East Durham Business magazine food review: Seaton Lane Inn

The Seaton Lane Inn has long been a firm favourite on the East Durham food scene, with it’s modern, zen-like interior and luxury rooms which make it a popular choice for national and international visitors to the North East.

Keen to keep up with the demand for mid-week lighter bites, the pub recently launched a new set menu and EDB editor Leanne Fawcett popped along to put it to the test…

I’ve eaten many times at the Seaton Lane Inn, the popular pub and hotel located on Seaton Lane on the outskirts of Seaham.

The food and hospitality has always been second to none, so when I was given the chance to pop along and try out the next mid-week set menu, of course I was happy to accept.

This job is tough at times!

For company I took along my colleague and friend Lindsay, who like me had eaten at the Seaton Lane Inn many times, however not for a few years so was also intrigued to sample the new menu.

So, after ordering our drinks, we perused the somewhat limited menu for make our choices – there are three courses for starter, three for main and two for dessert so don’t expect the selection you get from the pub’s main menu, which is something I’d perhaps consider amending as you are literally spoilt for choice or the larger day/night alternative.

The price is £15 for two courses and £20 for three.

For starter I ordered bruschetta while Lindsay ordered the potato skins (the other choice was crispy fried white bait), while for mains I opted for the chicken parmo while Lindsay selected the arancini balls (the third option was mackerel salad).

While we waited for our first course to come, we enjoyed a welcome catch up after realising that due to work commitments and holidays, it had been about four months since we last caught up.

When our starters came, they were the perfect size, my bruschetta coated in small chunks of tomato and herbs with a lightly dressed salad while Lindsay’s potato skins came with a garlic mayonnaise dip and side salad.

The food was tasty enough, the types of courses that do what they say on the tin really.

Thankfully, there was a welcome break between starters and mains – my bug bear is when your mains are down before you’ve had a chance to put your cutlery together from the first course.

When the mains did come again the portion sizes were again spot on, particularly for a lunchtime.

My chicken parmo was so succulent, the chicken perfectly cooked and coated in a creamy cheese sauce. It did taste quite garlicy but I didn’t mind that, and with a bit of extra seasoning was thoroughly enjoyable.

Lindsay was presented with a bowl of three large arancini balls with a spicy chilli and tomato dressing and a herbs and salad. They were lovely and crispy with plenty of filling and while the dressing was a bit too spicy for her, for me it was the ideal heat.

Sadly, we were both too full for desserts, though if we did have room the choices were rich chocolate brownie or classic apple pie.

The Seaton Lane Inn really is a lovely pub and I know from many of the businesses I work with, is also a popular choice for overnight stays, particularly by those companies who welcome overnight guests.

However, if I could make one suggestion about the set menu, it would be this – incorporating the two and three-course deals into the main menu, allowing for some choices to come with a supplement, would give people far more selection.

When Lindsay and I reviewed it, there was probably in excess of 10 dishes we could have picked whereas on the current set-menu our choices were dictated to by what was on offer rather than what we would have chosen.

Food for thought at least.

So, would I recommend the Seaton Lane Inn?

Absolutely yes, you’ll be well looked after, the interior of the eating area is so relaxing and there is something for every palate, including the little ones.

For more information visit www.inncollectiongroup.com and look for the Seaton Lane Inn, or find the pub on Facebook.