There is nothing that I love more than my dog, food, and gin.
As someone who is overly attached to my dog, wunder-pug Castor Troy, I am on a mission to find the best pubs, drinks and food to experience with him as my drinking partner. You should see the free treats this little asshole rakes in – does that make me his wing-man?
Yes, my partner understands where he stands in the hierarchy. And that is why he (internet, meet Greg) was more than happy/didn’t put up a fight to visit The Court Inn in Durham, with pup in tow.
The Court Inn is a dog-friendly pub which serves up home cooked meals and boasts of their 50+ gin selection. They are owned by the same owners as Tin of Sardines and Old Tom’s – both also in Durham, both also dog-friendly… so wait for more from these soon!
On some days The Court Inn serves some … specialities…
But of course, they also have the classics. For this meal, I went for the steak, ale and vegetable pie. Pies, like dinner pies, aren’t usual dinner fare in Canada. So now that I am living that English life I AM ALL ABOUT THEM. Meat, gravy, carbs with a splash of beer. Get in me.
My dinner arrived, the chips (aka fries for my Canadian friends) were cooked to perfection – I am over chips that have merely touched grease. I want my chips browned and crispy like they just had a lard bath, and these suckers were in for a leisurely soak. And what is that? A pie filled with gravy with essentially a side of gravy? What more could a gal ask for?
Greg likes to educate me about English history, although sometimes while he talks in detail, my brain is rattling through if Vanjie stands a chance on this season of Drag Race. But on this day I was intrigued by what he was saying. Probably because it had to do with food. So my luscious pie that was served before me is at the centre of a heated British debate. Apparently, some Brits say, if it’s just pastry on the top – not a pie it be. While others are like, pastry, filling – it’s a pie bro. And what I say to both sides – just let delicious things be. If it tastes good, pie-or-non-pie I will eat it. And yes, this tasted good. The pastry was flaky, it was packed with pull-apart steak, and the gravy-on gravy was to die for.
Obviously, I paired this meal with a gin. At places that have dozens upon dozens of gin, I often feel overwhelmed. But immediately I found one that caught my eye. A Pink Pepper gin by Audemus garnished with pink peppercorns and strawberries. It was a sight to be seen! I think one of the more expensive gins on the menu, but if you are having it as a treat, the smooth gin with a sweet-heat is one I highly suggest!
One thing I love about England is that 97% of a town’s population is inebriated by 4pm on a Saturday. So if you are going to take in The Court Inn on a weekend, get their early to nab a good table. Especially if you are with your canine pal. The Court Inn is divided into two parts: pub and restaurant. Dogs are not allowed on the restaurant side, which hygiene, I guess. But really the pub part is where it’s at. That’s where hen-dos are popping prosecco at 3pm in the afternoon. And they usually have water bowls floating around for pups as well.
Gin, gin and more gin. You can find the Audemus Pink Pepper Gin here. And, if you’re a bougie bitch who doesn’t only buy gin from Lidl, you can find it at Waitrose.