If you hadn't already guessed, I love to eat out and finding new places to visit and new foods to try. It has definitely become a favourite hobby of mine, especially now that I have started food blogging on a regular basis.

Last week I was invited to the new Kingslodge Inn in Durham to sample a three course meal and drinks in the new pub, which offers a large selection of traditional pub dishes, created and served with a modern twist. 
If you're local to Durham, the pub and hotel is located where the former Kingslodge Hotel and Finbarrs restaurant were situated. If you're not from Durham and are looking for somewhere to stay or eat, this is in the perfect location, only a few minutes walk from the city centre, shops and the Cathedral, yet just far enough away to be free of any noise or hustle and bustle; it's an ideal stopping point for tourists. 
The pub itself is really homely and a great place to catch up with friends, the atmosphere is very relaxed and the staff are all really welcoming. 
The restaurant area is filled with various size tables and booths with exposed brick walls, wooden panelled walls and tartan wallpaper. There are decorative bottles and plants on elevated shelves, various animal skulls and stag head lampshades and a beautiful wooden ceiling... It's like a modern country style theme. 
There is onsite parking for customers and even an outdoor seating area behind the restaurant, which would be a lovely place to enjoy drink in the warmer weather.
We're not big drinkers so rather than ordering a bottle of wine, we went for the soft drinks menu... I ordered one of the mocktails; a Sweet Sunrise, made with orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine, which came in a rather impressive and rather large fish bowl glass. If only I hadn't been driving, there were a few cocktails on the menu which really caught my eye, I'm not complaining though because my drink really was lovely.
When it came to ordering the food, I have to say we were a little spoilt for choice. The selection is amazing, there is more than enough to suit everybody's taste.
We ordered the Wedges of Breaded Brie which is served with cranberry jam and oatcakes and the Black Pudding topped with poached egg, bacon and peppercorn sauce.

Both portions were very generous in size and made with really high quality ingredients, everything tasted fresh and the flavours were incredible.
I loved my black pudding, the only negative was that I found there were too many peppercorns on my plate for my personal taste, it was pretty fiery, but other than that it was perfect. The poached egg was cooked exactly as it should be so that the yolk ran over all of the food when I cut into it, the black pudding was delicious and the bacon was my favourite side of crispy, a gorgeous mixture of textures.

I also managed to sneak a little taste of Robbie's Brie, which was equally as good... the brie was so creamy and the breadcrumbs complemented the cheese perfectly, I also had my first ever try of cranberry jam and have to say it was the ideal accompaniment for the cheese - top marks for starters!
For our main courses we ordered Pan Haggerty topped with poached egg and served with steamed vegetables and the Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken filled with mozzarella cheese, wrapped in parma ham on a bed of cherry tomato compote, served with herbed cous cous and wilted spinach.
Both mains looked amazing, you can see straight away that the presentation is really well considered and all of the food is so photogenic!

My chicken was really tasty but I was a little disappointed that my cous cous was full of onion, which I don't like, so unfortunately had to leave.
Robbie hadn't tried Pan Haggerty before, but as we were close to its roots (it's a traditional Northumbrian dish) he decided to give it a try. Basically it's a potato, cheese and onion bake or casserole, which unfortunately I didn't try because of the onion but he said it was lovely!
We also ordered a side of chunky chips to share, and always say you can judge a restaurant on it's chips; for reference, they were delicious. 
Although we were feeling pretty full we managed to make room for dessert... They sounded too good to miss, especially as dessert is my favourite course! After a lot of deliberation we chose the Caramel & Apple Pie served with warm custard and the Chef's Choice Cheesecake (which changes day by day)... Lucky for me it was chocolate!

I made sure I managed to get a taste of Robbie's pie, which we both agreed was out of this world... We would both walk back to Durham for another slice!
My cheesecake was pretty amazing too, albeit huge I managed to polish off almost the whole thing. Again I loved the presentation, but I loved the taste even more; It was so creamy and chocolatey, I would definitely recommend trying it if you get the chance. 
The Kingslodge Inn is without doubt somewhere that I would return to, there were so many things on the menu which I wanted to try, I think I'll be back sooner rather than later. It's such a lovely place and the choice of food is incredible, there really is something to suit everyone's taste and let's be honest, you really can't beat a friendly local pub for atmosphere!

Please do let me know if you've been, or if you're going to go and tell me what I should order next time!
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