The Flying Childers Restaurant at the glorious Chatsworth House in Derbyshire is the latest foodie option to open on the Estate and it is not what you might expect. The Flying Childers (named after a prize winning stallion acquired by the 2nd Duke of Devonshire in 1719) offers only Afternoon Tea (and I use the word “only” advisedly here) and now brunch. That’s it, a brunch and afternoon tea restaurant. I recently visited for the Great Food Club – check out the website greatfoodclub.co.uk
Open for only 4 weeks when we visited, the Flying Childers is tucked away in the corner of the House’s magnificent stable block. I say tucked away as, although there is seating outside (as there is in much of the stable yard) when we visited the signage was so low key as to be almost invisible. Don’t let that put you off though, once inside the large glass doors you are greeted by a portrait of the eponymous Childers and find yourself in an elegant, refined and relaxed space which combines mellow grey furnishings with the golden warmth of the original stonework.
The restaurant specialises in glorious afternoon teas. In partnership with Wedgwood, who have provided the stunning china plates and cups, as well as the opulent gold cutlery, you can enjoy a huge choice of teas (and a glass of champagne if you are feeling inclined) a macaron starter, freshly made traditional sandwiches, savoury and sweet scones and a platter of sweet treats which might include a spicy chocolate mousse, Florentines, savarins, possets and Bakewell cheesecakes. The delightful patterned crockery makes the whole experience extra special. (Afternoon Teas need to be booked in advance and can be booked as part of a tour of the house and gardens).
As we were there for a morning visit we went for the Childers’ new Brunch menu. Our server explained the choices – which are few but quite distinctive. All the dishes bar one – the flat mushroom & Y Fenni Welsh Rarebit were served cold.
Between us we opted for the Parma ham, parmesan and cantaloupe melon dish, the smoked salmon, crab and avocado and the Flaked mackerel with chargrilled aubergine. To drink we had the house sparkling water, a latte, a glass of Prosecco with Elderflower (that was mine, naturally) and a Samuel Smith organic lager.
Each dish (costing roughly around £12 each) was really delicious. There wasn’t a morsel left on any of those distinctive Wedgewood plates (which I would now like to trade my entire Wedding gift set of posh china for…) But don’t go there famished as the dishes are fairly small (fine for brunch but not a full lunch) and having more than one plate would be quite costly – although I was tempted.
We had preceded our lunch with a tour of the House Style exhibition of the astonishing dresses and robes associated with the women of Chatsworth throughout its history (I wonder who else spotted the mistake in the “timeline” exhbition though – thousands must have gone by that display but as the error was still there, I am guessing no one read it in the same detail as the FWH who pointed it out!) and ended our day with a visit to the superb Chatsworth Farm Shop.
The Flying Childers is just that bit different, delightful brunch or an opulent afternoon tea in historic and elegant surroundings. What’s not to like?
(We visited as guests of Chatsworth House for the Great Food Club – opinions are my own)