Incredible (plant based friendly) lunch and dreamy walk: the Maynard and Padley Gorge, Grindleford

So....I've been going on about this allll week, but if you haven’t heard me enthuse about it yet....oh my, the Maynard in Grindleford is awesome. And Padley Gorge never stops being gorgeous. Combine the two and we have the perfect family outing. 
 
Let's talk about the food first....As someone who rarely gets out of trackies and a crop top, I’ve always felt rather too under dressed to actually go into the Maynard, which is a rather lovely hotel, restaurant and venue just outside of Grindleford station. BUT with mum celebrating a big birthday, it seemed appropriate to scrub up, put some slap on and go somewhere nice to mark the occasion. And the Maynard was totally worth getting clean for.
 
I’d been hunting for a while for a lovely restaurant in the peaks that was easy to get to, had some nice walks nearby, and most importantly lots of yummy veggie and vegan options for my plant loving fam. We’re a bit of a complex bunch to feed, Dad is a die hard vegan, I’m gluten free and like every meal to contain both a massive pile of greens and an ice cream course, mum is a fish fan and my sister thinks lettuce is the devil’s work. The Maynard catered to all our tastes and more.
 
While it's easy to get vegan and veggie food everywhere (woooo), sometimes the choice can be quite limited, but the Maynard totally smashed it with loads of choice and variety in vegan and veggie options, all of which were beautifully presented. The Maynard in fact  had so much choice that Dad had to take a mid decision walk to cope with the pressure.
 
Cauliflower steaks, buckwheat pancakes, amazing salads, burgers, tagine, frittata, flatbread and (importantly) vegan cheese cake and ice cream where all on the menu, with lots more veggie dishes plus some beautiful fish dishes and locally sourced meat. Yum. See the menu here
 
The staff were so attentive and friendly, even going so far as to run around the dining room turning the lights on and off so as to ensure our family photo had optimum lighting 🤣Dogs welcome, nice tunes, big open glass windows overlooking a lovely outdoor garden space, plenty of parking and all round good vibes. It was awesome.  
 
After stuffing ourselves royally it was just a pleasant roll down the hill to Padley Gorge, which is hands down my favourite short walk in the peaks. 
 
It's an amazing walk up from Grindleford station through green and knarly, witchy woods (complete with some fun penny-trees) high above the Burbage brook. And the end of these mossy and magical woods you emerge onto open moorland, at which point you can head over to Suprise View, up to Burbage moor, head to the Longshaw estate,  or cross the river and follow the path back down the other side of the gorge back to Grindleford. You can even at this get an ice cream from one of the two vans parked on the road, though sadly we were far too stuffed for a second ice cream course. For some walk routes and plans see here and here.
 
So, all in all, fab day out. Always awesome to see the family, even nicer combined with nature and yummy food. We'll be back!
 
Rosie, 10th September, 2020
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