We braced the winter weather and headed up to wilds of Consett, Knitsley Mill to be precise, so that Christine and I could have some quality ‘away from it all’ time. We’d heard good reports about the Old Mill and decided to give it some of our time and money in return for, what we hoped, would be some lovely food in a lovely setting.
We arrived to a suitably wintery snowy car park and on getting out of the car were greeted by an insistent little Jack Russell on the other side of the small picturesque stream. He, to be fair, wasn’t being insistent at us but had taken it upon himself (or herself – as close inspection wasn’t possible) to ensure that the ducks, bobbing up and down in the chilly water, were kept precisely there and in their place. This was all going on with the ducks paying scant attention to the dog but rather going about their duck-like business with little alteration to their demeanour as a consequence of the insistent canine!
The Old Mill, a converted mill house settled in a valley and in the beautiful County Durham countryside was a charm and the welcome that awaited did not disappoint. On entering we were presented with one of those pubs where it looks like someone has took the trouble to collect every thing that has ever been used within the vicinity of the pub and tastefully presented it for that old world feeing and the delight of their guests. Coupled on this cold winter day with a roaring fire the scene was well and truly set!
We selected a table equidistant between the door and the fire as I don’t do well with heat! The distant warmth was just right. We perused the menu and were offered drinks by the attentive staff for whom nothing was a bother. We selected our food and got down to the business of relaxing while we waited for its arrival. The atmosphere, wonderfully crafted, was a delight. My only criticism would be that in such a lovely setting we could have done without the TV on (albeit with the sound turned down) as, like most people I suspect, I find it distracting, and end up looking at it rather than my lovely lunch date! I’m sure it appeals to the locals who are in for a beer but for us diners was a little out of place.
The food was a delight! My slow roasted belly pork with black pudding just melted in the mouth and Christine’s Steak and Ale pie looking rustic and delicious. We didn’t stop there and had pudding and mine was a delightful fruit crumble which was simple but lovely.
What with the log fire and the old beams we could have stayed there all day! We left replete to the dog still attending mercilessly to those ponderous ducks. At some point I’m sure that he (or indeed she) will be satisfied they are well and truly dealt with. If they are not there when you visit and there is a plethora of duck dishes on the menu then you can see what might have happened!
The Old Mill is at
Knitsley Mill House, Butsfield Ln, Consett DH8 9EL