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Cross Keys Esh

There is only one good thing better than a good old fashion British pub and that’s a good old fashion British pub with good food. That is exactly what I am going to tell you about today. 

It was graduation week in Durham last week which is great for the economy. All the restaurants and hotels are fully booked for a week but it’s a bloody nightmare for us locals who completely forget and want to eat out.
Then I remembered about the perfect pub about 15 minuets drive from Durham. The Cross Keys.
The first time I came to the Cross Keys in Esh was back in February there was snow on the ground and it was considerably colder than it is now. I was well over due one of their Murphy’s pies.
Friday night all 9 of us headed up for a belated birthday celebration for my Mam, who apparently is now getting younger the older she gets.
Starting off with drinks in the bar and listened to the landlord recite perfectly all the specials of the day. Which was extremely impressive as there were 9.

Once we had finished our drinks convitently the food was also ready so we made our way to the fully booked restaurant.
The food is a cross between fine dining and good old home cooked dinner in a pub. Which is what I like about the Cross Keys, it’s relaxed but the quality of food isn’t.
I ordered Murphy’s steak pie. With the amazing hand cut chips and a side order of peas. (This is what I also had the last time I visited.) I must have really sold it as most of the party ordered it too.

The pastry is so fluffy and crisp. I wish I could make it that good.

Dad and T had the Duck leg special. This came on a bed of mash, with chanteany carrots, spinach, shallots and gravy. You know it was good when all was left was a bone.

R of course got the Sirloin.

Emily got the Jack Daniels Hunters Chicken.

Which she devoured. Only the salad was left as she hates it. 
As we ate the restaurant slowly quietened down until we were the last (and rowdy) table left. The landlord turned up the tunes for us and we all had a good old natter.  

Mam and Dad were telling us tales of their recent work trip, R and I were excited for our holiday and Emily was keeping the entertainment and the red wine flowing.
In a bid to stay sober and for research purposes I ordered pudding.
The Caramac cheese cake was going down a storm with the other diners so I wanted to see what the fuss was about.

I can’t even describe how amazing this tasted. Although it did get a bit sickly towards the end but Emily helped me finish it off. 
T had the Strawberry Sundae and didn't need the help from anyone to finish his off.

We left  at 11 and most of the locals seemed to be in the bar catching up on what kind of week they’ve been having.
On our way home Dad made a very valid point. If we had eaten in Durham it would have been twice the price but not twice the quality.
Tomorrow, wifi permitting my first Santorini post will be up. The wifi is so bad here though. Hope your enjoying the heat wave at home. It'll be all gone when I'm back knowing my luck.

The Cross Keys Pub - Esh 

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