The city of Durham in England may be the most densely populated in the North when it comes to independent cafés. Having had your fill of the iconic architecture and explored every archaic cobbled passageway, a tea stop will certainly be necessary. Each venue is as charming as the next, which makes the choice difficult for even the most decisive individual. We’ve narrowed them down to this select round up of favourite Durham delights.
Moseying down the high street, you might miss this delightful little café if you weren’t specifically looking for it. At the bottom of a small pathway leading from Silver Street, 9 Altars sits nestled between the centre of town and the riverside, in prime position to tempt pedestrians either embarking on, or returning from, a river stroll with their fabulous Full English Breakfast complete with tea or coffee. It is the perfect place for intimate coffee meet-ups, especially if you are lucky enough to be blessed with a rare dose of warm weather, in which instance you can sip your latte and nibble your scone on the terrace overlooking the river. Alternatively, if visiting in winter, the cosy upper floor dining area is the perfect place to warm up, perhaps with a sweet white hot chocolate, and a slice of their sumptuous red velvet cake.
9 Altars, 19A Silver Street, Durham, UK
It is difficult to walk past the beautiful pastel blue exterior of Tealicious without being intrigued by the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party-esque window display, featuring an intricately decorated china set complete with elegant cake stands, framed by some quintessentially British bunting. The tearoom is fit to dazzle even the most experienced of tea connoisseurs, with seventeen stunning varieties of loose leaf tea. Try the Rooibos for a sweet and luxurious alternative to your average cup of breakfast brew. This gem is the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion in style, offering a gorgeous afternoon tea with dainty sandwiches, fruit scones, and a selection of homemade cakes and mini tarts, along with a choice of one of their blends of tea, or a cafetière of coffee. It is necessary to book an afternoon tea at least 48 hours in advance, however the tearoom is just as ideal for those spontaneous cravings for something tasty.
Tealicious, 88 Elvet Bridge, Durham, UK
Although breaking the rules a tad with a location twelve miles outside of Durham, in the quaint town of Sedgefield, an exception simply must be made for this fantastic little café. Upon stepping trough the threshold of Number Four and being greeted by an extensive cabinet full of more varieties of baked delights than anyone could have thought imaginable, an emotion akin to that of a child walking into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory erupts. One is not only greeted by your run-of-the-mill deserts like the vanilla slice, strawberry tart, or scone, but a whole array of inventive cheesecakes and cream cakes lovingly made by the Swiss-trained chef. It is advisable to book a table for this extremely popular haven, however the dessert selection is so extensive that you might be glad of a short wait for a table, in order to give you time for the inevitable internal battle over which delicious confection you’d like to sample. Despite the popularity, the staff somehow manages to remain efficient as ever, and are as charming as the cute and quirky décor of the café’s interior.
Number Four, 4 High Street, Stockton-On-Tees, UK
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.