Mrs BB is a pretty affable woman and generally allows me to do pretty much as I please so when the shout came in for a ‘date night’ I thought I should oblige.
However, work and kids commitments notwithstanding, the best I could rustle up was a Sunday evening and I am amazed at the amount of boozers, who purport to be food based, that stop serving at 6pm.
I like Derby but London/Birmingham/Manchester it isn’t so, aside from a plethora of Indian restaurants there aren’t many places to keep Mrs BB sweet, whilst enjoying a decent bit of food and a drink to boot.
However, one place that was most definitely open and happy to take our custom was a bar in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter known as 142 – The Distillery DE1 1BU. Actually it describes itself on its website as “an independent and contemporary Bar & Kitchen, which aims to echo, revive and emulate the traditional elements of bar tending, using some of the finest distilled spirits from across the world.”
Cutting to the chase, the bar staff/waiter was friendly and helpful and the food (a very palatable rump and sirloin steak) was more than decent whilst Mrs BB was delighted with the gin selection and I had a good pint of Pilsner (Maltsmiths) (which is really Heineken in disguise) but if you are a strict cask aficionado then there would have been nothing to tempt you.
Mind you, with CAMRA’s ongoing evolution there may well be a time when Maltsmiths is a staple at our local beer festival!
The name Maltsmiths originates because, according to their website, they enjoy making the best beers so aren’t actually brewers but Maltsmiths…I’ll leave you to work that one out.
Anyway, the place itself was pretty empty at 8pm on a Sunday evening but I can see how this might be a different animal on Friday and Saturday where the upstairs whisky and cocktail lounge is likely to come into play.
The background music was inoffensive acid jazz style (Brand New Heavies anyone?) and there were a mix of couples eating at high tables, couples on their laptops and couples drinking but it was very much a place where the bright young things (ahem, Mrs BB and I like to class ourselves in that bracket) would come out to play…just not in huge numbers on Sunday evenings.
Nonetheless, it was clean, bright, and airy and the food was good, albeit not cheap but the service was excellent and Mrs BB was suitably happy.
Mrs BB hiding behind the reserved table sign!
Is it a place I’d go on my own or with my drinking buddies? Probably not, but then again I am approaching 50 so I’m not always the best barometer. Is it a place I would take my better half again? Most definitely for all the reasons I’ve mentioned above.
I always work on the basis that if you can manage to get a date night that involves going to a new bar then it must be a success!