‘I much prefer very small dinners with close friends’ – Tom Ford
One look at my Instagram feed and and you’ll know how much I love my food. One look at my twitter feed and you’ll know how lazy I am. So when It comes to going out for dinner Dave and I inevitably go to our old favourites on our door step or in the centre of Newcastle. However as I’ve already mentioned, we’re trying to broaden our horizons this year and try out new places.
Just a 5 minute walk away from Durham train station The Kingslodge Inn really couldn’t be more central however when you arrive it’s quite set back from the main street so feels like you could be in the depths of the countryside. Snapped up by the Inn Collection Group (named best leisure business in the Northumberland Business Awards in 2015) in early 2016 what was the Kingslodge Hotel is now all revamped with a swanky new refurb, new restaurant and 2 new additional hotel rooms (ranging from £95-£125 per night).
We visited on a sunny Thursday night and there were plenty of parking spaces in the sizeable free car park. We were greeted with a warm welcome and taken to a nice booth on the top level. I never visited before the refurb but was impressed with the decor which looked suitably cosy and an inviting. I’ve always been a fan of tartan wall paper for that Scottish Highland feel and the pictures of local landmarks dotted around were a nice touch.
The food menu was extremely impressive – it’s always a good sign when you can’t decide what to go for, it all looked great! Over a pint of Ale (Black Sheep was all that was available) and a glass of wine we finally settled on our choices; Antipasto for Dave and Black Pudding topped with Poached Egg, Bacon Pieces and Peppercorn Sauce for me, I simply can’t resist anything with a poached egg on top!
The food was beautifully presented, and portion sizes weren’t too big or too measly. The basil oil in Dave’s antipasto was a nice twist and my black pudding had an excellent spicy flavour (without being overbearing). The bacon was super crispy – just how I like it however the egg could have done with being cooked a few second more as the white was a little runny , still, it’s better than being overcooked.
For mains Dave originally wanted to go for the Sirloin Grill however they were all out when we visited so plumped for the Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb instead. I, being a massive fan of Adam Richman’s Best Sandwich in America, was really intrigued to try the Hot Meat Dip in Warm Ciabatta as it’s not something you often see on menus in the UK.
Although my sandwich wasn’t ‘dipped’ as is customary in the states, it did come with it’s own gravy boat with which to smother it yourself, which in fact is better as you can then add as little or as much (as was my case) as you like, and it makes it a little more civilised for eating with a knife and fork! It came with chunky chips and a dressed salad, both of which were delicious. Both were good mansized portions, Dave’s lamb was off the bone and a tasty, chunky piece of meat, which came with mashed potatoes and veg – a slightly healthier option since he’s again in training for his next ultra marathon.
We’re normally the type of couple that just settles on a liquid dessert however I’d had a beady eye on the chocolate brownie since before arriving and the serving staff had been leaving us ample time between courses to ruminate over our drinks and let our food go down so we were feeling strong enough to tackle the dessert. Dave went for the cheesecake of the day which was White Chocolate and Raspberries and I stuck with my original choice of Warm Chocolate Brownie.
My brownie was everything I dreamed it would be and more! It was extremely gooey and chocloatey and warmed through enough that it melted the vanilla ice cream nicely but didn’t taste burnt. Dave was slightly disappointed with the cheesecake as it was more on the moussey side rather than the solid New York style which he prefers but said it tasted good and was served in it’s own dish rather than in a slice which was a nice change. Portions again were really good – you really feel like you’re getting good value for money.
Over all we had a lovely meal at the Kingslodge Inn; the staff were great and knowledgeable about their menus, the food was cooked to a very high standard and offered options you don’t regularly see on your average pub menu. Prices were really reasonable and very competitive to other places we’ve visited around the North East. It also have lots of vegetarian options and is dog and child friendly! It’s definitely encouraged us to be a bit more adventurous rather than sticking to the same old haunts around Newcastle.
This was a collaborative post but all views are our own.