Although I hail from the North East I find it fascinating to travel around the region and discover new places to eat and visit. It also gives me the opportunity to promote the beautiful region I grew up in. As a vegan it isn’t always easy to dine out in different cities, which is why local guides and recommendations can be invaluable in making plans for those not familiar with the area. We were invited to stay in the four-star Radisson Blu in Durham recently which gave us the opportunity to wander round this historic city, unfettered by car parking expiration and children’s bedtimes. We decided to try out some of the vegan friendly food options close to the hotel, as well as enjoying a few cheeky drinks as we were child-free.
Although Durham is on a major train route, we decided to travel into the city by car. The Radisson Blu has its own car park, located to the rear of the hotel, and costs £9 per day. Once parked and checked in, we headed out in the sunshine to find somewhere to eat. We are Hungry Horaces, after all. We decided to share some of the places we ate during our stay in the city, as well as more information about our hotel stay as we thought it may be of interest to those planning on visiting Durham in the near future.
Jumping Bean Cafe, Neville Street
Meat-free burgers and hot dogs are top billing on the menu of this little cafe tucked down a cobbled side street in the city. You can read a full review of our visit here. Save room for cake!
We were full of praise for Tia’s vegan menu, cocktails and friendly atmosphere. Open from 5pm, it is well worth a visit for an evening meal and a tipple. You can read more about what’s on offer here.
Bean Social, North Road
We were disappointed by Bean Social on our first visit but felt we needed to share our experience on the blog. We ordered a pizza which we felt was expensive for the size and standard.
The vegan doughnuts we tried were a high point, but felt the savoury options were lacking compared to other restaurants in the area.
When Zizzi and PizzaExpress both have vegan pizzas on their menu we feel that Bean Social need to revisit what they offer in this respect to make sure it offers good value for money in comparison.
Lebaneat, North Bailey
We have yet to try out this Lebanese restaurant which is tucked away close to the famous Cathedral but have been assured there’s plenty on offer for vegans. Lebaneat‘s menu features classics like falafel and hummus, as well as dishes that can be adapted for those with dietary requirements, and is definitely on our list of places to try the next time we head to the city.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankland Road
With its prime position on overlooking the Wear and a short walk away from the cobbled streets of the city centre, the Radisson Blu is a good choice for those looking for value for money and a location close to the attractions of Durham. Rooms start at £63 a night, with breakfast and other additions available at a supplement. The rooms were comfortable and functional. The views of the Cathedral were obscured by the redevelopment work happening along the riverside, but once this is completed it will add more bars and leisure facilities which will enhance the experience of those visiting the area.
We were disappointed by the breakfast options offered to us as vegans and have fed this back to the hotel. We hope this feedback will be taken on board as we have found so many chains failing to provide a decent selection for those with dietary requirements. Soya milk was available, but with a lack of dairy free ‘butter’ and other items we were limited in what we could eat from the breakfast buffet. This was surprising considering I’d enjoyed a 3 course meal in the same restaurant a few months go (which you can read here) so had thought the kitchen may have been better versed in what was SFV.
We were impressed with the gym and spa facilities of the Radisson, however, especially as the products used are 100% vegan. LimeHouse Spa provides a range of beauty and relaxation services, as well as packages for those looking to unwind in the city.
We will add more vegan highlights to this post as we try out and learn of more restaurants in Durham City Centre catering for our dietary requirements.
Thanks for reading,