M1, Junction 29a; 5 minutes
Vegetarian or vegan options
Frequently described as a hidden treasure, The Pump is a captivating tea room alongside the mighty Bolsover Castle. It’s housed in a sturdy stone building on the town square and takes its name from the water pump just outside. Inside the vibe is warm and welcoming: tables are clustered with colourful chairs, a stove stands in the original stone hearth and a mural of fields brings a bolt of sunshine to one wall.
For breakfast, lunch and dinner the food is honest and flavoursome (sandwiches, salads, soups; hot meals after dark) and very reasonably priced. Book ahead if you want to try the very popular Sunday roast or build-it-yourself afternoon tea. If you can resist the siren call of the towering cakes and home baking beneath glass cloches on the counter, you’re stronger than us.
Do pop into the castle if you have time: far from a defensive stronghold, the 17th-century edifice was built as an indulgent gentleman’s retreat and is the birthplace of dancing horses.