Eat & Shop

Dining at the Heights: A Towering Success on a Plate

By J. Farrington

4 June, 2021

When asked to visit the Heights of Abraham’s Vista Restaurant, I had dramatic visions of dining in a cable car suspended above the A6. It turns out the restaurant is located at the summit and it proved to be a real Derbyshire dining gem.

After the beautifully smooth cable car ride up the hillside, I arrived at the summit of the Heights. I headed to the restaurant that sits within a triangular shaped building, reminiscent to those of the alpines of Switzerland. Filled with intrigue as to what a meal at a tourist attraction would be like, I headed inside.

I was given a table on the balcony, overlooking miles and miles of Derbyshire greenery. The sun was shining and the umbrella they had placed above me for shade was very much appreciated. Inside was filled with happy relaxed families; couples clinking glasses of prosecco, and the laughter of friends enjoying a long-awaited catch up. The atmosphere was charming.

A happy looking young man came to take my drinks order and recommended the Yorkshire Gin, so I placed my trust in him and within minutes was supping on a cool, full-bodied beverage with subtle notes of gooseberry, which I must say went down very well with the warm and sunny May afternoon. I had been studying the menu for some time, pleased to see that alongside the traditional restaurant food you’d expect at a tourist attraction, there were also more complex dishes present. However, I had seen a succulent looking Tower burger (that must have been 12 inches tall) destined for another table pass by me multiple times that upon the third time seeing it I decided it was the one.

I had left it quite late to eat, so when my starter arrived my eyes lit up. It may have been the hunger altering my vision, but I had never seen such a delightful looking plate of Nachos. The salsa, soured cream and guacamole danced around in my mouth, complimented by the crisp crunch of the home-made tortilla chips and the stringy cheese. No, it was not fine dining, but yes, it was delicious.

Happy with my starter selection, with a satisfied stomach and another glass of Yorkshire Gooseberry Gin at my table, I took in the far-reaching views from the balcony and felt lucky to be there in the moment. The buzzing sounds of Matlock Bath below kept the place feeling alive. I was glad to be elevated high above the town but still felt the pleasantly touristy vibe of Matlock Bath.

I saw my main dish leave the kitchen and the excitement rapidly built in my head. I felt like a giddy child at a birthday party, a horse about to race, a balloon about to pop. The waiter placed the Prospect Towering Burger onto my table and a shadow cast across my face. I looked up and couldn’t see the penthouse suite of my tower. The staggering mass of food on my plate looked, surprisingly, like the sort of high-quality burger you’d find in the gastro pubs of London or the indie restaurants of Manchester. The flavours filled my mouth with a lovely combination of meats, cheeses and soft bread. A burger, generally, is a burger- meat, bun, cheese- but when it’s adorned with crispy salad, onion rings, cheese, chicken, beef and bacon, it becomes much more than a burger! It was an entire banquet on a plate.

Afterwards, I sat so full to the brim that I unfortunately didn’t order a dessert- I had seen (and sniffed, as the scent wafted by as if I was in a cartoon, where the smell went directly up my nose) a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream, which when I return, I will definitely be ordering! To say I was expecting a small, fairly basic, restaurant when I arrived at the Heights of Abraham, I must confirm that the quality of food, service and location is on par with some of the best restaurants I’ve been to.

J.Farrington dined at the Heights of Abraham Vista Restaurant on Saturday 29th May. This is a promotional review.