A taste of Chatsworth at new dining and shopping experience

She will be the next Duchess of Devonshire, but at the moment Lady Laura Burlington is busy creating a retail experience with a difference close to Chatsworth House. Catherine Scott reports.

When you think of Chatsworth you think of the historic house, of the amazing grounds, the game fair and all things country. You don’t necessarily think of a shopping village.

But the latest venture for the Devonshire Property Group that represents the interests of the Devonshire family is the acquisition of Peak Shopping Village, a shopping centre with a lake and nature reserve next door near the village of Rowsley.

It is the brainchild of Lady Laura Burlington, who is married to William ‘Bill’ Burlington who will become the next Duke of Devonshire.

Chatsworth Kitchen at Peak Shopping Village

“There is massive potential and a great opportunity to make something really interesting just three miles away from Chatsworth House,” says former fashion model Lady Burlington who is now a retail consultant with clients such as Selfridges – this is a woman who knows what she’s talking about when it comes to retail experience.

“I felt we could bring some new energy to the site which had eight of the 30 units empty and I really want to encourage more local companies to come on board.”

Her vision is to fill those units with a range of interesting retailers and also create pop-ups for local businesses that might not otherwise be able to afford a retail space.

“There are so many people in the vicinity doing such interesting things that I wanted to try to bring more of them together.

Lady Laura Burlington who is behind the interiors of Chatsworth Kitchen

“We can drive customers with the Chatsworth name and showcase what these people are doing. We want to support the local community in different ways. ”

One of the first new businesses to open is Chatsworth Kitchen, a daytime restaurant and gift shop which stocks much of the work of local craftsmen and producers..

Working closely with Lady Burlington and the Chatsworth team, Sheffield-based design agencies Whitehead Commercial and 93 have created an interior that blends heritage artefacts with a modern and fresh approach.

An original oak table from the Victorian kitchen at Chatsworth takes centre stage in the restaurant which is open during the day and celebrates quality, seasonal dishes sourced from the estate and a community of farmers, producers and makers from across the Derbyshire Dales.

Much of the interiors of Chatsworth Kitchen comes from nearby Chatsworth House stores

“When we were thinking about how to decorate the restaurant I decided that I wanted to bring a bit of Chatsworth onto the site but still making it different from the existing farm shop.

“We were particularly inspired by the old kitchen at Chatsworth, and have brought a variety of pots, pans and artefacts from Chatsworth to the restaurant,” explains Lady Burlington. “The massive table from the old kitchen was a little bit in the way and it got me thing about what visitors to the restaurant would find interesting to see that has been in the house.

“I spent ages going through the stores at Chatsworth – my in-laws (the current Duke and Duchess of Devonshire) have been very supportive and understanding. There are some really quirky things that I wanted to include like some old signage . I didn’t want it to be like a theme park, as it is pretty much a new build, I wanted a contemporary restaurant with a nod to the heritage and history of Chatsworth – it makes you feel that it has been there longer than it has.

“In my previous life I worked on the refurbishment of Selfirdges – part of that was making sure that the environment was right. I am very interested in retail environments.

Chatsworth Kitchen

Sustainability and authenticity have been central to the project; she says, and they have reused and repurposed items including chairs, doors and panelling, with many of the tables made from reclaimed flooring from the estate.

Lady Burlington wants people to be able to spend the day at Peak Village, visit the restaurant and the shops and the nature reserve.

“We want everyone who visits Chatsworth Kitchen to feel comfortable whether it is for breakfast or lunch. We cater for vegan and gluten free diets. I am gluten free as I suffer from eczema. I wanted a breakfast option for people that wasn’t meat or toast.

“Chatsworth Kitchen celebrates local produce, suppliers and makers, and we hope it will become a place for people to spend time together and enjoy great food, before exploring the many new shops opening at Peak Village,” continues Lady Burlington.

With indoor and outdoor seating, the Chatsworth Kitchen can seat 130 people, and is open from 9.30am - 5.00pm daily, seven days a week. The new venture has also seen the creation of several full-time jobs, as well as casual short-term work and opportunities for career progression for existing employees.

“The Peak District has a wealth of wonderful produce and passionate, talented craftspeople, and we look forward to doing our part to support these businesses; from established names like David Mellor, who has provided stoneware and young talents like potter Joe Heath working on the Chatsworth Estate.

“I met a local family who had a distillery business and there was a lady who made candles for their shop. We designed some Chatsworth candles and now she makes all our candles.”

She would like to see a variety of businesses on the site from wellness and health and even potential for an art space.

Another recently opened shop in Peak Shopping Village includes family owned Lamb’s Cakes and Bakes in the Courtyard. Relocating from its original location in Chesterfield, the new premises offers an extensive range of baked goods made on the Peak Village site by owners Richard and Sarah Lamb.

“We really want more people to come and join us,” says Lady Burlington

She got to know the area well during lockdown. She suffered Covid quite early on in he pandemic and the family spent much of the pandemic in their farmhouse on the Chatsworth estate.

“I really fell in love with the area,” she says. She now splits her time between London and Derbyshire. She married photographer William Cavendish in 2007 and they have three children. Unusually William chose not to take the title the Marquess of Hartington when his father became the 11th Duke of Devonshire as other heir apparents have, instead he chose to be known as (Lord) Bill Burlington. Rather than living at Bolton Abbey they have chosen to live in a farmhouse on the estate.

“We spent lockdown at the farmhouse and I just loved the area and watching nature – it as really beautiful and it made me very excited for the future.”

For more information visit www.chatsworthkitchen.co.uk