Fischer's at Baslow Hall - A Luxurious Restaurant with Rooms

It's hard to resist a charming small hotel with a Michelin restaurant. Fischer's at Baslow Hall is very much a "restaurant with rooms" run by a chef/proprietor  in the European style. Here the focus is excellent food enjoyed in great comfort with stylish rooms and attractive, though not extensive grounds. If the word hotel suggests generous amenities and elaborate services you may be disappointed, but if you're looking for a luxurious base for walking, friendly staff, serious food or proximity to the great houses of Chatsworth or Haddon Hall, Fischer's at Baslow is without doubt the best local option. In my opinion smaller characterful properties like this, along with country pubs (which I'll be covering in a separate post ) represent the best of the places to stay in rural England.

The hotel has been refurbished in a stylish, botanical, modern "country house" motif with an emphasis on luxurious fabrics, comfort, color and pattern. These themes take you through from the public areas into the bedrooms and the entire place has a cohesive charm. 
It is characterful and works well with the architectural details of the house, as well as the surrounding gardens. Overall I found the decor very English and a change from the more parred down modern aesthetic of so many places today.
Rooms: In the main house there are several categories of rooms from small  to large  and all have been recently updated.
The smallest rooms (see photographs above and below) are well designed and although they are not large they  make a good use of the space with mirrored doors and expansive windows overlooking the gardens. 
Aptly described as "Cosy" rooms these are a charming and economical option and though they may be a little tight for two they would work very well for those traveling alone. If you require an queen bed you should book a larger room.  Americans traveling in the UK should be careful to check the bed sizes as it's quite common to find double beds at 4ft 6 inches. They very kindly upgraded us to a lovely deluxe which was much appreciated. However, we were lucky to be there midweek when it was rather quiet. I don't think this is their regular practice so it's  best to book the room type you think you'll enjoy. 
All eleven rooms are distinctive and thoughtfully laid out and each is described in detail on the website. Our favorite was Vernon a large deluxe room overlooking the garden (pictured above) with a pretty windowed bathroom. As you can see above, the room is spacious with a nice seating area. If you'd prefer a  completely separate seating area, I'd suggest Rutland which is a superior room set up as a small suite which has been recently refurbished, see below. Yes, I had them show me all the rooms!
In addition to the six rooms in the Hall itself there are and five garden rooms built around an attractive courtyard set at the back of the property. 
These would appeal to those traveling in a group, or anyone looking for larger, accessible, more modern rooms with bigger bathrooms. They have a country barn style and incorporate large sitting areas which could be appealing. I found them less desirable than the historic rooms in the Hall and my recommendation would be  to take one of the rooms in the main house - unless you are traveling with a larger group or you require step free access. 
Breakfast: What ever room you decide to book you'll find  tea, coffee and biscuits provided and a delicious locally sourced breakfast included. The breakfast was very good with everything of the highest quality - as one would expect from a serious foodie establishment. You can see the breakfast room below. I enjoyed a full cooked Derbyshire breakfast with the addition of oatcakes which I was unfamiliar with. 
My only quibble with Fischers was that the breakfast service ended at  9:30am, fine for a hotel catering to business people but sorely lacking when you're away for a luxury break.
Knowing my capacity to laze while I'm on holiday (well lets be honest anytime) I realized this would be an issue. They offered to  make accommodations by provide something in the room should I miss breakfast. I made breakfast  the first two days but  missed it on the day we left. I felt awkward asking that something be provided and no proactive enquiry was made by the staff. I'm sure if I'd brought it up something would have been sorted, but clearly this is a disciplined kitchen moving on to the more important lunch service. This is minor issue and  hopefully you  are all early risers! 
Restaurant: Breakfast isn't the food you'll remember from Fischers, it's the Michelin restaurant that impresses.  All was forgotten by the time I sat enjoying  hors d'oeuvres and a glass of champagne on the terrace before dinner. I'm never sure whether my photographs do these meals justice and so I don't post food picture frequently. However, it would be unfair to review the hotel without including some hints of the food which is such a draw. 
This is a  destination restaurant and not surprisingly expensive. We sampled both the three course and five course menus and had two memorable meals featuring the very best of seasonal, local and regional British produce. We enjoyed everything from Derbyshire lamb to Devon crab. The meals included pre-desserts and a variety of small courses sent by the chef. I appreciated that they varied both the amuse bouche as well as the palate cleansing sorbet. The desserts included a myriad of flavors and textures and certainly held their own. 
We divided our two formal meals with a walk  to the village pub in Baslow called Rowleys.  As it is associated with the  chef at hotel , so we weren't surprised to get an excellent  though more casual meal.
Gardens: While the grounds are not extensive, they  are very attractive and beautifully maintained.  I particularly liked the elaborate kitchen gardens which were in full bloom. I'm always happy to see clematis... 
It was delightful to have a glass of wine and stroll around before dinner. Small hotels in the UK are often quirky and characterful and to me this is their charm. The classic "restaurant with rooms" in the continental style offers you the personal hospitality and vision of the chef which you can see from the garden to the plate. In this respect Fischers reminded me of Bastide de Capelongue  in Bonnieux, one of my favorite foodie experiences in France.
I'm hoping to get my "favorite person" to build me a decorative feature like the wooden tower below. It may be far to grand for our small garden in California, but a girl can dream!
Summary: We very much enjoyed our stay at Fischer's, it's an elegant, comfortable spot without being stuffy and the staff were friendly and helpful. They proactively gave us great advice on local walks and provided us with tickets for Haddon Hall and Chatsworth at a reduced cost. Fischer's is a great choice for foodies, special occasions and those looking for characterful luxury in the Peak District.  

Below the church in Baslow.