raab Dykstra-McCarthy, our owner and manager, carefully brought the much loved beauty back to life. Together with Luke Hawkins, who leads our kitchen team, we’ll not only be serving real ales again, but also a regularly changing menu of hearty classics.

Thoughts on Food

There are two things that drive our food. Bold, simple cooking and the best ingredients. We do the organisation and heavy lifting to make it look easy – find the best local suppliers, have a fantastic relationship with them and their produce to ensure we have respect for the food we eat, adapt our menu to the seasons and put over a decade’s worth of experience into every dish we serve. Luke Hawkins and his team have worked in some of the top restaurants in the UK and France, but that only matters to you because you can be guaranteed that the same care and attention goes into our dinner specials as our freshly baked breakfast muffins. When you love food as much as they do, it doesn’t matter what you’re cooking.

Thoughts on Accessibility

We have a relaxed environment so that anyone can join with ease. We adapt our menu so that whatever someone’s allergy or belief, they’re more than welcome.

As a country pub, we of course embrace all dogs whether you’re dining or staying with us. There are water bowls left out and treats can be bought at the bar. We’re sure that your four-legged friend will get on well with our resident dogs, Atlas and Emba.

The ground floor of the pub has step-free access, where there is also an accessible toilet. Our current accommodation, The Barn, is accessible with a single step up to the bedroom. Please get in touch with us if you have any specific requirements so that we can ensure your stay with us is as enjoyable as possible.

Thoughts on Sustainability

From the very beginning we’ve been dedicated to creating as green a business as possible. That meant reusing materials during the renovation and building a pub with state of the art insulation and energy-saving technology. The furniture you see has all been bought second hand and upcycled. Our bar and table tops have even been repurposed from the boards of three hundred year old French oak wagons. You may notice our fruit, veg and herb garden – it’s not just for show. Wherever possible, you’ll be served straight from plot to plate. Where it isn’t, we aim to have 80% of our kitchen supplied within 10 miles of the pub.

As we run the pub, we will continue to strive to be as low-carbon as possible so that good times don’t sacrifice our precious environment. Here are a few things we’re continually doing:

  • As an organisation, knowledge is the most powerful means to inform our working culture. We therefore have an environment induction for all staff to ensure that they are able to consider the issues at hand, rather than just complete our sustainability policies.
  • From the minute guests arrive, we encourage them to leave their cars behind and explore the incredible Derbyshire landscape by foot or bicycle. Bikes can be rented if you don’t own one and we have a bicycle storage and repair shed on site to help you get the best out of your visit.
  • We recycle all glass, paper and plastic.
  • We use paper made from sustainable sources and energy-saving light bulbs wherever possible.
  • We use paper straws in our bar and restaurant and refillable containers and products in our guest rooms to minimise the use of single-use plastic.
  • We use eco-friendly powders and green chemicals to wash our laundry.
  • We send food waste to anaerobic digestion centres to create cleaner power and to local farms to reduce waste.
  • We distribute information, such as newsletters, brochures and letters, over the internet rather than the post to reduce the use of paper.
  • We now have a universal electric car charging points for use by guests and patrons at a single fee of £10.

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