The manager of one of Derbyshire’s newest restaurants wants his establishment to become the go-to place for elevated British cuisine in the county.
And Tom Shelbourn – who has previously worked in a five-star hotel that boasts two AA Rosettes and a Michelin star – wants the Fork & Furrow drinks menu to be talked about just as much as the food, with an eclectic mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options plus bespoke cocktails created by mixologists specifically for the countryside eatery.
There is an expansive wine menu, too, something which Tom has worked hard on and considers himself to be an expert in.
He said: “I have a love for fine wine which began after I left university and started working in hospitality.
“I’m pleased with the wine menu that we have here at the Fork & Furrow, which compliments the dishes on the food menu perfectly.
“We pride ourselves on having a higher quality of wine available to diners. Pinot Grigio is one of the nation’s favourite tipples and whilst we do serve it here, we would maybe introduce guests to something like a Picpoule – a grape that comes from the South of France and is slightly more developed and interesting that your standard Pinot.
“Smooth, fresh and pale in colour, it’s one of the oldest domestic grape types in the region.”
Since opening in April, the restaurant has been busy most nights.
Popular with those wanting to enjoy an intimate evening, lunch with friends or Sunday roast, demand for tables has been high.
“The weather during our first couple of weeks was beautiful, so we had a lot of diners then,” added Tom.
“Sunday lunch is always popular. It’s a different vibe with families enjoying our communal-style dinners.
“Sunday and lunchtimes are more informal, too, and we also welcome dogs to the Fork & Furrow during these times.”
The restaurant – which is part of the White Hart Inn at Moorwood Moor – has been well received with diners commenting positively on the quality of food and standard of service.
There have been plenty of comments, too, on the chic and sophisticated décor with more than £50,000 spent on the renovation that includes a new zinc bar, upcycled dark wood furniture, modern lighting and a unique living moss wall to emphasise the field-to-fork feel.
“We’re very happy with the menu that has been developed by our Head Chef Adam Jones,” added Tom.
“It’s seasonal and we use the best local produce – bread from The Loaf in Crich, meat from Tibshelf-based butcher Price & Fretwell and fresh fruit and veg from Field Supplies in Etwall – where we can.
“We’ll aim to refresh it regularly but will constantly maintain an elevated level of fine British cuisine. We want the Fork & Furrow to be an experience for all who eat here.”
Luke Richards, operations director for the Moorwood Hotel Collection; the family-run company that oversees the White Hart Inn and its sister pubs – The Horse & Jockey at Wessington, The Canal Inn in Bullbridge and The Hurt Arms, in Ambergate, is excited about the latest venture.
He said: “We want the Fork and Furrow to be a celebration of modern British cuisine.
“This is the first major update in 10 years for the restaurant and we’re really excited for the future of the Fork and Furrow.”