The Cellar Door

Cellar Door

Wow……

There is simply no other way I could possibly begin my review for The Cellar Door.

A date night for Mark and I is a very rare occurrence, so when we were invited to The Cellar Door it seemed a perfect opportunity for us to do just that.

I love Durham and love nothing more than being able to sit and look out over the river.

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We parked up and walked up over Elvet Bridge, taking in the view of the river and then making our way up Saddler Street. The Cellar Door is located about half way up the road to the Cathedral.

The entrance is a small door way, well signed, and access is gained down some stairs to the Restaurant.

Never have I felt such a welcoming environment in a Restaurant. The gentleman that greeted us was very polite and sat us at our table making us feel like nothing would be a problem. Introducing us to the daily special, he invited us too peruse the Menu and he would return shortly for our drinks order.

The Cellar Door have a Menu that changes with the seasons, not only do they use seasonal produce but the ingredients they use are sourced locally. They also have a Lunch Menu which is equally as easy on the eye.

I personally love to know that restaurants are keeping things local and knowing that the Menu changes so frequently excites me. It highlights the passion of the Chef for me.

The Restaurant itself is open and bright, the tables are simple and clean but it all comes together to make such a welcoming atmosphere. The views are amazing and it would be amazing to sit in the garden on a sunny day and enjoy a meal, looking out over the river.

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Mark and I being us, we couldn’t decide who was designated driver so we were both on the non alcoholic lager. However, the Drinks Menu is extensive and has a good selection of Wines, Cocktails, Spirits and Soft Drinks.

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Our drinks were delivered and our order was taken.

Unexpectedly, the waitress delivered us a “Pre Starter”.

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Spicy Butternut Squash Soup, with a Bread Roll and a selection of three dips, Rapeseed Oil, Unsalted Butter and a Balsamic Glaze.

We were both blown away with the flavour and also how well the dips complemented the flavour of the soup. Simply delicious and it left us excited as to what the Starter would bring.

Massive compliments go to the waiting staff, they were very attentive and looked after us very well.

Our Starters……

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Venison Carpaccio with Pickled Blueberries and Egg Yolk Melba

Beautifully presented with the smoke filled glass, it tasted equally as beautiful. The only thing Mark would have changed was that he was too keen to eat it and would leave the smoke filled glass for another minute or so should he have it again.

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Pear Cider Belly Pork with Nduja, Scotch Egg and Beetroot Gel

After deliberating and reducing the Starters on the Menu down to a choice of two after a week of looking, I was delighted to have the choice taken away from me when we were told this was the special for the evening.

It melted in the mouth and every mouthful was a delight.

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Is it wrong to say by this point we were excited for what was coming next??

I hope not, because we had every right to be…..

Main Course

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Lamb Rump with Pistachio Crumb, Sweet Potato and Feta Pan Haggerty and a Date Jus

I wouldn’t normally go for the lamb but I am so happy I did. It, like the pork, melted in the mouth, I have never had meat so tender and succulent. Every part of the dish complemented the lamb and I wouldn’t hesitate to order this again.

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Beetroot Five Ways, Fresh, Grilled, Pickled, Crisps, Gel with Quinoa Salad, Aubergine, Bacon and Lime Dressing

Mark loves Beetroot and was so drawn to this dish from the moment he viewed the Menu. In his own words “ I have only ever had it pickled and would love to make sure it is the beetroot I like and not just the pickling”. He wasn’t disappointed. Not only did it taste good, but it was food for the eyes too, so colourful,pretty and well presented.

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Chunky Chips and Feta Bon Bons

We also ordered a side dish each to accompany the Main Course. There will be no surprise to you when I say they were simply divine.

The Waitress came and took away our plates and offered us the Dessert Menu.

It would be rude not too order at least one pudding now wouldn’t it?

Mark isn’t a pudding kind of guy and enjoyed the full feeling while finishing off his beer.

Pudding to me is a must, so of course I ordered one.

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Cherry & Chocolate Mousse, Black Cherry & Kirsch Ice Cream

WOW….

It was a Chocolate fans dream, the mousse was rich and smooth and the Cherries and Ice Cream complemented it perfectly.

To say we were blown away by what The Cellar Door has to offer is an understatement. We both came away and said that it quite simply was the best meal we had ever had. Up until a few weeks ago we had never heard of The Cellar Door, how I don’t know, but for us, it was a hidden gem. We will certainly be returning.

Upper most compliments go to the Chef’s and The Front of House Team, food and service that good are few and far between. I would recommend a visit to anyone.

A massive thank you to you all for a wonderful night and divine dining experience. See you all again soon.

xxxxx

Am I dieting or Calorie counting?

This time last year I was the heaviest I had ever been weighing in at 16 stone.

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To say I wasn’t happy is an understatement, but in the same breath I was prepared to just eat and drink without a thought to what I was gaining and what I looked like. Truth be known my size didn’t bother me unless I was going out or in the bedroom.

I don’t really remember the point where I thought enough was enough but it was just after the night we went to see Paul Merton (above).

I had embarked on the journey a few times in the past, and had started Slimming World both in group and from home several times.

This time however, was different.

I simply got up one morning in July and said, “Right, I start on Monday”.

Feeling I may need some help I made an appointment to go and see my GP. Unfortunately I was very disappointed with the help they had to offer. There was a support group, but children were no allowed to attend and it was help at 2.30pm 10 miles away. Useless to a Mum with kids at school and one at home. Once over the GP would offer help with joining Slimming World but not mine. So it left me with option of taking a tablet called Orlistat.

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These tablets I was told, would stop my body from absorbing fat and redirect through my bowels. (I will leave it there, TMI with all the details but if you would like to know more about it you can read about it here… .https://www.medexpress.co.uk/health-centre/how-does-orlistat-work/ or have a watch of the Channel 4 show How to lose weight well)

Armed with the tablets, one three times a day with food, I embarked on liking Facebook groups for support and recipe ideas and started out on the Slimming (not) World diet again, but by myself from home.

I by no means was strict on myself. The diet plan I was following in the main was Slimming World. I knew it, so it was easy to stick to. I allowed myself no treats during the week but come a weekend. or Marks days off we would have a chicken kebab and a bottle of wine (which whilst taking the tablets I paid for two days later, ick!). The weight therefore came off in dribs and drabs but shifted all the same.

By the time Christmas came round I was two and half stone lighter but I wasn’t going to let Christmas ruin my good work.

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I had a cheat day on Christmas Day and then Boxing Day fell in to the same bag as Christmas Day. I remained good and had another cheat day on New Years Eve (Mark’s Birthday).

Once the festive season was out of the way I was ready to start again but I was struggling to move any weight with plan I was following. Mark suggested we start counting the calories and I came off the Orlistat because I was convinced that these were restricting the weightloss.

This too me was terrifying. I had done this once before and I spent two weeks starving and craving food all the time.

Second week in January came and we had both downloaded the “My fitnesspal” app. (For those of you that are not aware of what this app is about pay https://www.myfitnesspal.com/ a visit).

So it began, not going to lie, it was a nightmare at first, you don’t seem to get much for your calories. However with some of the meals Mark was making I couldn’t complain and come March I had got down to a not so shabby 12st 3lbs.

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Then came a break…..

Between then and about a month ago I had crept back up to 13 stone and I became very aware of that.

So as Marks weightloss got higher and mine had ceased I thought it about time I joined back in. Off I went again, enjoying the meals he is making and the weightloss has kickstarted again. I am currently 5lbs from my lowest and hopefully come Christmas I will have reached my goal.

Some of Mark’s creations ……..

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Spag bol….loaded with veg…. and Mince Dinner loaded with veg

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Chicken, Ham and Asparagus Risotto and Beef Stir Fry

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Pan fried Venison and Veg and A good old low calorie fry up…

All amazing and all around 400 – 500 calories.

So here are the before and after pictures for both me and Mark….well so far anyway 🙂 xxxx

Me before and now…..

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Us before and now…..

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I have no doubt I will get a telling off for this one….(but hey I am proud, so it’s worth it lol) x

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Until the next time xxxxx