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.