This is going to be my longest post in the Durham diaries, as this is the only full day we had exploring the city. We crammed a lot into the day, which I really liked, and it also means that I have lots of recommendations to share with you in this durham diaries post. I absolutely loved this day and it was actually one of my favourite days of the year so far, I loved how chilled the day was and it was exactly what I needed to unwind. if you haven’t seen yesterdays post then I would go and read that first, purely so you are caught up on the trip so far.
We started the day off with a lie in, which was very much needed. The holiday cottage bed was so comfy that we just couldn’t resist! After getting ready and heading into Durham, it was around 10:30am and we went straight to our brunch date. I won’t talk about this too much as I have written a whole review on it (click here) but we went to the riverview kitchen. It was somewhere that was recommended to us so many times and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
For the rest of the morning we had an explore of Durham and did a little bit of Christmas shopping. There were so many cute independent shops in Durham perfect for last minute Christmas shopping, we particularly loved “mugwump” on saddler street… filled to the brim with pretty gifts, cards and wrapping paper. It was so nice to stroll around and see the city without really having much plan or purpose, just exploring what we wanted to. We also went to a little jewellery shop called Blaze, which I would also recommend going into as they had such a large range of independent jewellery brands. I ended up buying some Christmas presents from there as well.
One of the most infamous coffee shops in Durham has to be the “flat white kitchen” on saddler street, and apparently at breakfast time the queue is out of the door waiting for a table. We decided to go mid afternoon for a drink and a warm up (it was so cold!), and I’m so glad we did so I could include it in the durham diaries. I didn’t like it as much as the riverview kitchen but it was still such a cute coffee shop and the hot chocolate was to die for. Look at the pattern on the top! I loved the decor too, very rustic and perfect for photos… would definitely recommend. We also shared a brownie, which was so nice. This durham diaries series is just turning into the best Durham coffee shops! I love trying new independent ones though.
In the afternoon we decided to walk up to the cathedral, as that is the main “attraction” in Durham. Neither of us are religious but we still wanted to have a look around, and I would definitely recommend you have a look around if you are visiting Durham. It is technically free but they ask you to make a small donation, and it is worth it. It takes about an hour to walk around and explore, and I really enjoyed it. I never knew that some of Harry Potter was actually filmed there! There aren’t many photos as you weren’t supposed to take any but I got a few sneaky ones outside, but they aren’t very good!
After the cathedral we headed back to the holiday cottage for a few hours before getting ready for the evening. I loved spending time in the holiday cottage throughout our trip as it was so cute and homely, plus it made me feel so relaxed being there. We slowly got ready and then set off back into the city centre again for our meal out. We went to an independent Italian restaurant on saddler street called ‘La Spaghettata’. It was really reasonably priced and such good food too, I would definitely recommend if you want to go somewhere more independent rather than a chain restaurant… plus the dark candle-lit atmosphere makes it a perfect venue for a date night. I had the chicken risotto, which was lovely, and we also shared some starters which I loved. if you know me you know how much I love garlic bread and this one didn’t disappoint. I didn’t take any photos of the actual restaurant for the durham diaries series because on date nights we try as much as possible to not go on our phones, but I can assure you it was very nice.
Afterwards we were planning to go to revolution cocktail bar on the riverside, but we decided to just go back to the holiday cottage instead. Thats the only downside of having such a lovely house to stay in… we wanted to keep going back there because it was so fab! The good thing is that we have some things on our list for next time now, if ever we do go back.
So that was out full day in Durham. Overall I loved it, it was one of my favourite days of the year and I really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the day. It was so nice to have some quality time with John, not really having a plan and instead doing whatever we wanted to do. I loved it! I would definitely recommend Durham if you enjoy a chilled city trip, and I can’t wait to visit more cities in 2019. Chester, bath and Brighton are definitely on my list!