|Don’t let the cold put you off visiting some great local producers!|
I arrived at the South Causey Inn with some other bloggers, and we were greeted with delicious welcome drinks – Rip Rhubarb Gin (made at South Causey) served with Ginger Ale. The gin was delicious and I loved having ginger ale instead of a traditional tonic. It was great to see local produce showcased in the room and meet the makers. First I spoke to Allison from Teesdale Cheesemakers (yes, I made a beeline for the cheese) and found out more about her award-winning artisan cheese. Alongside her husband Jonathan, she started the business in 2016 making cheeses with milk from a farm that’s been in the family for five generations. Needless to say, the quality of the milk is second to none. I couldn’t believe that they had only been going for two years, as she was surrounded by awards and certificates (too many to mention here, but Gold in the World and Artisan Cheese Awards and North East Business Woman Of The Year give you some idea). I was lucky enough to try five different cheeses, including Teesdale Blue, Teesdale Goat, Barney Brie (a really unusual, delicious Brie named after nearby Barnard Castle), Teesdale White and an Extra Matured Blue which was my personal favourite. I was also a big fan of the dessert curd (which comes in two flavours – lemon and ginger) which I could have just sat and eaten with a spoon.
|Some of the delicious produce showcased – Dalton Moor Farm preserves, Rip Rhubarb Gin, Sweetheart Bakery breads and the incredible egg custard, Allison with her award-winning Teesdale Cheese|
I’d already heard the other bloggers talking about Sweethart Bakery‘s amazing chutney bread and egg custard before I got to their stand, and they weren’t wrong. This award-winning family run coffee shop and bakery is based in Blackhill, Consett specialised in homemade breads and desserts. I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard of it because lots of my friends live over that way. There’s also a bistro serving seasonal fayre and a licensed bar to enjoy if you get to visit. Their egg custard is the best I’ve ever had – just divine!
|The South Causey Inn is a unique venue which guaranteed a memorable trip|
After talking to the local producers, we were shown around the Inn where I was increasingly blown away by the quality of accommodation on offer. Hell, you can even stay in a 1960s double decker bus which has been decorated in a vintage style and has its own private hot tub. The first thing that struck me were the hot tubs and jacuzzis in the stylishly decorated hot tub and jacuzzi rooms. There are hot tubs everywhere, which can only be a good thing. These spacious, themed luxury rooms are perfect for celebrating a special occasion – I particularly liked the French Boudoir (perfect for a couple’s retreat), the Tree House (with tree centrepiece) and the rustic Old Stable. Groups will love staying in the two story Hot Tub Houses (The Causey Bunkhouse and The Causey Den) – with chill out areas and even a therapy room for spa treatment and beds for up to ten quests. I was also very impressed by the Antique shop which had an eclectic range of curios from around the world.
|The stunning wedding reception area|
|Indoor picnic – the delicious afternoon tea served on a mini picnic bench|
I didn’t have a lot of room left for sweet treats but I tried my best! I just wish I hadn’t devoured so much of the Sweethart Bakery’s amazing egg custard but I managed half of their lovely fruit scone with Dalton Moor Farm strawberry jam. I also enjoyed the St Cuthbert’s Slice (pastry with a fruit and nut mixture baked on top in homage to the famous saint) from the Undercroft Restaurant at Durham Cathedral. I definitely could have eaten more strawberry and cream fudge from Sweet Sally Cinnamon. This was all washed down with tangy Dalton Moor Farm apple juice, Durham Miner’s Blend tea from Tealicious and Lonton Coffee. I was blown away by the quality of the afternoon tea and will definitely be going back to have it again.
Please remember to use the hashtags #TasteDurham or #TasteDurhamMonth to share your experiences!