About Santos Higham Farm
Luxury in the Heart of Derbyshire
Situated in heart of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, Santo’s Higham Farm is a premium 15th century farmhouse hotel. Expertly restored and tastefully refurbished to retain many original features the hotel has a warm charming character with all the modern comforts you have come to expect.
This independently owned award-winning hotel is renowned for its high quality of service, elegant rooms and exceptional cuisine. Whether it’s a large occasion or just popping in for lunch our team of friendly and attentive staff will ensure every detail is taken care of so you can relax and enjoy your time at Santo’s Higham Farm. Alternatively, if it is a business meeting or training, you can be sure to have the best facilities and support available.
All 31 guest rooms are individually styled, many with unique features such as four poster waterbeds, twin showers, spa baths, luxury suites and internationally themed rooms. Rooms are decorated to seamlessly blend period features with contemporary accents, while the new bridal suites radiates luxury modern style.
When you desire something to eat and drink our award-winning restaurant and bar is the perfect place to dine and relax amongst family, friends or colleagues.
Exploring the local area
Higham is a quaint village nestled away and has an amazing array of natural beauty spots and idyllic country walks on its doorstep. National Trust stately homes such as Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall and Haddon Hall are all within a short driving distance.
We are located on the edge of the Peak District where there are numerous places of interest to visit such as the scenic spa towns of Matlock or Bakewell. For those who fancy a bit of shopping combined with heritage there is lot to do and see in the old market town of Chesterfield with its famous crooked spire, museums and theatre.
If you are seeking a more active break there are many activities in the vicinity including, cycling, golf and horse riding.
For a more relaxing break just sit back and relax in our rose garden or enjoy afternoon tea in the undercover courtyard.
There’s something for everyone at Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel.
Santo was born in Palermo, Sicily. He moved to Turin when he was a teenager and attended catering college. He worked in many top restaurants in Northern Italy whilst attending college.
He spent his first summer season at the age of 16 at Porto Cervo in Sardinia, where he discovered a passion to be a barman; so much so that when his friends were going to the beach in the afternoons Santo would stay behind learning more about cocktails and drinks and the origins and manufacturing processes of alcohol.
At the young age of 17 he spent a winter here in England to improve his English.
He returned to Italy for the following two summers and worked on the Isle of Ponza during the summer and England during the winter.
He was then called to complete his compulsory 1 year military service in the Italian Army and at 19, after completion, he decided to return to England and became the Chef de Sommelier at The Barr hotel in Birmingham.
18 months later he married and returned to Italy to work at the Ristorante San Giogio where he had the honour of meeting the great Mohammed Ali, Julio Iglesias and the president of Italy.
A manager of Martini approached Santo after seeing his flair and imagination in cocktail making and asked him to take part in an International competition of bar cocktails which he won.
He then went on to represent Italy for professional barmen competition where he finished in the top 10 of the world.
Santo moved on to gain further experience working at the Hotel Pironi in Cannobio on Lake Maggiore as head barman and then completed a further 5 years at their 5 star sister hotels, Principe di Savoia in Sestriere and the Grand Hotel Principi di Piemonte which is where he met a lot of film stars, singers, formula 1 drivers, and royalty; to name a few, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Timothy Dalton, David Bowie, Sting, Patsy Kensit, Valeria Golino and the last Queen of Italy.
Santo decided he and his young family would move to England where he became the Bar Manager at the new Gateway Hotel in Nottingham.
Here he was featured in the ITV news for his cocktail making and the bar was awarded the best bar in Nottingham. He organised the bar and the large capacity restaurant easily achieving 500 sittings per shift.
In 1995 Higham Farm was purchased together with his partner and has been successfully operating since.