Top 3 Independent Cafés in Durham


As the days become chillier and the leaves turn ruby red, it’s the perfect time to find a cosy corner in the heart of Durham for a moment of mid-day hibernation or a quaint coffee date. Here are three of the best independent cafés to sip a piping hot drink and indulge in a luxurious little nibble this Michaelmas…

Be Tempted

In the shadow of Durham’s beautiful cathedral, Be Tempted is the best spot for charming tea and cupcake dates. Beyond the candy-floss exterior you will find shelves of plump cushions, covered in hand-painted pheasant prints (made by one of their lovely waitresses, and for sale inside), and walls of exposed brick-work, making it half pretty-little-café and half countryside-house. Their red-velvet cupcakes (which are unbelievably £1) and marshmallow-topped hot chocolates are wonderfully sweet and adorably picturesque, making them the most delightful afternoon treat. Plus, Be Tempted is the number one stop for a quick early morning sip as - from 10-12pm - they serve tea and coffee for only 99p a cup.

Chapters Tea Rooms 

The low-lit Chapters provides an enchantingly dark ambience, perfect for little low-key gatherings. Just across the cobbles from Jimmy Allen’s, Chapters is located at the top of Elvet Bridge, making one’s pre-coffee stroll both scenic and serene. With plenty of generous cake slices and practically the entire range of Twinings tea on offer, Chapters is great for catch-ups, and for trying a more unique flavour of tea; their individual silver pots of fruity strawberry and raspberry or autumnal salted caramel tea are recommended… and the large front-of-house windows are top-notch for people-watchers.

Flat White Kitchen

Flat White, opened by two former Durham students, is one of the most popular café brunch spots in the city, meaning that it is buzzing with lively student chatter every day. Located in the centre of Saddler Street and famed for its gigantic buttermilk pancakes, it is one of the busiest bistros going, so popping by early is essential if you want to miss the queue. Hot lattes in their rustic Hobbity mugs and overflowing blueberry pancake stacks are brunch favourites.

Which café is your favourite?
Sapphire xx

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