The Duncombe Arms

4.6
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665 reviews
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£25 and under
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British
The Duncombe Arms is a beautiful, traditional country pub situated at the heart of the lovely rural village of Ellastone on the Staffordshire / Derbyshire border. Located on the edge of the Peak District near the towns of Ashbourne and Uttoxeter it is a great place to visit providing a delightful setting in which to enjoy a drink, some lovely food from our bar and restaurant menus, as well as a chat with friends or family.

Come inside and enjoy a roaring log fire, sample our excellent range of beers and wines or enjoy fabulous food from our award-winning chef Gary Auld. Or in the summer you can laze in our large garden overlooking the view to Worthy Island Wood.

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Mon - Thu 12:00PM - 2:30PM 6:00PM - 7:00PM 8:15PM - 9:00PM

What 665 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On arrival we were greeted by very well dressed and smiley staff. The ambience and temperature of the bar area were perfect and the décor very well suited to the Ashbourne country side. When ordering drinks the chap behind the bar was very knowledgeable about the wine selection and helped pick a nice red.
When we took our seats in the restaurant we were seated in a conservatory to the front in a bay window. The menu was very nice, beautifully prepared, lovely ingredients - overall just brilliant.
I paid £80 for 2 Sunday lunch's with drinks which is slightly over what I usually would, but was certainly worth it.

OT
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We go to The Duncombe Arms quite often and really love it there but on Saturday there were just a couple of things that let it down. The first was that our booking was for 8pm but we weren’t seated until 825pm.
My order of fish and chips tasted great but the presentation was lacking - the chips looked like they’d just been thrown on the plate!
It won’t put us off going back though

AN
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, perfect service, cannot wait to go back soon!

MB
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2019
Overall 2food 1service 4ambience 3

Been here a number of times. But this time very disappointed with the food. There were very noisy unsupervised children in the restaurant making a great deal of noise. Parents just not caring. They were drinking and left them to their own devices.

Service was good

MM
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous first visit to a top quality restaurant. Will definitely be returning

EG
1 review
Dined on 5 October 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Comfortable and attractive, a lot of attention to detail. Good food, good wine, real fires, lovely atmosphere.

JL
1 review
Dined on 2 October 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Soup was very salty.

Wine list extensive but on the expensive side

SW
Derbyshire
2 reviews
Dined on 29 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my husband and I's favourite restaurant, service is excellent, staff are exceptional, food always perfect, our regular place to eat!

OT
Gloucestershire
3 reviews
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food! Amazing apple tarte tatin

OT
Waterford
1 review
Dined on 27 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great lunch.....from the Duncombe Ale through the duck parfait, the steak and finished by the Tarte Tatin - all outstanding 😁

BJ
1 review
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Another visit to The Duncombe Arms with a warm welcome and great quality food. Only issue was the price of bread which works out at £1.25 per slice of albeit very good sough dough - or £7.50 for six slices !

PS
Manchester
4 reviews
Dined on 26 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took a friend for a birthday treat and she thought it a very special place and excellent food - I have been before and have always enjoyed. A new chef and now exceptional!

OT
Yorkshire
7 reviews
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another first rate meal at the Dunscombe Arms. Lovely staff. Excellent wine list and well crafted food. Many thanks

RB
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Well presented food but roast dinner was only lukewarm Meat was tender and cooked as requested Noisy conversation from next table unwelcome . Duncombe Arms beer very good

L
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was outstanding and the staff were impeccable. Nothing was too much trouble. We will definitely come back.

c
Derbyshire
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

The quality of the food was not in keeping with prices charged. I sent an email to the restaurant explaining my dissatisfaction but am yet to receive a responds.
I won't be returning anytime soon.

RW
Derbyshire
1 review
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

The food on the set menu was not up to usual standards expected

R
Yorkshire
4 reviews
Dined on 21 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As ever wonderful food, excellent drink selection and a great team. Well worth a visit,

a
1 review
Dined on 18 September 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

scallop starter very small. calamari starter nearly all batter. wine service poor.
no reply to my e mail.

AH
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The bar to start with was lovely, the bar man was attentive and made us feel welcome. Drinks were great.

The food was average, roast potatoes hard, and squid starter lacked taste.

The pudding was lovely.

Overall the food was over priced for very basic cuisine.

I was disappointed.

SC
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 5

A great night at the Duncombe. We sat outside before our meal and a really great chap lit the fires for us. He was excellent behind the bar too. Everything was exceptional apart from being charged £14.00 for a glass of wine and 75p for an extra slice of bread (no more butter was brought). The wine we chose was good but was overpriced at £40 plus. On a bill of over £200.00 it is very mean and not good service to make this silly charge for the bread. Our waitress was superb and said she would feedback our comments. We will return but will think seriously about the extras we ask for. A little disappointed.

L
London
1 review
Dined on 14 September 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Very disappointed with the standard and selection of food! Haven’t been for a year and went for a birthday meal only to find it was not the same. We had the special beef dish for 2 priced £65 you got a piece of beef a small pot of chips and small pot of mac cheese No garnish the meal was a total ripoff. Our guest had a steak again no garnish just a small pot of chips. Starters poorly presented and not much to choose from. Don’t know what has happened to the lovely food we have always raved about totally different and not great. Waiting staff also not to the same standard and require further training we weren’t even asked how our meal was if we had we most certainly would have given feedback. You do t expect to pay nearly £300 for 4 people and not enjoy it. Sadly it will be our last visit

JW
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Excellent lunch on our way to North Wales. Lovely setting, helpful and friendly staff. Food yummy.

L
Manchester
1 review
Dined on 10 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our first visit to The Duncombe Arms, on the recommendation of friends. We were a group of 5, including two friends from the Windsor area and a 96-year old Australian lady. Everything went incredibly well - great staff, lovely big round table for good conversation, impeccable service, super food with a good variety on offer, and a dessert was specially created for the senior member of our party. Definitely a place we would recommend to others.

OT
Northampton
6 reviews
Dined on 7 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lunch after walk

SB
Los Angeles
23 reviews
Dined on 6 September 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I am so impressed with this place. The food is excellent. The staff are great. It’s an all round winner.

SB
1 review
Dined on 3 September 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was unusual and of an amazing standard , cucumber sorbet with my starters was just amazing as was my lamb main meal ! The waitress was attentive and friendly , highly recommend

CD
Derbyshire
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Our second visit to The Duncombe Arms for Sunday lunch - this time in a party of four persons. There was a slight delay on arrival before I could get our drinks because a very elderly lady couldn't remember her PIN Code to pay her bill - this was handled tactfully by the barman, but the bar area is very cramped and noisy and not conducive to speedy, tactful resolution of this type of problem.
The food and wine very good (the latter we had by the glass rather than buying a bottle - because we had different choices). Service was speedy and efficient.
The conservatory area is rather noisy and difficult to converse. An elderly person at an adjacent table was speaking very loudly (I am aged 70+ too!) and was making it difficult for me to hear conversation at my own table.
The serving staff were excellent, although occasionally perhaps too hasty in attempting to clear the table (even though there was no reservation for the table after us).

JA
Staffordshire
13 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal as always, food was exceptional and a much bigger menu this time, staff as always provided a fantastic and faultless service. A thoroughly enjoyable experience

JP
Cambridge
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I had steak and asked for medium rare unfortunately it came out as medium. The waitress asked if I would like another one but I was happy with what I had

AD
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Lovely food, a classy restaurant and comfortable surroundings.

S
Hampshire
1 review
Dined on 31 August 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Lovely building opposite the church. Good service. Menu reasonable. Some confusion this time about my online booking not being known yet there was a table for three ready for us, ended well.

TF
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely unbelievable and is consistently great every time we go. Can’t wait to go again.

OT
Gloucestershire
4 reviews
Dined on 28 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food with good service

NP
Staffordshire
3 reviews
Dined on 26 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a nice time we had as a family lunch out, great service as ever and tasty food..impressed with how the standard is maintained!

s
London
2 reviews
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came for a special anniversary dinner and were extremely pleased with everything. Food was delicious and the pub itself was very lovely. Lots of people around which was nice to see and although the staff were clearly very busy we had great service. Would highly recommend.

j
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

Really nice pub just bank holiday weekend the food was not up to the usual standard with a few over cooked items.

WM
1 review
Dined on 25 August 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

We have visited The Duncombe Arms on several occasions and have always had a fabulous experience, however tour lastest visit was disappointing. We knew that there was going to be a BBQ going on outside so I called the day before to fine out if normal service would be continued inside, I was told that it would. On arrival we were taken to a good table and the waiter was helpful, having chosen our food we waited with much anticipation. However the food we received was not up to the normal standard, Welsh rarebit had an unusual flavour and the salad it was served with looked like it had been out of the fridge for some time, my friend’s pate was warm and overly soft. We were also dissatisfaction with the roast beef which was rather touch. We did receive an apology but not a discount or voucher for our next visit. I believe this restaurant has taken an eye off the ball.

PM
1 review
Dined on 22 August 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Menu limited, staff supercilious, food poor. Expensive for what it was

SW
Derbyshire
3 reviews
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favourite place for Sunday dinner, service and staff are excellent, food is so good. I am very particular as regards food quality, as I cook regularly for large family gatherings, my uncle is also a very good chef! The Duncombe Arms is by far my favourite place, we have tried others just to compare but we prefer the food, service and atmosphere at The Duncombe Arms!

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