Flat White Durham Cafe Review

flat white bikeWe’d been wanting to try Flat White for such a long time, but when we walked past it was always either full or closed. The place is mega-popular! Then, a cunning plan was hatched – we’d go on a Sunday morning when everyone was still sleeping off their hangovers. We parked up on the little access road for Baths Bridge (parking is free there all day on a Sunday) and scuttled along the river bank past The Boat House, under Elvet Bridge and up past Klute nightclub (voted 2nd worst in Europe apparently, but haven’t been in since I was 18) to the cafe which is tucked into a little niche behind Vanmildert clothes shop. At first glance you’d think it is a suicidal place to put a business as there’s little to no footfall, but it works.

Outside is the famous Flat White Bike, and a couple of tables perched on a crazy angle as the road outside slopes back towards the river. We decided to go inside as although Spring had officially Sprung, the outside tables are still in the shade and it was still nippy at such an early hour.


Poking our head in the door, expecting there to be plenty of seats, we were astonished to find only one free table! Flat White is indeed much in demand, even at a silly hour on Sunday morning by people with hangovers. Seriously though, the place was rammed with people of all ages, some enjoying just a coffee and others going for food too. We’d had no breakfast, so decided to eat too.flat white durham inside


Inside Flat White is like someone has set up a cafe in a large shed. It’s L-shaped, arranged around the main counter. There’s all kinds of brick-a-brack adorning the walls and it’s very ‘busy’, but the decor in flat white just gives a feeling of homeliness and acceptance. Each rustic table has free newspapers and a clipboard with the menu on it. Not a lot of money has been spent on presentation here, but it doesn’t seem to matter as it all adds to the charm of the place. Don’t spend time waiting for waitress service (there isn’t any), you order the food at the counter and pay for it on the spot. It came to just a shade under £15.

We selected Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Egg on Toast (£6.50) for Mrs Durham Food and Drink, and I opted for Wensleydale Cheese and Mango Chutney Sandwich (£4.50). We both had an Americano Coffee (£1.85) to wake us up. Flat White Durham is one of these places that doesn’t serve op plates, they use (bread) boards. They use a paper sheet to cover and the food is served on top. Again, this fits in well with the rest of the quirkiness. Mrs DFD reported that the scrambled egg had ‘melt in the mouthiness’ and the salmon was first class too. My cheese sandwich was also really tasty, served in brown bread with crisps. The Wensleydale cheese was shaved thin like Parmesan and the Mango Chutney gave it that exotic almost West Indian feel.

flat white durham smoked salmon and scrambled egg on toast

flat white durham wensleydale cheese and mango chutney sandwich

We both decided we could probably spend a good deal of time in Flat White Durham. It could easily become our regular Sunday morning indulgence, just chilling and leafing through the Sunday Times whilst taking our early morning caffeine hit. A lovely place, tucked away where you’d least expect to find it.

Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 9, Service : 8, Food : 8, Value : 8

Flat white Durham rated 8

Flat White Durham,
21a Elvet Bridge,
Tel: 07789 951149

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Tealicious Durham Review

“For many years my dream has been to own a tea room. The turning point came on my 40th birthday in 2011 when I decided that it was now or never. Being solely a tea drinker and after years of trawling coffee shops in an attempt to find a decent ‘brew’, I knew that something had to change….that change being ‘Tealicious Tearoom’. This tea room will be different from the average coffee shops, at Tealicious Tearoom we will offer the tea lover the chance to experience a unique range of tea blends and savour the joys of a delicious cup of tea.

tealicious durham cakes

The recipe for a perfect tearoom required many ingredients; a supportive family, builders, plumbers, cherry pickers, friends willing to do to lots of market research and the list goes on. The recipe was complicated but despite some setbacks we finally found ourselves at the quaint and quirky building of 88 Elvet Bridge situated in the historic centre of Durham City, this was the perfect place to mix all the ingredients together. With the help of many Tealicious came together and my dream had become a reality!

So don’t be afraid to follow your dream as they do come true.”

Tealicious Durham

Tealicious is quite unashamedly pitched at people who like tradition. From the teapot wallpaper to the bone china cups, this is probably what every American envisages a British Tea-room to be. It attracts attention. Tealicious is situated right next door to Café Continental, but doesn’t compete. Tealicious offers quintessentially British Tea and cakes, whereas next door they are trying to cater for those who want filling up with a meal as well.

We’d been to Tealicious late last year, but it was cold and the windows were steamed up. We couldn’t see out and others couldn’t see in, so it wasn’t showing at its best. Today, the sun was out (ish) and sitting in the window seat we got the best view of the passing public. Nearly all of them gazed in. Should we? Shouldn’t we? Plenty said yes, as the tables filled up behind us. There’s only 4 or 5 tables in the downstairs of Tealicious, with the counter and till at the back. That’s where those delicious cakes are on the photo above. There’s extra space on the top deck, and I think the main kitchen is up there too.

We ordered two ‘Miners’ Brews’ from the tea menu. This is described as “For those who like a good, strong “proper cup of tea”. Puts hairs on your chest.
(Indian Assam, Kenyan black tea)”. Mrs Durham Food and Drink then plumped for an open roast beef sandwich, whilst I opted for the Tealicious Platter, which sounded a bit like a ploughman’s lunch. Hold on – a quick holler upstairs to see whether there was pork pie left – there was! The order was good to go.

The Miners Brew arrived, with nice china cups and individual pots of steaming tea, each with its own tea strainer and pot of milk. The description was right, this was indeed a proper cup of tea.

When the food arrived, it looked fantastic. A nice pie and salad, with cheese, pickalilli and pickled onions, along with greens and a hefty wedge of sun-dried tomato bread and butter. The roast beef was presented well too, everything looked nice and fresh and crisp. As is our way, we swapped half of our fodder so we got a good idea what the other was eating. All of it went down without too much of a struggle. Very nice indeed.

tealicious shop interior

It’s always a pleasure to take tea in Tealicious and the owners should be congratulated in what they’ve done. They’re a credit to the town and it seems a perfect fit for the type of business that’s needed in Durham. Keeping Durham quaint is a difficult job, but someone’s got to do it, and Tealicious seem to carry that off perfectly.

Go Visit!

Tealicious Durham,
88 Elvet Bridge,
Durham City,

Durham Food and Drink Ratings
First Impression : 9, Service : 9, Food : 9, Value : 8

tealicious rated nine

Scores on the doors

Hotels in Durham

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