A food high at Foolow! 

Food at the Bulls Head Inn at Foolow in the Derbyshire Peak District.


Nestled amidst the rolling hills in the heart of the Peak District lies the picturesque, limestone village of Foolow.

The fine old buildings grouped around the village green complete with an ancient cross, bullring, and pond make Foolow one of the prettiest villages in the Peak.

The grand Manor House and Old Hall stand away from the humbler, but no less picturesque, cottages. There is a tiny church dedicated to St Hugh and a slightly grander looking Wesleyan Chapel.

Dating back to at least 1753, the Bull’s Head, located in the heart of Foolow, is a traditional country inn, which boasts all the charm and character of its ancient heritage enhanced with a warm, friendly atmosphere.

Fashioned from the same mellow rock that gives the village its sweet charm, the Bulls Head is one of those almost mythical beasts – a proper, homely country pub which just happens to also be a fabulous restaurant.

You’ll feel at home in this delightful country village inn from the moment you walk through the heavy oak door to be greeted by flagstone floors, a crackling open log fire, and a warm, cosy bar and restaurant. 

The Bull’s Head has been providing a welcome haven for weary travellers for nearly 300 years, and it’s still a homely refuge for locals and visitors alike. This is the perfect spot for a special celebration, romantic meal, or just a hearty refuel after a country walk.

For cosy comfort, you might be inclined to choose the bar area; to relax and make the most of the log fire, you might step through to the horse brass decorated Stable; or for more formal dining, or that special occasion, you could well opt for the oak-panelled restaurant to the left of the bar. Muddy boots and muddy paws are always welcome at this pub! 

The Bulls Head, formerly run by Max and Sue Fischer, was taken over by Nick and Jemma Beagrie on 24th April 2023. Nick and Jemma also run several other long established and highly reputable businesses in the local area. Nick is a vastly experienced publican, having run The Scotsman’s Pack, in Hathersage, for over two decades of a pub trade career spanning 35 years in total. Jemma started her career in the retail sector running the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, and the couple also own The Bakewell Bakery. Also in their portfolio are The Prince of Wales and Robin Hood – both in Baslow.

“We are extremely passionate about the Peak District and Derbyshire,” said Nick. “We always use local suppliers and producers wherever possible and want to keep the Peak District at the forefront of tourist destinations in the UK. Our vision for the Bulls Head is to upkeep the traditions of wonderfully cooked local food at the highest of standards.”

The Bulls Head is all about old school wholesome food prepared exceptionally well. The driving passion is fresh, seasonal food using local ingredients in an informal and relaxed atmosphere, complemented with local ales, and internationally awarded wines and spirits. 

Entering through the pubby front, visitors are guaranteed a warm welcome and friendly greeting by manager and front-of-the-house impresario, Andrew Ward. Boasting many years of experience in the pub trade, Andrew balances masterminding the operational side with a huge dose of charisma and charm.

The menu is an engaging mix of traditional British classics and imaginative gastronomic creations. It’s honest, wholesome, comfort food cooked with genius. Responsible for this is experienced and talented head chef, Blake Arnold, who boasts an impeccable pedigree in the world of fine cuisine.

All the food here is freshly prepared using produce from local farms and dairies wherever possible, and the menus change seasonally. Blake’s cuisine is based on the delivery of well-balanced flavours of the seasonal ingredients themselves. Balancing flavours is both a science and an art, based on professional training, intuition, and experience. Mastering the balance of the five key flavours of sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savoury is the hallmark of a skilful chef. Blake has most definitely perfected this art, as diners will find out soon enough. For those of you with a vegetarian or vegan persuasion, fear not! There’s an enticing selection of delicious meat-free and plant-based dishes to tempt your palates.

On the day of visiting, starters included celeriac and white truffle soup – deliciously smooth and heartwarming – pork and black pudding sausage roll served with celeriac remoulade, watercress and chive oil; and whipped goats’ cheese, served with beetroot, seed granola, and watercress. Indulged with the luxury of sampling all three, it was impossible to pick out a standout ‘winner’ – they were all that scrumptious! Throughout, the flavours were all so well balanced, epitomised by the delicate combination of smokiness, saltiness and sweetness within the pork and black pudding sausage roll. With no single flavour overpowering another, the division of flavours worked perfectly.

When it came to main courses, the gratification continued. Another three journeys into the exploration of tastes. The seabream was clean and perfectly cooked and accompanied by confit potatoes, courgettes, tenderstem broccoli, fennel ragu, red onions, and rocket and pumpkin seed pesto. The tantalising fusion of flavours worked magnificently, and the broccoli was a revelation – refreshing tenderstem with bite and body elevated with spicy, salty, fragrant loveliness. Stunning.

The slow braised Derbyshire pork belly provided the next amazing sampling experience. Served with bubble and squeak, three different textures of leeks, burnt apple purée, and cider sauce, this superb dish offered a symphony of flavours and textures which sang. Soft, smoky, and crispy were harmonised to perfection!

The homemade pie of the day was chicken and smoked ham hock, which was served with creamed potatoes, carrot purée, caramelised red onion, braised red cabbage, and tenderstem broccoli. The pastry was cooked perfectly with the obvious deft touch of a culinary mastermind. The whole dish was hugely satisfying, and the spice and mincemeat in the red cabbage was a match made in heaven.

Was there room for desserts? Probably not, but it would have been rude not to! The dark chocolate and orange with whisked mascarpone, crystallised hazelnuts, and blood orange sorbet offered a delicately brilliant fusion of flavours. The richness of the chocolate beautifully complemented the warmth of the orange and sharpness of the sorbet – a perfect palate cleanser!

And last, but by no means least – the sticky ginger pudding. They say it’s all about ‘mouth feel’ and this scrumptious dessert certainly hit the mark when it came to that! The crystalised and ground ginger worked so well with the salted toffee sauce, rum soaked raisins, and clotted cream ice cream. Gorgeously indulgent!

The drinks, wines, and spirits menu most definitely match the food offering. Highly quaffable local real ales, and internationally awarded wines, malt whiskeys, and an eclectic selection of spirits make for the perfect accompaniment to any dining experience.

Was the serene Bull’s Head at Foolow all a dream? My heart was beginning to wonder, but my waistline confirmed it had been all too real! 

Opening Times: 
  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday to Friday: 9am-late. Food served 12pm – 2:30pm/5pm – 8:30pm
  • Saturday: 9am – late. Food served 12pm – 9pm
  • Sunday: 9am – 9pm. Food served 12pm – 6:30pm

The Bull’s Head, Follow, Nr Eyam, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S32 5Q R

Tel: 01433 630873