Vennels Café

Alexander Iles
Vennels Café
Vennels

Vennels Café is a fantastic venue in the heart of Durham, steeped in the charming history of the city.  The word “vennel” comes from a corruption of the French word for an alleyway and the vennels in Durham are the alleyways that date back to the medieval city. The building itself dates from the 16th century and it is truly special as an old English house in its own right. Entering the building you will notice the old celling beams that are bent by age that would fit into any BBC period drama. The interior is also outfitted with the original fireplaces and appropriate furnishings to highlight and enhance the surroundings. Eating at the Vennels you are in for a treat, all the produce is made on-site and has that exceptional homemade quality – from their internationally famous scones, which are freshly made each day, through to their soups, pies and cakes. Even a jacket potato can be made even more special at Vennels with fillings from brie and bacon, through to cheddar cheese and their own date and apple chutney – again, homemade by their own cooks.

A trip to Vennels is a wonderful treat and you will have to queue your way through the enthusiastic crowd of regular patrons to enjoy the treats inside due to its popularity, although, with a hundred and fifty seats, they will be able to find room for you inside. It is also thought that a part of the building was used by Mrs Clements, who was the lady who invented English Mustard in Durham. She discovered that by milling the mustard seeds like flower it made the mustard even more potent and marketed it, taking it before King George I, who patented it. Today English mustard may be produced through Colemans of Norwich, but its roots are within the Vennels of Durham. Discover Vennels Café and enjoy fantastic comfort food in historic surroundings.

71 Saddler StDurhamDH1 3NP View map
Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Monday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Tuesday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Wednesday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Thursday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Friday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Saturday9:30am - 4:30pm
  • Sunday9:30am - 4:30pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Vennels Café

A still from Now, Voyager featuring Charlotte Vale played by Bette Davis.
CinemaLeeds
Now, Voyager at Cottage Road Cinema

Bette Davis stars as a wealthy young woman who escapes her domineering mother in this classic melodrama selected to show as part of Classics at the Cottage this June.

from £7.00

Where to go near Vennels Café

Gavin Shelley Jewellery
Durham
Shop
Gavin Shelley Jewellery

Within the side alleys of Saddlers’ Yard, there is a small shop that many would pass by, but holds a wonderful surprise for those who go in. Going to Gavin Shelley Jewellery you will be able to see a fantastic range of items from rings to pendants, and earrings, it is likely that the piece you are looking to buy has been made by him.

The People’s Bookshop
Durham
Shop
The People’s Bookshop

The People’s Bookshop sits one of the alleyways that comes off Saddler Street and is a hidden gem and a treat for the book lover. Away from the bustle of the main streets, it is a treasure trove of books from all areas and periods and encourages those to enter to discover a whole new theme of knowledge through the book that they have purchased.

Fat Hippo
Durham
Restaurant
Fat Hippo

Founded in 2010, Fat Hippo offers signature burgers and indulgent desserts at purse-friendly price points.

The Mugwump
Durham
Shop
The Mugwump

The Mugwump is a unique boutique on Saddler Street. With a history stretching back to 1966, when it was founded by two art school graduates, it has grown to have something for everyone. The ambition of The Mugwump is to find the most wonderful clothing, glassworks, ceramics, and gifts that can be purchased and bring it together under one roof for all to enjoy and be owned by you.

The Cellar Door
Durham
Restaurant
The Cellar Door

The Cellar Door is a premium restaurant built into an old 13th century baker shop enjoying wonderful, wooded views over the River Wear.

North East
Shop
Bookwyrm

This LGBTQ+ bookshop, nestled in the heart of Durham’s city centre, is more than a business but rather is a community hub.

North East
Theatre
The Durham

A home for theatre in Durham, showcasing many talents such as those of the Durham Dramatic Society at greatly affordable prices.

Durham
Event venue
Gala Theatre & Cinema

Gala Theatre is known for hosting some of the biggest names in comedy, leading theatre companies and inspiring bands and musicians.

Tango
Durham
Restaurant
Tango

Tango is an independent restaurant providing the best in comfort food with a varied burger menu and in-house deserts.

Durham Castle
Durham
Tourist Attraction
Durham Castle

Durham Castle, initially constructed following the Norman Invasion, now offers guided tours around its historic site, which is also student accommodation.

North East
Museum
Museum of Archaeology

Durham University’s specialist museum showcases an exhibition which ranges from the prehistory to modern times, charting the history of Durham.

Assembly Rooms Theatre
Durham
Theatre
Assembly Rooms Theatre

In the heart of Durham, a stone’s throw from the cathedral, is Assembly Rooms Theatre, an historic building showcasing theatre throughout the year.

Culture Guides