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 toastflat 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,
Durham,
DH1 3AA
Tel: 07789 951149

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The Capital Durham Indian Restaurant


Here’s a promo video for The Capital Indian Restaurant in Claypath, Durham. I’ve been there many times and I’ve never had a bad meal yet, but be sure to book yourselves in as it gets very busy, especially at weekends.

Directly above The Capital you’ll also find Palm Sugar.

We called in on the way back home after a day in the town. The rain had been incessant, and it was good to get into the dry for a bit. Surprisingly for the time of day (7pm), the restaurant was empty, so we took the chance to get fed up before the rest of the Friday crowd turned out. The Capital, in my opinion, is the best Indian Restaurant in Durham. Tonight that was proved beyond doubt. Mrs Durham Food and Drink hadn’t been before, but she was only moderately impressed the last time shw came out for an Indian meal, at the Spice Lounge, so this was a new one on her.

We started with Poppadoms and pickles. We asked for two plain ones, when they came there were three. The pickles are the standard four, lime pickle, mango chutney, onion relish and mint raita. Usually, the one Indian Restaurants get horribly wrong is the lime pickle. I’ve tasted some pretty ropey attempts in the past. The Capital do the definitive lime pickle. It is absolutely superb! I started raving about it straight away. Mrs DFD agreed. But there was more to come.

capital durham indian restaurant

For the mains, we selected Balti Special Garlic Chicken and Chicken Nawabi, with a Vegetable Pilao and Peshwari Naan. The Chicken Nawabi was the most fantastic taste i’ve had at an Indian Restaurant for a long time. Creamy and delicate, with huge pieces of chicken. The Balti chicken was subtle on the garlic, but enough to give it that distinctive kick. Delicious stuff this. A huge peshwari naan bread mopped up the remnants, with a Cobra Beer each.

The Capital Durham lived up to my billing as the Best Indian Restaurant in Durham City, bar none. The service was as efficient as ever, with the waiters always there to get the order in and food delivered to the table as quickly as possible, but without hovering over you. Food quality was superb, with subtle spicing leading to a fantastic dining experience.

Price was only £34 for two, which included £6 for the two beers, so a bit of a bargain really.


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

capital durham rated nine

The Capital Durham
69 Claypath,
Durham,
County Durham
DH1 1QT
Phone : 0191 386 8803

Scores on the Doors

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