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Published April 18th 2016
Perfect Setting For Historic Former Coaching Inn
There can be few better pub settings than in the heart of the natural and picturesque beauty that is the National Forest. So it is with the warm and welcoming Cricketts Inn that can be found in the tiny village of Acresford that sits virtually on the border of Staffordshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire.
The Cricketts Inn sits prominently on a corner in this lovely setting
The Cricketts Inn dates back as far as 1863, but little is known of its early days other than it would have served as a coaching inn for wayfarers plying their trade between the three counties and further beyond. Today, the Cricketts Inn is a popular, family-run public house and restaurant which has been under new ownership since August 2008.
It is clearly in good hands as the new owners are previous winners of the 'Best Food Pub' award. And that is something the Cricketts Inn clearly prides itself on as I discovered when I joined members of my family for a traditional Sunday lunch. The pub says it uses good quality local ingredients as often as possible. And, whatever your views on the subject, it sources most of its game from the local shoots held in the Acresford area. At the same time, the beef and lamb is sourced in Derbyshire.
Booking in advance on a Sunday is definitely advised as we discovered on arrival as the pub was absolutely heaving. And one of the main reasons for that is undoubtedly the fully-stocked carvery unit which offers a range of meats such as beef and pork, all served with a Yorkshire pudding and fresh, home-cooked vegetables.
But there are plenty of other attractions during the rest of the week, including Tuesdays after 5pm when the Cricketts Inn has its two pies for £10 offer, ranging from Steak & Ale Puff Pastry and Lamb & Mint Suet Pudding to a Mediterranean Vegetable Pie.
If you think the Cricketts Inn derives its name from either the insect or the sport, you'd be wrong as 'Cricketts' actually means 'wooded copse'. Once inside, customers are greeted to an attractive open-plan bar/lounge area, but with a few secluded 'snugs' for people who may want a bit more privacy. The area then opens up into a two-part restaurant beyond, while outside in the better weather there is an enclosed beer garden, with patio, lawn and children's play area. The pub has one regular beer, which is Marston's Pedigree.