Kingslodge Inn, Durham is a country style pub in the heart of the city. Full of atmosphere and with a relaxing vibe it is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely Sunday lunch.
It is always nice to spend some quality time together as a family. The last couple of weeks have been stressful. First the dog was ill. He was taken into hospital with pancreatitis. Eddie is much better now but has been put on a low fat diet which he hates. Even with chicken mixed into it he manages to eat the chicken and not the dog food. Have you ever tried giving a tablet to a dog? He is master at pretending he has swallowed it and then spitting it out. I have got quite adept at keeping his mouth shut until the tablet has gone.
To top off the fun my son the school rang to say they suspected my son had broken his thumb. We spent three hours in casualty on a Friday night. The place was full of interesting characters and we were glad to get home. Fortunately it is only a small fracture and should heal quickly. This Sunday we were invited to visit Kingslodge Inn, Durham. It was lovely to enjoy some fabulous food and spend some time together relaxing as a family after all the stress.
Kingslodge Inn is in the heart of Durham city centre, five minutes walk from the train station and less than a mile from the cathedral and castle. Tucked at the end of a no through road and surrounded by terraced residential streets the area is quiet. Turning into Kingslodge Inn is like entering an oasis of calm. Flowers are still blooming in the garden and there is plenty of outside seating which would be lovely on a warm day. A lion head fountain trickles water from the side of the wall adding to the tranquil feel. Plenty of parking is available, another luxury in a busy city.
Inside the Kingslodge Inn it is welcoming and friendly. The open plan ground floor contains the reception and bar with restaurant. After announcing our arrival we were shown quickly to our seats. There is a folksy, rustic feel to the dining area. A mixture of discrete tartan wallpaper, exposed brickwork and wooden panels make it feel warm and welcoming. Lights hang down from the dark panelling on the ceiling and there is a mix of cosy alcoves and open areas to sit in. The walls have plenty to catch the eye, from quirky paintings, photographs of Durham and stags heads. The seating is comfy but mismatched and the tables well spaced. The vibe is that of a country pub, relaxed and cosy. Kingslodge Inn is dog friendly which is a big plus. It is not always easy to find somewhere to eat when you have a dog.
Being a Sunday afternoon the Kingslodge Inn was quite busy but the staff were pleasant and attentive. They were quick to notice if you were in need of anything.
The menu has plenty of variety, from classic pub dishes to steaks and burgers, pans and salads. There are also starters and desserts if you are feeling hungry. On Sunday you can get a Sunday lunch of roast beef, pulled pork or turkey and the plates come in standard, large or children’s. It took us a while to decide what to get, everything looked delicious. Looking at the Sunday lunches going out they looked very tempting, but we finally chose from the main menu. A lot of the dishes use local Durham produce so you know it will be fresh.
As well as having the normal range of drinks Kingslodge Inn also showcases a range of craft beers. These are beers from micro breweries and it is well worth reading about them. With names like Westmalle Dubbel, a trappist beer brewed by monks since 1856, and Grimbergen Blonde, savoured only by passing pilgrms and the monks themselves, you are sure to find something to tempt your taste buds. My husband tried Lawnmower which was crisp and refreshing.
It is always nice to start the meal with an appetiser. We chose one starter which we shared between us, in order to leave room for our main course. The smoked haddock croquettes were served in a little metal basket on a board which seems to be the new way to serve starters. It makes it look rather special. One of the problems of trying to take pictures of food before you eat it is that sometimes it disappears before you get a chance. One of the croquettes fell victim to hunger before I got the perfect photo. It just shows how nice they smelled when they arrived.
For me dining out is all about the main course. It needs to be good eating and good value as well as filling. There should also be a good choice so that everyone in the family is happy. Kings Lodge Inn have got this correct. There is plenty of choice and the meals were delicious. My son’s choice, not surprisingly, was the Kingslodge Burger (£10.95) . The burger was hand shaped from Aberdeen Angus meat and topped with red onion marmalade, streaky bacon, cheese and a little salad served in a brioche bun. The sides of coleslaw and chips were the perfect accompaniment. He was more than happy with his choice and was quiet while he ate, which shows he enjoyed it.
My husband went for the 8oz Ribeye steak (£19.95) which comes with mushrooms, tomatoes, bacon garlic butter, beer battered onion rings and triple cooked chips. The steak was cooked to perfection but he did complain that a couple of the chips were a little hard. It was a minor niggle the rest of the plate was fine. To go with the steak he had a side order of peppercorn sauce and some extra onion rings, which we shared. These were really tasty.
The Pan-Seared Sea Bass (£13.95) was my choice as I haven’t had fish for ages. The sea bass is stuffed with lemon and herbs and nestles on top of a bed of green beans, cherry tomatoes, new potatoes and salsa vierge. The dish has a lovely Mediterranean taste to it and while it looks light is deceptively filling. It did not disappoint.
Although full the dessert menu was really tempting and we opted for a dessert. Again there was plenty of choice as well as couple of larger desserts which were meant for sharing. My husband and son opted for the sticky toffee pudding which was a sheer delight. Warm and sticky with a side of creamy ice cream it more than hit the spot. There was some discussion about what the orange fruit atop the ice cream was. It added a whimsical touch to the dish and was nice to eat, but we still have no idea what it is.
I am always a sucker for cheesecake and opted for the cheesecake of the day, a lemon and ginger cheesecake. Beautifully presented with raspberries, cream and that unidentified fruit on the side it was meltingly creamy. The perfect end to a meal.
After finishing our meal we realised we had been there a little over two hours. Kingslodge Inn is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal with delicious and tasty food. It was lovely just to sit and spend some time together as a family chatting and enjoying our food. Kingslodge Inn is a perfect base to explore Durham with free parking and a central location. As well as food they have 23 en-suite rooms some of which are dog friendly which allows you to spend the night. I would love to go back and try the rooms sometime and take the opportunity to explore Durham.
Every Friday until the end of November if you buy two large glasses of wine you get the bottle free. If you are there on a Sunday night you will find it is games night. Board games are out and snacks provided so you have the chance to get competitive with your family. If you are looking for a welcoming and relaxing place to stay or just have a meal Kingslodge Inn is the place to go.
If you are looking for other places to dine in the North East you may also be interested in reading about Sunday lunch at The Boat Inn at Kielder Water and Forest Park. If you are near Hadrian’s Wall then you should try dinner at Twice Brewed Inn.
Have you ever been to Kingslodge Inn, Durham? What did you think? Let me know below.
We received a complementary meal but my thoughts and opinions are my own.