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.