I'm MumOnTheMove from Washington. I've been Qyping since 17-05-2011
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34 Elliott Terrace, Concord, Washington NE37 3AE
21a Elvet Bridge, Durham, Durham DH1 3AA
My husband is one of the fussiest coffee-drinkers I know, and he has given Flat White his seal of approval!
Spout Lane, Washington Concorde, Washington NE38 7HP
It seems to us that there are far too many options on Divan Khahah's menu (more than 400 separate items!) and it is likely that there are just batches of sauce sitting around waiting for meat to be thrown into them to make all the different types of curry they offer. Having said this, some of the sauces are fairly tasty and their nan breads are fresh.
We've had the best results with vegetarian dishes - perhaps because they cannot simply throw the vegetables in at the end? So the "Vegetable Dupiaza" was great, and the "Tarka Dal" likewise, quite tasty. Portion size is reasonable.
I would not get a Balti again as the sauce very salty indeed. I'd also not choose anything with Tikka Lamb as the meat tasted just like pieces of lamb chop added at the end - not particularly tender either. The Meat Madras was pieces of chewy "lamb"(?) in a salty, very hot gravy. The Chicken Tikka Massala (always a good yard-stick) was very sweet but had an interesting spiciness to it. The chicken itself was the most boring part of this dish which otherwise provided a lot of tasty sauce to mix with other dishes and to mop up with fresh nan.
Having ordered from them twice, we'd probably try them again if nothing more interesting comes up. Delivery is fairly swift, and prices are not bad.
Bonemill Lane, Washington NE38 8AJ
The pub itself is fairly small if you exclude the outdoor area. The decor is attractive, if slightly worn in places, and the only thing about it that I really didn't like was the two *massive* widescreen TVs positioned in the dining area. The sound was just audible enough to be annoying and football matches were screened for the first hour or so that we were there followed by some BBC drama. I though these were unnecessary in the dining area and significantly detracted from the overall atmosphere. Later in the evening, the TV sound was drowned out by some disco music which again wasn't what I would have chosen for a dining area at all.
We came on on a "specials" day (Mondays and Thursdays currently have 2 starters and 2 pizzas/pastas for £12) and found the bar and restaurant to be fairly crowded at 19:15 but by 21:00 when we left it had quietened right down.
The a la carte menu was a shortish list of fairly basic pub fare aside from the steaks (of this more below), and we decided to go with the £12 special.
We chose the dough balls and potato skins for our starters. The skins were greasy but tasty, and came with chilli and sour cream sauces, clearly from a bottle but which went well with them. The dense but fresh home-made dough balls were let down by their garlic butter which was basically a large chunk of butter in a little paper cup covered with a spoonful of garlic paste.
We enjoyed our pizzas (which arrived rather late but we had an apology for that). The cheese on them was decent and the bases were very tasty, and although they weren't huge, we found them the perfect size after the starters. (Cautionary note: we do not have large appetites.)
The pub also offer an unusual steak experience that is a little at odds with the rest of their very basic pub menu, and these are "Steakstones". If you go for one of these expensive numbers, you get your choice of fillet or sirloin delivered to your table on a sizzling hot stone tablet so that you can finish cooking it as much or as little as you like. (We saw one at the next table.)
Personally, as a rather particular steak-eater, I'd much rather have a chef cook my expensive steak than do it myself, and with the rest of the place being so cheap and cheerful, I was reluctant to commit £16 to discover how good or bad their choice of meat (and my cooking skills) could be.
Overall, good value for a cheap meal out if you go on a specials night and probably about average the rest of the time. Unless you choose the steak!
71b The Galleries, Washington Centre, Washington NE38 7RT
82 The Galleries, Washington Centre, Washington NE38 7RT
The In-shops area is like an indoor market with dozens of quirky little shops selling all sorts of different things. There's a great fruit and veg market which sells in-season fruit very cheaply, a bookshop that also sells and exchanges second-hand books, a pet shop (which the kids love to stop and look into), haberdashers, butchers, hairdressers, and lots of other useful little places that wouldn't otherwise get a look-in in a regular shopping centre.
My only gripe is that there isn't a map or list of the different shops at the entrance(s) and it's taken me a while to discover what's on offer, plus I also tend to get a bit disoriented wandering around the many different paths that go through it.
I haven't noticed the smells that the previous reviewers noted so obviously they've cleaned up their act a lot.
Green Lane, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 2SQ
The weather was excellent so we ate in the beautiful garden and the kids ran about and enjoyed playing with the selection of lawn games provided. We were too full after our main courses to partake of the very tempting selection of cakes and other baked goodies on display but would certainly consider afternoon tea on the lawn another day.
Front Street, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland TD15 2SJ
Old Main Road 168, Botha's Hill, Durban
We visited the Pot and Kettle for a family lunch and found them to be very friendly and accommodating.
There was a range of seating areas to choose from, most of the outdoor and window seats with superb views over the aptly named Valley of 1000 Hills. We were able to take a table at a covered area very close to the big wooden climbing frame (which kept our preschooler busy) and on request, an outdoor heater was fired up for us to help keep the winter chills at bay.
They were able to provide a highchair for our toddler and a children’s menu for our preschooler with reasonably priced children’s meals. All the children’s meals came with chips but we were able to request that they were exchanged for vegetables.
All the adults in our party had sandwiches which came with chunky (over-salted) potato wedges and a side salad (exchanged for vegetables on request). The sandwiches were good and the veg was quite tasty so we forgave them for the cool temperature of the creamed spinach. The cappuccino I ordered was really bad despite the Lavazza logo displayed in various places, but the verdict on the other hot beverages ordered was favourable.
As a special note, the Moms and Babies room was out of this world! It included a range of baby toys, multiple soft mats, couch, rocking chair, and camp cot. One imagines this could come in handy for evening visits with an infant if you brought your own baby monitor.
The restaurant includes an area with lots of crafty items for sale, and there are also some shops off the parking area outside selling other locally made craft and good quality leather goods.
Lillian Ngoyi Road 504, Morningside, 4001 Durban
Depending on what you’re after will depend on how you rate Billy’s on different nights of the week. We’ve been there lots of times and the experience can vary wildly from night to night.
On our most recent visits both times we just went for drinks and picked off their cocktail menu. On our first visit, we went on a Tuesday and while there were quite a few other people there and a number of diners, the atmosphere was really chilled and laid back. We took a couple of empty seats at the bar and ordered our cocktails, then sat back to watch the bar-tenders doing their thing, juggling bottles and looking slick and cool as they whipped up various drinks. Our “Cookie Crushers” (personal favourites involving ice cream, Romany Cream biscuits, chocolate and mint liqueurs) were delicious and throughout the ordering and drinking we were able to sit and chat quietly, a great opportunity to relax and wind down.
We thought we’d try the same trick the following week but being on holiday, we didn’t think about what day it was, and we accidentally went on a Thursday.
It was approaching 10pm but the place was heaving with people having a good time after work, and we could hear the music pumping out from about 20m away. Sitting outdoors was the only option as far as being able to chat (not a problem in Durban’s balmy climate), but first we had to order our drinks.
When we finally got noticed at the bar and ordered our cocktails, the bar tender’s face turned a little pale. (We subsequently heard from friends that ordering cocktails is really not the done thing when it’s that busy.) As it turned out we had a rookie bar tender who didn’t know how to make our drinks anyway and it all went disastrously wrong, including the bar tender accidentally knocking over the blender, spilling the alcohol somewhere where it didn’t belong, and shorting out their fridges and display cabinet lighting. I kid you not. On the plus side, it provided something entertaining to watch which was good, as the music was far too loud for us to enjoy casual conversation.
The drinks we were given were all wrong – the Cookie Crusher got banana liqueur in it, and my “Flying Gorilla” did not include fresh banana as specified on the menu but rather an overdose of banana syrup – ick! – but still, we let our bar tender off as we’d clearly ruined his night.
So would we go back? Yes. But not at the end of a week or when a big match is playing, because that kind of “excitement” is not what we’re after when we go out for drinks.