The country pub is an institution in the North of England, and they dot the rural landscape all over Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland and the North East. In Esh, on the outskirts of Durham, they have one of the best examples of the genre around in the form of the Cross Keys Inn on Front Street in the centre of the village. They’re situated on a ridge overlooking the River Browney and the Lanchester Valley, and the menu is similarly influenced by the surrounds. A particular favourite is the classic fish and chips, with fish from Whitby, fried in a local real ale batter. British cuisine is central, but there are plenty of international dishes too, such as chicken or steak fajitas, Japanese udon noodles, Thai red or green curries and Cajun potato skins. Head on to The Cross Keys Inn on a Sunday for the traditional roast lunch as well – just remember to book a table, though, as they do get crowded on occasion.
We had Sunday lunch at the cross keys. The food was very nice, hot and fresh. The staff are lovely, I would definitely go again.
It was enjoyable from the minute we arrived ... we were a party of five who chose to sit near the window overlooking the Wear Valley. So the landlord moved tables and a chair to accommodate us. Such a cheeery landlord and barman ... nothing was too much trouble and the food was delicious and served quickly. Will definitely return as the envirmonment was really cosy and comfortable.
The food & service were fantastic on our visit. The restaurant was busy but we had quick & polite service & the food was delicious - the best burger & chips I have ever had anywhere. I will definitely be returning! I cannot recommend this more highly.
Warm welcome and good service. Had a great Sunday lunch, plenty of veggies and yorkshires were cooked to order! Good beer too! Will be back soon
Returned after a while away to the Cross Keys for Sunday Lunch. We sold it to the kids that the Sunday Lunch was the biggest we'd ever had, with mixed meats making it suitable for climbing rather than eating. When the food came, it wasn't how we remembered it, however the quality was good and we realised the prior version was just an excuse for gluttony. Nice meats and lovely veg made it a pleasure, in a friendly atmosphere that clearly appeals to a wide age-range. Sunday lunch is alive and well at The Cross Keys.
Best homestyle Sunday dinner with a variety of tender, delicious meats. However also offers vegetarian options and other choices for those not wanting traditional Sunday lunch. No massive food chain tagged to this pub. Warm, friendly, traditional pub.
It was our second time eating here and we went back as the first time was excellent but on this occasion we were left disappointed as the food was not to the same standard there was only 1 member of staff & he tried his best but was struggling to tend to everyone in a timely manner which resulted in a table leaving without dining. We will not be going back a third time.
Large portions of freshly cooked, good quality pub food. Good choice of real ales at reasonable prices. Lovely views from the restaurant windows. Can definitely recommend this place
Cosy and friendly. We were greeted by a real fire in an open grate. The steaks and wine, offered on Groupon, were a bargain. Well worth a visit.
Very pleasant evening, food good and steak cooked as requested. We were impressed by the quality of the wine for a house wine. Would make a return visit.