Following a major refurbishment, the Seaton Lane Inn at Seaton near Seaham is now open for business.
So when I was offered the chance to sample the food, I was keen to see whether the investment and revamp was money well spent.
I’ve eaten at the Seaton Lane Inn many times over the years and have by and large enjoyed the pub’s tasty, honest food.
However, the last couple of times I’d eaten there I had been a little disappointed, feeling like many pubs do that it was trying a little too hard to be a high-end gastro eatery.
So, when I heard about the major refurbishment it was undergoing, which also included an overhaul of its menu, I was intrigued to see the results.
I wasn’t disappointed.
My colleague Alan and I headed there on the most gloriously sunny lunchtime, so it was no surprise that it was packed with hungry diners.
We were seated close to the bar, away from the open-plan eating area (which is so light it almost has an orangery feel about it) and thankfully, it was lovely and cool, giving us a welcome break from the 23-degree heat of the outdoors.
After perusing the menu, which included a good selection of starters, main courses, vegetarian options, pizzas and salads, plus choices for the little ones and some deliciously sounding desserts, we made our choices.
To begin I opted for the shredded duck pancakes while Alan went for the prawn and bloody mary sundae (a very posh prawn cocktail). My dish included a healthy pot of moist, tasty duck with cucumber, spring onion, hoisin sauce and three pancakes (the perfect amount to start), while Alan’s came in a gloriously oversized glass and was packed with juicy prawns and salad.
We both agreed we’d made the right choices as neither of us felt we’d overeaten, which is exactly what you want in your starters.
So far, so very good.
For main I chose the halloumi burger from the vegetarian section, which was served with a flat cap mushroom, salad and burger relish in a toasted focaccia bun, and twice cooked chips, a battered onion wedge and coleslaw.
I am a sucker for halloumi and anything with mushrooms is always a winner, so I suppose I was on safe ground with my selection. Nonetheless, there was nowhere to hide with this dish and the burger was packed with filling and super tasty. I was happy.
Alan opted for a pepperoni pizza, which was crispy and thin, with a generous serving of meat underneath a smothering of cheese. The clean plate spoke for itself – Alan too was happy.
After two courses we didn’t have room for a dessert, though if I did I would have gone for either the cheesecake or toffee apple pie.
And sadly, as were working neither of us indulged in an alcoholic beverage, which was a shame as there was a good selection of wines, beers and spirits to choose from.
The Seaton Lane Inn has always been a popular choice with both social and corporate diners, and I’m certain it’s new look and re-vamped menu will help attract a much more diverse, widespread audience, which of course is great for the Seaham and wider East Durham areas.