Say what you like about Dave (and Dick often does) but his idea for a list of little known suburbs and villages that contain some cracking pubs sparked a fair bit of reaction.
Some of Derbyshire’s lesser known suburbs are basking in the glory of their 15 minutes of fame but one village that won’t be joining them is Quarndon.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this village sandwiched between Allestree (one of my top ten) and Duffield (on the cusp) except that its gastropub isn’t quite as appealing to an old school boozer man like me, as its near neighbours.
A population of 933 means it should have a boozer and so it does as 346 – The Joiners Arms DE22 5JA sits on the main road through the village.
I say it’s not as appealing but it’s the sort of boozer that Mrs BB loves although she hasn’t quite forgiven them for when they went through a refurb.
It was some years ago now but the same chain who own The Bulls Head in Repton (Chilled Pubs) purchased this place and promised to modernise what was a struggling country boozer.
Wood Fired Pizza, craft beers and gins galore with a heavy emphasis on food mean it has had a new lease of life, albeit in a gastro boozer style.
However, when I last visited with my better half and kids it was still early refurb and therefore fairly basic, putting it mildly but they “promised not to compromise on the price” of the food which I thought was hugely sporting of them and charged us an arm and a leg for a good meal in a fairly grubby boozer.
(no longer mid refurb)
Not that Mrs BB bears a grudge or anything like that but we haven’t been back since although I finally returned with my pals on a Wednesday evening after earlier visiting two classic old school country boozers in The King William (Milford) and the Holly Bush (Makeney).
The Joiners is certainly a plush looking place nowadays and it’s great to see it open and succeeding as, aside from a cricket club, there isn’t a lot else in Quarndon.
Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky cycling guru either lived or hailed from here whilst Henry Royce lived in Quarndon House at a time when Rolls Royce factory had just opened in the early 20th century.
The pub is food led but there were some seats we found and it was the least full of our three boozers on that night but there were still enough people in and eating to make it feel like a well-heeled place.
The beer was excellent, White Feather (Brunswick Brewery) and the atmosphere reminded me very much of their sister gastropub in Repton; which means they will be busy around lunchtime/teatime and are clearly providing a pub that punters want as opposed to what was there before.
It’s more of a Jack Wills/Crew Co place than a Stone Island/Adidas kind of pub but it was pleasant enough, the beer was good the staff were helpful and well drilled.
Not sure I’d pick it ahead of the two aforementioned boozers but others probably would and there are enough chimney pots nearby for it to work.
I wonder if can persuade Mrs BB to revisit now it’s in full working order…