The Crewe & Harpur

Well, what a week it’s been!

We’ve had sunshine, thunderstorms and rain, the lightning on Tuesday night was absolutely crazy in my hometown.

Now, though we can forget about the horrible weather and look forward to a fabulous weekend coming up.

To get you in the mood for that Friday feeling and the weekend, today’s post will be a Date Night Review on The Crewe & Harpur!


The Crewe & Harpur is a traditional red brick riverside hotel and pub which is situated in Derbyshire within the small village of Swarkestone.

The pub is a grade 2 listed building and roughly dates back to around the 18th century.

Next, once the pub was built, it was first designed as a village coaching Inn, sitting right next to the River Trent, the views surrounded by this beautiful building are just surreal.

Furthermore, the pub is well located an hour away from the breathtaking countryside of The Peak District, tourism for the Derbyshire area has increased rapidly over the years and still continues to grow.

However, if you feel like you want to stay local, there is a beautiful National Trust site nearby called Calke Abbey, me and Isobel have been here before and it was actually our second date, it’s a gorgeous stately home with huge amounts of history!

The village of Swarkestone isn’t just home to this rustic style pub, there is also a remarkable stone bridge which connects South Derbyshire to North Derbyshire.

Swarkestone bridge was built in the 13th century and as it stands it’s the longest stone bridge that’s in England.

I have been along this bridge many times and the most outstanding feature I love about it is the detail that has been constructed on it.

Also, unlike most bridges which are straight, Swarkestone bridge is unique because it’s bendy, surprisingly enough down to its age, you can only travel over it at 20mph, this is down to preservation so it doesn’t get damaged.

The best bit I like about this bridge though is once you’ve reached the end, The Crewe & Harpur is insight.

The stable block which formed part of The Crewe & Harpur was converted into the newly modernised hotel.

The pub and hotel are owned by Marston’s PLC which is one of the UK’s leading brewing giants.

This is a charming pub, it’s extremely lovely and it also provides that amazing country pub feel as soon as you park up, but there was one personal touch missing and I’ll explain this in my review below!


This review takes me back to June 2019, I believe if my memory serves me correct me and Isobel had been out for the day and we were both wondering where to go for dinner.

I’ve personally been to The Crewe & Harpur before and I’ve always enjoyed it every time I’ve been, I decided that me and Isobel should go there and we were both really looking forward to it.

On arrival, there is a massive car park, on the day we went, it was pretty quiet which we were happy about, so parking the car was very easy.

When we entered inside, the first thing you come to notice is the rustic feel, the wooden tables and chairs along with old ornaments dotted around the pub it just made the welcome very promising.

The staff greeted us very kindly and sat us to our table, this did bring a slight piece of confusion in my eyes because the staff sat us at a big table which could fit at least 7 people.

I mean the pub wasn’t that busy, so we were both shocked when we got told that this was our table, to be fair we didn’t mind because we were really looking forward to food (Haha)!

The waiter then took our drinks order, I ordered a pint of Guinness and Isobel had a southern comfort with lemonade.

The drinks did take quite a while to arrive, but I believe after 15 minutes they did turn up and I must say the Guinness was extremely nice and very creamy.

The food menu was the typical pub grub that you can find anywhere, I went for a double cheeseburger and Isobel went for a Gammon Steak.

We were both really excited, however, 45 minutes had roughly passed and we still didn’t have our food on the table, there were no waiting times, so we were both wondering if our food order had got lost.

Eventually, after around 55 minutes had passed our food turned up, the burger did look nice and so did Isobel’s gammon steak, on the other hand, it was your normal standard food, I didn’t have that wow factor but it was okay.

After finishing our food we were considering whether to have a dessert, but in all fairness, we were very full and it was starting to get late.

Me and Isobel did have a tremendous day together, we both believed food could have been better, but the one thing that was missing on this day was the customer service.

I always believe customer satisfaction is a vital factor when delivering a service, sadly though on this occasion it just wasn’t the best.

We both settled the bill and travelled back to Stone!


The Crewe & Harpur is a beautiful and charming pub, but it just lacked that personal touch which we didn’t get on our visit.

I am sorry to say that I can’t recommend this pub to you, even though it’s lovely and where it’s situated, it’s just the customer service let it down on this occasion.

Me and Isobel are really looking forward to going back out to explore many more pubs when it’s safe.

Let’s just hope we do return to some form of normality soon!

Take care everyone and stay safe…


The Cask Connoisseur

31 Comments on “The Crewe & Harpur”

  1. It’s a shame the food was standard and the service wasn’t anything special. The location of this place is absolutely amazing though, and there is a lot of potential for this to be a really great place. Hopefully when we went it was just an off day, maybe we should give them another chance? Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love where the building is situated, but yes it was those small key factors that lost it on the day. I would give them another go and see if service and food has improved, but I wouldn’t go back straight away. Thanks for commenting xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Timing is one of the hardest parts of customer service, but it’s so crucial! We don’t want to be bothered and feel like our server is hovering, but there needs to be a steady awareness of refilling drinks, checking in, and food in a timely (even if leisurely) manner.
    I wonder what was happening back of the house that night?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice enough boozer and never eaten there. Beer always decent but primarily food nowadays although no surprise with its location.
    Good piece…you should try all pubs on A514 from derby through to swadlincote…there’s an eclectic mix 👍🍺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a shame the pub didn’t live up to your expectations but reading this has made me miss being able to pop for a drink or a meal at a pub- hopefully soon we’ll be able to again!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I was getting all excited at the description “red brick riverside hotel”, so it is a pity the service was lacking. Since I have worked in restaurants, I know there are bad days when the only person who shows up to work has never waited a table in her life. All the same, I am glad you and Isobel had a good day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair Jaya the place is lovely, I also work in the industry and have seen it for myself, it was just a shame on this occasion that personal touch was missing. But me and Isobel still had a great day together 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah South Derbyshire, my old
    Stomping ground 😂 Swarkestone bridge is fascinating, and I absolutely love Calke Abbey.

    The Crewe & Harpur has never been the great pub that it really should be, it has everything going for it. It’s probably been 15 years since I last went, and I’ve never heard anything to make me change that. Which is a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh what a shame that the customer service was lacking there. It looks beautiful from all the pictures. But I always appreciate a honest review of a place!

    Liked by 1 person

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