Have I found the Sunday Lunch to finally rival the (no longer available) Vane Arms? Maybe…
St. Mary’s Inn in Morpeth has recently reopened after over a year of closure. Since then, I’ve heard some excellent reviews of the food – and the gorgeous looking rooms – but special praise has been given to the Sunday lunches.
The pub, hotel and restaurant is just three miles outside of Stannington in the middle of a brand new housing estate. And whilst it’s quite a trek for us Durham lot, it’s absolutely worth it.
The new head chef has worked in fine-dining restaurants including the Michelin-starred Northcote Manor in Lancashire and the two-AA-rosette Jesmond Dene House.
We decided to book a table after a snowy 7 mile adventure through Morpth’s valley and woodland. Which, if you’re interested, is an absolutely stunning walk that will certainly work up your appetite.
We’ve been doing lots of walks across the North East lately, between 6 and 8 miles every time, I’m thinking of sharing more details as we’ve found some crackers (please let me know if you’d like to see this on the blog!). If you want the route for Morpeth, you can find it here.
But back to the scran.
We were starving by the time we’d made it back to the car, and in desperate need for a post-walk pint.
The venue is very much dog friendly, with lots of pooches welcoming you as you enter the bar area on arrival.
We took Jax, and as he still has his rescue pup anxieties, other dogs there immediately put him at ease. But what I really liked was still being able to take him into an actual eating area. Most places, and I totally get it, only allow you to take dogs into the bar section whether you’re dining or not.
Especially if the bar area is busy or there’s sports or something on, Jax can get unsettled by so many people and the buzz of them chatting. So often, if this the case, we’d rather leave him curled up at home where he’s happy snoozing. But not with St. Mary’s, we were taken through to the restaurant where Jax curled up under the table waiting for food to drop.
Admittedly, he was waiting a little while. The only very small fault I could find was with the drinks service. And only the speed of it at that.
All of the staff were lovely, friendly and warmly welcomed us but it took quite some time to get our drinks. Although, it might of seemed longer because we were pretty parched, it was still a good 15 minutes for three pints and a jug of water.
You could tell how busy they were, and the food wasnt too long to wait, so I happily let it slide.
They offer a really crisp Czech beer too called Kozel.
We skipped the starters on this occasion but promised ourselves a dessert shaped treat after the main event.
I ordered the Roast Rump of Beef, served pink.
Perfect sized portion with a generous serving of melt in your mouth meat and a good Yorkshire pudding too.
Served with creamy turnip, whipped mash, cabbage, seared carrots and a sweet parsnip – I honestly didn’t want it to end.
You also get a portion of Cauliflower Cheese which was slightly small for 3 people. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue as I only like a tiny bit but this little number was so good I could have quite easily eaten the lot.
Often I find it’s just cauliflower in a white sauce and topped with cheddar. This was very cheesy and seasoned perfectly.
And as I always say, the gravy can make or break a Sunday lunch. Whilst it was thin, it was so rich. Just enough to compliment everything on the plate, keep it moist and not overpower – perfect!
Despite my wishing, the food did come to an end and eventually my plate was empty. Definitely up there with the best…
It wasnt quite over yet, however. We had certainly burnt enough calories to warrant a dessert, but even if you haven’t just hiked 7 miles across Northumberland, please do not allow yourself to miss out.
More so if they’ve got this gem on the menu:
Vanilla Rice Pudding Creme Brulee. A proper traditional, homemade pudding with a modern twist. It was gorgeous! Sweet but not sickly it tasted so comforting – and considering the weather outside, it was bliss.
We also ordered a Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was also an absolute dream. The stickiest, gooeyest toffee sauce I think I’ve ever been presented. It was so more-ish, but also super sweet, so for my not-so-sweet-tooth, the rice pudding came out tops.
For 3 people, 2 courses each and 1 pint each the bill came to approx. £62. I didn’t think this was bad at all. Dan and I have paid this for the two of us before, albeit there was probably more pints involved…
Despite the short episode of near dehydration, this place is all you could want for your Sunday afternoon.
Dogs everywhere, fires blazing, cosy decor and a real ‘local pub’ feel with cracking lagers and near perfect food.
Unfortunately too far for us to travel regularly, but it definitely won’t be our last time at St. Mary’s Inn.
Have you been? I’d like to go back for their main menu or even to stay in their dog friendly accommodation. Let me know what it’s like over on Insta; @properscrumptious.
Lots of love, LB x