Opulence in Derby does excellent British food in regal surroundings

In the historic Cathedral Quarter of Derby, on St Mary’s Gate, you will find Opulence. Housed within the Cathedral Quarter Hotel that has taken over the old council chambers this classic British restaurant delivers on the promise of its name. Known as one of the best restaurants in Derby, Opulence is perfect for a memorable lunch or refined evening meal.

An elegant and regal dining room

On entering the building you climb the regal staircase, presided over by a stunning stained glass window, and sweep majestically (if you wish) through the double doors to the dining room. This large room with its high ceilings and porthole windows has a palatial feel to it, safe in the knowledge that they don’t make buildings like this anymore. The walls are wood panelled to head height then topped with a William Morris style print. Carpeted floors swallow the noise with an air of reverence; generous tables with ample space between have simple but plush seating. Linen napery adds to the sense of hush whilst heavy drapes frame the high casement windows.

AA rosette for high standard British cuisine

Opulence has an AA rosette to recommend the quality of the food; a menu of ingredients subject to seasonal availability and skilfully prepared by the dedicated kitchen team. The dishes embrace classic flavours with some European influence and a little, but not too much, modern flair. Starters may include ham hock and foie gras terrine with baked figs, brioche and lambs leaf or hay and coffee smoked pigeon breast with broad bean caramelised gooseberry salad and shallot puree. Those who are more vegetarian inclined may enjoy the aubergine and wild mushroom agnolotti with cherry tomato cucumber salsa and pickled fennel.

The main course menu features dishes such as pan fried sea bass with black olive gnocchi, samphire, courgette caponata and olive puree. There is also seared beef sirloin, braised short rib, potato fondant, watercress pudding and bordelaise sauce; all classic flavours presented in new and original ways. The dessert menu does not disappoint, with lemon sabayon, black pepper tuile and rhubarb pudding or rum glazed baby pineapples with coconut flavours. If you see ‘flavours’ on a menu, or ‘textures’ for that matter, you know that you are in for a surprise on the plate, and on the palette, with a range of takes on one ingredient.

Browse our guide to all the great restaurants in Derbyshire

Opulence is closed on Mondays and opens for lunch and dinner the rest of the week. You can enjoy a 3 course set menu for £19.95 or afternoon tea on Sundays for £15.00. Booking is recommended as this is a popular place; booking with Go dine is free and you can either make your reservations online or over the phone. If you are looking for something a little less formal then we have a guide to all the great restaurants in Derbyshire just a click away.

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