Grazing in the Grotto

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In need of some festive bonhomie and some hearty fare Lady Tiger Lilly and I paid a visit to The Hanging Gate Public House near Chapel en le Frith, Derbyshire.

The pub name dates back to 1836 when a large toll gate spanned the road outside, although the original part of the building is over 400 years old. A gate still hangs from the pub, inscribed with the words, ‘This gate hangs free and hinders none, refresh yourself and travel on…..’

Whilst most places decorate for Christmas the Hanging Gate takes it to a whole new level. Taking around four weeks and using in excess of 7000 baubles, 27000 lights, 1700 lengths of garlands (5 times the length of a football pitch, our waitress informed me proudly) along with candy canes, snow men, lanterns, polar bears, penguins, stags and all manner of everything festive, no surface or ceiling is left undecorated. Your journey from reality to fantasy begins the moment you open the front door, the entrance porch could be mistaken for Narnia with its winter wonderland aspect, including a Christmas tree and an illuminated vintage look street light, step through to the vestibule and you start to get a sense of what lies ahead…….

The result is breath-taking and a delight for children of all ages, although a word of warning, if you’re over 5’3” you need to keep your wits about you whilst navigating the place. Baubles, beads and icicles drape and swag across the ceiling, ready to catch out the unwary and the tall.

The pub has seperate coloue schemes and themes for each area.

The pub has a varied menu, with something for everyone. Prices are reasonable and the food, decent pub grub.

It’s well worth a visit but I’d advise booking. However if you don’t manage to make it in time for the Christmas decorations, never fear, the pub also goes all out for Valentines, Easter and Halloween.

The Ladies loved the Hanging Gate and will return.

  • Lady Sky
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