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Pub hospitality shows a sunny side up
AFTER a busy day at work we decided to let someone else do the cooking and headed out for a bite to eat.
It was a lovely sunny evening, the perfect weather we discovered to be sitting in the conservatory-style dining area of the Croxdale Inn, which is nestled just off the A167.
As we were given the choice, we settled on a table by the window so we could enjoy the view of the countryside.
With only one or two other tables occupied, we had the full attention of the waitress, who I will say now was excellent throughout our visit.
With a varied menu and tempting specials board we took a while to decide what to eat.
Although we were starving – my tummy had been rumbling since mid-afternoon – we passed on the starters to ensure we had room for one of the tasty desserts we were already eyeing up.
Learning from his mistake last time we ate out, Andy decided against the “whale” of fish and settled on the sirloin steak, while I chose the lasagne.
As we waited for our food, it gave us a chance to enjoy our surroundings. As I have already mentioned there was a beautiful view outside but Andy and I agreed they could make better use of it by rearranging the tables slightly so more people could enjoy it while eating.
The dining area itself was fairly formal with all the tables set with place mats, cutlery and wine glasses pre-set. However, it did manage to retain a casual feel, which meant there was no need to be too smartly dressed.
We didn’t have to wait long before the waitress was heading towards us with two packed plates of food.
My lasagne, which was accompanied by chips, side salad and coleslaw, was delicious and although the portion size was perfect I could have happily eaten it all again.
Andy was left watching his food while he waited for his steak sauce to arrive as the chef accidentally cooked Diane sauce instead of the peppercorn sauce he had asked for.
We were not very pleased with the delay but we were both impressed that not only did the waitress apologise but she explained the reason why.
The hold up didn’t spoil the meal and before long the steak, chips, side salad, coleslaw and what I described as “Olympic” sized onion rings had disappeared.
A minor criticism from Andy was that he had asked for a medium steak but in his opinion was medium to well done. However, he wasn’t too concerned and said it tasted lovely.
With us both being sweet-toothed we couldn’t resist revisiting the menu to check out the desserts. It took the time it took for a fresh round of drinks to appear, which was no time at all, to decide that it would be a shame not to try something. Andy went for the chocolate fudge cake with ice cream and I opted for one of my old favourites, apple pie and custard.
Like the main courses, the desserts were a good size but again it didn’t take long before we had polished them off. I think it’s very difficult to go wrong with desserts and these certainly didn’t disappoint.
We washed the meal down with a couple of Cokes and a pint of lager, bringing the bill to £38.
By the time we had finished eating, the rest of the dining area was empty – a recently familiar trait when we’re eating out – so we retired to the bar area to finish off our drinks.
The pub serves lovely food and with its light and airy dining area, it is a place I would thoroughly recommend on a sunny day.
Front Street East, Croxdale Durham DH6 5HX.
Tel: (01388) 815727.