Sunday Bliss By Michael Grahamslaw

Issue 99

My daughter Holly is a recent Durham University graduate and the cathedral city has long been a firm favourite of the Grahamslaw clan.

Therefore the chance to return and review Sunday lunch at Whitechurch was an opportunity that we grasped.

On a warm February day my wife Lisa and I made the short journey down from Northern Insight HQ to a venue we remembered well.

A stone’s throw from the main University campus Whitechurch prides itself on serving fresh locally sourced produce whilst offering a unique dining experience for patrons who appreciate high quality ingredients and a commitment to local farmers and suppliers.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the cheeriest of welcomes and shown to a comfortable table.

The venue has a lovely rustic feel and was already busy with an eclectic mix of families and students.

The impressive outdoor area was also buzzing with groups enjoying a rare glimpse of Winter sunshine.

Booking ahead for Sunday lunch is highly recommended and it was easy to see why when I saw some of the hearty grub being served whilst we perused the bill menu over a lovely glass of chilled white wine.

With a choice of four starters, four main courses and four desserts the menu is gloriously simple and effective.

I kicked off with roasted red pepper and tomato soup. This was a delicious and comforting dish full of aromatic herbs and spices. Served with two chunky slabs of sourdough bread it provided the perfect pick me up after the excesses of the previous night.

Lisa opted for cod and spring onion fritters drizzled generously with a rich hollandaise sauce. This added a luxurious touch to the dish providing richness and tanginess to perfectly complement the flavours of the crispy fritters.

She pronounced it delicious.

If the starters were impressive then the main courses were no less so.

Lisa chose Chicken Supreme which was beautifully cooked with the meat tender and juicy. I opted for beef rump which was lean and full of flavour.

Both dishes were accompanied by roast potatoes, carrots, cheesy leeks, braised peas and piping hot gravy. Special mention must be made for the most amazing Yorkshire puddings which had a light and airy texture and crisp outer shell. They provided the perfect accompaniment to this fabulous meal.

The dessert menu was equally mouthwatering feeling replete we sidestepped till next time. I made a mental note to try the Tiramisu cheesecake on return.

Service was friendly and attentive throughout.

Whitechurch is part of ZEN Group which also includes TANGO Social Bar and Kitchen, Zen (Thai Asian Dining) and The Rabbit Hole (Cantonese Fusion Dining) The owners Sam Gadd and Zak Newton have excited plans for the group in 2024.

Definitely one we’d recommend. If only every day could be like Sunday.

For further information visit their excellent website www.whitechurchdurham.com

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