Review of the Herd and Herb, Sedgefield

Sedgefield just keeps getting better. It’s always been fond of it since I worked there many moons ago. A gorgeous, quaint little village that now boasts some of the best eateries in County Durham…

There’s so much choice. From hearty pub grub and huge portions in the Dun Cow (some of the best chips I’ve ever wrapped my lips around) to swanky fine dining in the Impeccable Pig (literally up there with my favourites ever), the village has something for everyone.

The Herd and Herb is the latest venue to join the village’s ever-growing list of fabulous foodie spots. Based in the Hardwick Arms Hotel, its central location is a short walk from the likes of the Pickled Parson and the Impeccable Pig and directly opposite the Corner House.

Mama Jan and I visited the Herd and Herb on a Friday, around the exact time I should of being flying out to Belfast for my hen do, funnily enough. F*ing COVID. Anyway, we certainly made up for it, don’t worry. We’d frequented the Pickled Parson and the Corner House for a couple of pre-meal wines before we headed over to the restaurant for an early tea.

What I want to stress more than anything is the service, it was outstanding throughout (even when they had to tell Jan off for forgetting what social distancing was). We were greeted by Paul, who gave us the full rundown of the COVID rules and regulations, his humour and warmth made us immediately feel at ease. He took our temperature and showed us to our table.

Each table had a small buzzer with three different options to get a member of the team’s attention too, including a button to let them know you were ready for the bill, reducing the need to get up or move around the restaurant unnecessarily.

I loved the décor and furnishings, it was light and airy but the dim orange lighting, exposed brick and raw wood balanced out the fancy and with a good chunk of cosy.

I’d naturally already scoped out the menu. And the food was right up my street! Offerings of calamari, saganaki, salmon and bresaola to start and steaks, pan seared chicken, wild mushroom linguine and a glazed beef brisket were just some of the main course options.

Now I don’t want to skip ahead to the ending too soon, but it’s an absolute BARGAIN for the quality too. Currently priced at two courses for £15.00 and three for £20.00.

They also have a lounge light bites menu which sounds just as dreamy. So, if you’re only in the game for a few drinks and a little nibble or two, it’s just as perfect location for that too. The small plate menu includes halloumi fries, filthy fries, chicken parmo bites, char sui pork, spiced onion bhajis and crispy white bait. They’re £4.00 each or 3 for £10.00.

What did we have?
To start, I opted for the Salmon Rillette. Chicory filled with a slice of smoked salmon, the rillette, capers and a dill crème fraiche. Everything was beautifully seasoned and really tasty. Something light and fresh, like this, is my favourite kind of way to begin a meal.

Mama Jan opted for the Pan Seared Saganaki. Halloumi to you and me. Served on olive crostini with tomato, cucumber and lemon, Mama Jan won the first round. The saltiness of the olives and halloumi paired with the fresh salad, a crunch of bread and a bite of lemon, they literally nailed both the flavours and textures with this one.

Moving onto the mains, I was SO undecided. I had to ask for assistance from our server. I finally settled for the Wild Mushroom Linguine. I’m a sucker for a wild mushroom, if I see them in a risotto dish or with pasta on a menu, it always ends up on the table. Served with parmesan shards for added texture and finished perfectly with the truffle oil, it was a gorgeous dish. Portion sizes were not stingy either – I couldn’t finish off the whole bowl. I think I did pick out all the mushrooms though…

Mama Jan went for the Rump Steak. She’s a sucker for a steak too. Hers was served with the Herd and Herb secret butter, which was too peppery (or in her words ‘spicy’) for Jan, but I had a good dip and personally, I’d have smeared it over everything on the plate. It also arrived with salad and chunky fries.

(I apologise for the poor quality photos, I did warn you earlier in the post that Jan and I had already made our way through at least a bottle before dinner…)

We were the first sitting, but my no means the first table, there were lots arriving around the same time. Despite this, the service was really quick.

The lovely Paul and his team looked after us so well. And even brought us over a free bottle of fizz after he caught wind of the fact that I was meant to be shitfaced in a Belfast gutter. Paul brought a sense of personality to the dining experience, which as you know, I always enjoy. Service is everything!

Also did you know if you add dried cranberries to a glass of fizz, the cranberries will jump up and down like little fleas in your glass. I know comparing them to fleas isn’t exactly appetising but I was mesmerised (simple things…) and they taste great with a good prosecco too.

In total, we paid £48.00 for two courses and a glass of wine each. You really cannot be robbed. Especially when all of the other factors of a cracking meal were well and truly in place, it’s more than value for money.

With Sedgefield being on our doorstep, we love to head there for an easy date night. We regularly just spend a Sunday afternoon having a drink in each of the gorgeous venues the village plays host to. And now I think we’ve found our new go-to. You KNOW I’mma be testing out that Herd and Herb light bites menu. The chicken parmo bites have got my name written all over them…

Have you been yet? Let me know what you thought in the comments, or head over to my Instagram: @properscrumptious

Lots of love, LB x

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