A SUNNY Sunday afternoon and Seaham was swarming.
With a bustling boot fair, beach and a stretch of quaint coffee shops and good restaurants, there’s plenty to attract visitors to this corner of East Durham on a weekend.
Leaf, Bark and Berries has been a favourite of mine over the years. And with others too it seems as there’s now a spin-off outlet shop at Dalton Park.
North Terrace is where it all began though, and its appeal is clear to see.
Everything about this place charms, from the homemade cakes and treats to the countryside mural on the wall and the lanterns hanging from the ceiling.
Think the Englishness of a National Trust Shop meets contemporary chic and you get some impression of what’s in store at L,B & B.
The cafe is split into three sections: a food store at the front, a conservatory cum-cafe in the middle and a gift and homewares shop at the rear.
We managed to get the last remaining table in the cafe. It’s a smallish area, so probably not best suited for large groups, but is perfect for a couple of friends catching up over coffee.
Just drinks was our intention, but as meals were whisked past us to our fellow diners, we decided upon a bite to eat too.
Options are basic, but substantial, ranging from salads, filled rolls and tortilla wraps to baked pies, quiche and Stromboli.
There’s a good choice of sweet treats too with cakes, pastries, brownies and jumbo cookies ranging from £1.25 to £2.45.
You have to order at the counter and wait for your drinks, but once ordered, food is brought to your table.
My cheese savoury-filled roll was whopping and reasonably priced at £3.25. Though there was plenty of filling, it would have been nice to get more of the salad accompaniment – one cherry tomato and a couple of lettuce leaves didn’t suffice.
My friend chose well with the quiche – flavours change daily – which tasted deliciously home-made. It too was well priced at £3.75.
With drinks, our bill came to £11.
The beauty of this cafe, however, is that once your meal’s over you can browse the shop.
It’s filled with quirky gifts and shabby-chic items such as vintage signs, vases, country cottage-esque kitchen utensils, animal ornaments and more.
Prices are cheap and you’ll probably always leave with something.
On this visit, it was a heart-shaped wire photo holder for me, which is now pride of my place in my bedroom at Wheeler Heights.
This is very much a destination cafe that doesn’t disappoint.