Dinner at The Kingslodge Inn in Durham City was just what we needed one Friday night after a busy week spent running around, metaphorically spinning plates.
It’s a characterful, cosy pub-restaurant with rooms, just a stone’s throw from Durham City centre and all its visitor attractions. It’s located in a tranquil spot less than a mile from the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. We like the fact that it’s so close to the mainline train station too!
My daughter and I were in search of hearty, comforting pub food – which is exactly what’s on the menu. The former coaching inn is part of The Inn Collection Group and home-cooked food is served from 7.30am until 9pm.
The restaurant is rustic in style and welcoming, with exposed brickwork, comfy club chairs covered in tartan fabric, wooden floors and tartan carpets.
We took a corner table at the back of the restaurant which offered privacy but a great vantage point of the dining area.
The dinner menu is full of crowd-pleasing dishes such as steak and ale pie, mussels and fries, burgers, steak and chicken dishes, salads and handmade flatbread pizzas. That day’s chef specials also included king prawn and mussel chowder, and homemade corned beef brisket with mash, greens and gravy.
My crab cakes starter served with lime and tomato salsa and salad, £6.95, were so good… some of the tastiest miniature crab cakes I’ve tried. Three small but perfectly-formed morsels, these were piping hot, freshly-made and crispy on the outside giving way to soft sweet filling of herby crab.
My daughter opted for king prawns starter which came in a terracotta dish half-filled with garlic and chilli sauce, £7.95. The prawns were plump, juicy and plentiful and the salad garnish fresh and perky. She dipped into the sauce daintily, shall we say… If she’d consumed the entire contents of the bowl, it would certainly have had a hefty kick!
It’s worth mentioning, the portions here are seriously generous… so do leave plenty of room for dinner.
I opted for a main of salmon and king prawn skewers, £14.95, served on a bed of couscous with chopped house salad. Two skewers were generously loaded with soft salmon chunks and prawns, and came with a small pouring jug of garlic butter to drizzle over. This was a tasty, extremely filling dish and after filling up on the fishy delights I couldn’t do justice to the mountain of couscous and salad, delicious though they were.
My daughter’s choice of Kingslodge Inn beef burger, £11.95, smothered in sweet red onion marmalade, came with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, side of chips and coleslaw. She also opted for a portion of onion rings (these were beautifully crisp). The meat was succulent – chargrilled on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.
After a much-needed rest we turned our attention to desserts. My choice of sticky toffee pudding, £5.95, was an excellent one, this date-filled soft spongey creation a sweet treat to be savoured. Amping up the calories, it came with a moat of butterscotch sauce and scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Across the table, chocolate brownie, £5.95, served with vanilla ice cream, was the dessert of choice. First choice would have been crepes with strawberries and vanilla ice cream but she hadn’t left enough room… The brownie was a touch on the dry side, and slightly confusingly came with a serving of butterscotch sauce, but nevertheless, she still demolished most of it.
It was good to linger a while over coffee and tea afterwards as we timed our departures just right for the train.
The verdict: honest, comforting, filling pub food enjoyed in a cosy setting. The restaurant had a good buzz to it and a warm ambience the evening we dined. We’d definitely do it again as an end-of-week treat.