Review: Newton Hall, Brasside, Durham

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FOR days when I don’t want to be fancy, but I can’t be bothered to wash up, I like to go to the Newton Grange.

It’s perched on the edge of Newton Hall in Durham and is part of the Marstons Taverns chain.

Which means it’s not going to win any prizes for flair or individuality.

Fine by me – I like a menu with lots of offers that’s heavy on the chips.

I also like the fact that the staff do a good job of ignoring my smelly horsey attire.

We went on a Friday evening and it was busy, which it always is.

I had the Aztec pie (layers of tortilla with chicken breast in a chilli and tomato sauce) which came with wedges, corn on the cob and sour cream dip.

My friend chose the monster haddock in beer batter with 1lb of chips and mushy peas and we squeezed a garlic bread on to the order too.

Neither of us are shy eaters and we cleared the lot.

The fish was tender and tasty and the Aztec pie was very nice in spite of its silly name.

The garlic bread was quite a small portion, but maybe that was no bad thing as we were in a piggy mood and obesity is not a good look.

After moaning and groaning about how full we were, we promptly ordered dessert – big mamma’s toffee apple pie and custard for me and a sticky toffee cheesecake with ice cream for my friend.

He made the right choice. Taste wise it was miles ahead of my apple pie, but I think I was probably just stuffed by that point.

Our main courses, drinks, starter and two puds came to £26.45 thanks to a deal they have on all the time, where you get your cheapest main course free.

For my money, this is why the place is always full.

The menu has a lot of choice and sections devoted to bigger and smaller appetites (there’s a devoted 500 calories and less option) and the bill is sting-free.

The toilets are clean, the staff are nice and prompt and there’s real ale on offer too. Not only that, but there’s a beer garden, quiz night and children’s play area to make this a decent Jack-of-all trades.

Don’t go if you want foie gras or lobster – this is strictly a nice pub food venue for weeknight get-togethers.