Inn Profile: The Cow

Last December The Cow in Dalbury Lees reopened after months of renovation. The inn was bought earlier in the year and is operated by the same team behind the Horseshoes, Long Lane and Cock Inn, Mugginton which were brought to life over the last couple of years, Berkeley Inns. Bill Lumley reports.

In this historical move which sees the group progress further into the hospitality industry, the 100-year-old Cow inn is situated on a quintessential picturesque green, with a red phone box and old signs. The inn is the focal point for the small village, which has no shops.

The renovation work undertaken last year was extensive. Howard Thacker, manging director of Berkeley Inns says: “Every effort and consideration has been taken to ensure that all original features have been retained, revealed and restored with widespread research and application by a local team of dedicated professionals.”

Describing the background to acquiring the property, he says: “We are continually asked to recommend high quality accommodation in the area and therefore decided it was time to make the offer ourselves. As luck would have it one of my oldest and best pals happened to own this delightful property, it was the perfect site for our concept. After nearly a year of planning and building works The Cow is now born.”

Steeped in local history, The Cow now offers 12 luxurious, individually designed rooms which feature the latest tech, including complimentary Wi-Fi, the revolutionary “Open Key” door systems and smart TVs for work and pleasure.

Guests are treated to an eclectic ‘30-mile’ menu of mouth-watering, locally sourced food and a distinct wine list from the UK’s oldest wine merchant, Corney & Barrow.

The new owners recognised that the rural and peaceful location make it an ideal base for corporate visitors to local industry as well as leisure clients visiting the wonderful Derbyshire and Peak District and countryside that surrounds the inn.

The new owners worked hard to create 12 rooms from the original six, including six on the ground floor all with a patio terrace and all dog friendly. Four of the bedrooms are twins, four accommodate a child’s bed and four have both a bath and shower.

The bedrooms are all individually designed, with two shanty style rooms on the ground floor, pale grey and neutral colours and more sumptuous with lots of oak as throughout the building.

The other rooms are more contemporary. All exude warmth with a headboard and handmade. All the bedrooms have a safe and a minibar and a Nespresso bar.

Décor at the inn is a mix of contemporary styles. The pub/bar is oak/timber with copper topped tables and timber chairs.

Breakfast is included, with continental and hot beverages followed by full English or eggs benedict, and is available to non-residents too.

Head chef is Ben Peverall. He runs the kitchen with a commitment to local suppers but without a concentration on fish as the village is in a land- locked area. The menu itself is cow-themed – on the hoof, cow pat, feedbucket, for example – and decorated with canvas artwork of cows.

“We have an emphasis on quality service and set impossibly high standards for our staff who are all personable with local knowledge and everything is underpinned by brilliance.

Attention to detail is phenomenal from the hand wash-basin to the door furniture.


The Green, Dalbury Lees, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 5BE

T: 01332 824297


This profile was originally published in the Sep/Oct 2018 issue of InnKeeper Magazine