5 Great Places for Drinks in Durham

This week has seen the return of the mesmerising Lumiere Light Festival to Durham City, and what a spectacle it is. Having been a student at Durham University for three years, I have been lucky enough to marvel at the artistic beauty of this biennial festival. I have also frequented many of the bars in this beautiful, jam-packed city – what better time to sample a couple of cocktails or G&Ts, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of Durham, than during the UK’s largest light festival?

Framwellgate Bridge

(Image source: https://www.instagram.com/gabyabouttown/)

Ebony Champagne Bar

Ebony is probably Durham’s most luxurious and sophisticated bar, serving a pretty sizeable array of everybody’s favourite cocktails, and some of their own creations. It is first and foremost a champagne bar, serving both vintage and non-vintage champagnes in a truly stylish setting. The outdoor area of Ebony is decked out with patio heaters and blankets, meaning you can enjoy your glass of fizz or piña colada al fresco, even at this time of year!

Website: http://ebonychampagnebar.co.uk/

The Boat Club 

The Boathouse

(Image source: https://www.instagram.com/gabyabouttown/)

The Boat Club was consistently my favourite watering hole during my time at Durham University. This pub/bar sits right on the banks on the River Wear, overlooking the lovely Elvet Bridge and a stunning panoramic view of Durham City. Whether you want to relax on the terrace or in the river-side beer garden, or enjoy the wide range of music playing inside in the evenings, The Boat Club is a really chilled out place to have a cocktail or pint.

Website: http://www.the-boat-club.com/

Tin of Sardines

I’ve mentioned this delightfully bizarre little gin bar in my previous post about Durham, but I just wanted to re-iterate how fab it really is! The name of this bar says it all really: it’s pretty small. The fact that Tin of Sardines stocks over 200 types of gin, and 50 types of mixer is astonishing! Located on Elvet Bridge, right in the heart of Durham city centre, this place serves the best gin and tonics in the city and is certainly worth a visit if you can find a seat!

Website: http://www.tinofsardines.co.uk/

Whisky River


I have some great university memories sitting in this cocktail bar, enjoying rather a few delicious cocktails either in the sophisticated interior, or outside enjoying the summer sunshine. Tucked away in the shadow of Elvet Bridge, Whisky River boasts ‘drinks that speak for themselves’, and a selection over 60 different whiskies. The bar staff are well trained to create your perfect drink, and the garnishes on the cocktails here never cease to amaze me! It’s not hard to understand why Durham students and locals alike head to Whisky River for a date night or catch up with friends.

Website: http://whiskyriver.co.uk/

Tealicious Tearoom

If cocktails, craft ales and fancy gins just aren’t your cup of tea, why not have a real cup of tea from Tealicious? My favourite tearoom in the North East is extending their opening hours until 9pm for the duration of Lumiere, meaning you have all day and night to get yourself to Elvet Bridge and try one of over 24 blends of loose leaf tea on offer, as well as a huge slice of your favourite cake! A steaming cup of Durham Miner’s Brew or Orange and Cinnamon Tea to warm your cockles after walking round the marvellous light festival sounds like heaven to me.

Website: http://www.tealicioustearoom.co.uk/

For more information about what’s happening at Lumiere this weekend, and to get in the know about road closures and restricted access in the city, head to the festival’s website: http://www.lumiere-festival.com/durham-2017/


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