We were delighted to be invited along to The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval this week to road test their Christmas Fayre menu (you really can't have enough Christmas dinner's can you??). The Keel Row is one of our favourite local pubs - Sharon and the team are always so welcoming and make the time to chat to every single customer. The pub really feels as if it is the proper heart of a community - just like pubs should be! The Keel Row had been transformed earlier in the day into a magical Christmas wonderland. From the real tree at the door to crackers on the table and beautifully transformed fireplaces - I have to say it was all very tasteful too.
Any Christmas meal has to begin with a few jokes from our crackers and the kids were highly amused!
Whilst myself and Steve were enjoying our starters, the children ventured over to the lovely indoor toy and play area which has had a few new additions since our last visit. The new playhouse went down a treat and the kids busied themselves playing 'mams and dads'.
Starter - Floating mushrooms in a Creamy Garlic Sauce
Starter - Prawn Salad
Child's Christmas dinner
Lots of extra gravy = thumbs up from us
Adult Christmas dinner
We all very much enjoyed our meal - the only tip I would have is don't be tempted by too much of the bread that is brought to your table. Our portions were huge and after a few bread rolls plus our starters we started to flag a little during our main which was a shame! The kids did us proud eating all of their vegetables - even their sprouts! Children can choose a Christmas dinner or an option from the children's menu (2 courses £4.95).
Heidi loved colouring in Rudolph as she waited for her pudding (well actually she informs me this is Rudolph's girlfriend apparently!).
Children's ice cream for pudding
Although I struggled to squeeze much more in, the Christmas pudding was definitely my favourite course. It was so rich, moist and boozy (that will be the rum) and I would definitely recommend you choose this to end your meal.
Christmas pudding and Rum Sauce
Our meal wasn't of the quality you would expect from a high end Gastro pub. For example the Roast potatoes and Yorkshires are frozen rather than homemade (which is reflected in the price). However what I love about The Keel Row is that every time we eat here I just feel so warm, comfortable and cosy. It is difficult to describe the feeling but it feels as if you are sitting in your mum's dining room eating your mum's home cooking together with the family. It's all very nostalgic. Our meal reminded me of how Christmas should be - there was laughter (and lots of it), Christmas music, people making new friends and old friends being welcomed through the door which all left me with the warm fuzzy feeling you get at this time of year.
I'm not going to hide from the fact that we are in the lucky situation that we get to eat out a lot - so much so that the kids will sometimes moan when we tear them away from the tv and their computers to try somewhere new. Whenever I say we are visiting The Keel Row though, there is none of this moaning and they are ALWAYS happy to visit (it's definitely the play area that does it).
If you're interested in visiting The Keel Row this Christmas period, their Christmas Fayre menu runs from 1st December and should be pre-booked. For menus and booking enquiries, visit www.thekeelrow.com , call 0191 237 0060 or simply pop in:-
The Keel Row
You may also be interested to hear about the Keel Row carol service which will be happening around the Christmas tree at 5pm on 23rd December. There'll even be a visit from Santa himself. Tickets are FREE but limited and available behind the bar.
Image courtesy of The Keel Row