Enjoy the changing seasons at Derby’s innovative alfresco eat-and-chill venue

Fresh from its successful summer launch as a brand new al fresco meeting-and-eating space, Derby’s new-look Derby Market Place will be offering even more this autumn and winter.

Winning praise and plaudits for transforming the traditional market area into a vibrant outdoor dining space with social distancing built into the design, the innovative idea has proved a big hit with locals and visitors, as well as with the city’s food outlets.

Now plans have been unveiled to bring even more to the colourful meeteat-and-chill venue – featuring 30 bookable chalets and outdoor tables – with new themed events, including live music, a celebration of Derby breweries, and the city’s first outdoor market since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

Building on the innovative way of supporting local food outlets as well as bringing life back to the city centre, the new autumn events – billed as ‘Sessions’ – are part of Derby’s initiative to support the city’s economy as it re-emerges from the effects of the pandemic.

In a scheme that could prove a blueprint for other city centres, Derby is delighted with the success of the Derby Market Place, which was designed to create a cultural experience to enjoy live entertainment in small groups in a way that makes everyone feel safe.

During October a series of themed Sessions will feature bands and live entertainment performing on a new stage, featuring everything from open mic, the sounds and sights from Caribbean carnival, to jazz.

Once the event ticket has been booked, and your table reserved (for up to six people, under current Government guidelines), you will be able to order food from any food outlet in the city that is offering a take-out or delivery service. Then it’s a case of sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the entertainment.

Often called the UK’s ‘real ale capital’, there is also the chance to celebrate Derby’s solid reputation for locally produced beer and cider at The Beer Sessions from 15th to 18th October, boasting a selection of beers and ciders from selected local breweries alongside wine, prosecco and gin.

Evening sessions will feature entertainment, and again food can be pre-ordered for delivery or takeaways brought along to enjoy an alfresco dining experience. Tables can be booked from £10 (for up to six people).

When it’s time for a themed market, the chalet seating areas around the outside of the current space will be transformed into attractive stalls. The first to use the area will be the Vegan Market on Saturday 7th November, and entry will be free, but to ensure social distancing, there will be a limit on the number of people who can browse at any one time.

Among other highlights is a Caribbean Session (Friday 9th October) with organisers promising stunning Caribbean Carnival costumes from around the East Midlands in an illuminated costume display, accompanied by steel pan Calypso and Soca music (£20 per table, for up to 6 people).

Planning is also now underway for winter events too.

Booking is required for tables for all Sessions, with costs for tables around £20 per table, but this varies and full pricing can be found on: https://www.derbymarketplace.co.uk.

Derby itself is the UK’s most central city: a great place for a cultural break and a great base to explore nearby Peak District delights. For further information, check-out: https://www.visitderby.co.uk