There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned Sunday roast and St Mary’s Inn has one of the best Sunday lunches to offer its diners.
Dating back to 1910, the inn, now a bed & breakfast, pub and restaurant, was once the administration block of St Mary’s Hospital, a former mental health facility until 1995.
However our visit was just what the doctor ordered after a mild bout of chickenpox meant we’d been housebound all week! We couldn’t wait to get out and about in the fresh air. With Whitehouse Farm Centre close by, St Mary’s Inn offered the perfect pit-stop for our little family looking for a spot of lunch.
Situated in the heart of a posh new housing development, the inn maintains charm and a rustic warm feel to it with plenty of traditional features. The building has been restored with extraordinary love and style, with black and white photos and old hospital plans adorning its white brick masonry.
Brimming with history, you feel the warmth as soon as you walk through the door of this pretty little establishment and the staff couldn’t have been more welcoming.
It was clear from the hearty Sunday lunch menu that we were going to get traditional pub grub with nicely Northern Yorkshire puddings. There was even a special kids’ menu for little C.
The clever layout made the space intimate and really cosy for families. Large blue and purple cushions softened the old church pew that we were seated on and it was clear that staff were proud of the atmosphere they have created – and rightly so.
After ordering from the menu, it wasn’t long before we were tucking into our starters. H ordered a good old-fashioned prawn cocktail which was so good that he had a helping hand from little C in polishing it off. Cyrus had already waded his way through a portion of garlic sourdough bread.
I opted for the goats’ cheese with red peppers and pesto smeared on sourdough toast. It was a simple, yet impressive dish which was full of flavour. It was delicious, my only criticism would be that there was perhaps a little too much pesto per portion.
The masterpiece was in our mains though. Who doesn’t love a roast dinner? It’s a classic dish that can be eaten no matter what the weather’s like outside!
We ordered roast chicken, roast beef and a child’s portion of chicken (which was not much smaller than the adult meal if at all). We also added some fries for good measure too.
None of us were disappointed as our plates arrived jam-packed with mouth-watering meats, veggies, spuds, lashings of delicious gravy and just look at those Yorkies! While we are carnivores in our house, it was good to see there was a nut roast option on the menu too.
While this fancy feast had us all stuffed, we were there to try a bit of everything and so ordered some desserts.
Dark, sticky and treacley, my sticky toffee pudding was the perfect combination of sweetness and stodge. It’s the best I’ve had in a long time. H meanwhile ordered the cheese selection and was helped along again by little C, who had finished his ice cream in no time and was eyeing up the crackers on his daddy’s plate.
One thing’s for sure, with a trip to St Mary’s Inn, you’ll be guaranteed to be full once you leave and if you’re anything like little C, you’ll fall sleep in the car on the way back home too!
Ten out of 10 for food, service and ambient surroundings. It was definitely one of the best Sunday lunches we’ve had in a long time. We will be back and next time, we’ll tie it together with a visit to Whitehouse Farm too.
For some other great places offering some of the best Sunday lunches in the North East, click here.