GIVEN the redbrick frontage, you could be forgiven for thinking The Travellers’ Rest is a fairly new building.

You could blink and miss it as you are heading through Delves Lane from the former steel town of Consett.

But the pub, lovingly restored in 2011 by the Cartmell family, is there, on the right hand side, same place it has been for 140 years.

The refurbishment, it must be said, was impressive and the inside is now traditional, but modern and chic at the same time.

It is decked out with thick wooden beams, traditional flagstones and pictures and signs paying homage to Consett’s industrial heritage.

There is a horseshoe-shaped bar with lots of cosy corners downstairs, or another level for diners upstairs.

I took my partner and two kids, five and six, which are funny names when you think about it, for a quick and easy pub meal one Saturday after we had been swimming at the new(ish) baths in Consett.

The menu offers a good range of traditional favourites, although not much for veggies, or pescatarians, like Lis.

Just as well she loves fish and chips.

That is what she ordered (£8.95) and was presented with a decently sized piece of cod, beautifully cooked in a light and crispy batter.

It was served with mushy peas, tartar sauce and lemon.

The children’s menu also offers a good range of kids’ favourites with my two going for fish fingers.

And not just any old fish fingers, but Captain Jack’s fish fingers.

I like it when they make normal food child-friendly by associating it with a cartoon character.

I once asked a burly Greek waiter in Crete if Popeye’s fish fingers were cooked in olive oil.

He started to explain they were grilled, but then the drachma dropped and he face-palmed himself, pulling his hand down over his lips then shaking his fist at me in a ‘Why I oughta’ kind of way.

I digress. The kids loved Captain Jack’s fish fingers and wolfed them down.

They did not seem so keen on the chips, which Lis thought might be a bit too soggy for them.

It was true they were slightly limp, but I thought they tasted terrific. Golden brown and piping hot, just as they should be.

My own chips came served, with, as requested, a rack of baby back pork ribs, (£12.95) smothered, completely smothered, in a delicious barbecue sauce.

The meat fell of the bone and they were fine, but there was something distinctly ‘ordinary’ about the pork meat.

The coleslaw it came with was particularly good, crunchy, chunky and creamy but alas, not enough.

I love coleslaw me, so could have quite easily cleared three or four times the amount offered in the little white pot.

A scoop of ice cream, as well as a soft drink was included in the kids meals, so Lis and I and just ordered a dessert each (£4.95) and we all shared to finish off our meal.

I have no complaints about the carrot cake, which was warm and moist and served with vanilla ice cream.

We were not so taken with the chocolate fudge cake, or the flavoured ice creams however.

If it transpired the chocolate fudge had been bought from a budget supermarket, frozen and quickly defrosted I would not be surprised.

It was over rich and sickly with an awful sloppy texture. Not fans I am afraid.

With two small kids we are not strangers to ice cream in our house and one thing I have noticed is ice cream has come a long way from the square blocks in cardboard packages, screwballs with bubbly or Mr Whippy cornets of my youth.

Nowadays we expect fancy Dan luxury ice cream for pudding with pistachios and salted caramel.

Not so here.

The chocolate and strawberry, the kid’s favourite flavours, were left more than half finished.

Not a good sign.

They had been swimming, were hungry but left their ice cream.

On the whole I would say the food was fine, nothing special, but enjoyable. We did feel a little let down by the puddings though.

Service, however, from two wonderfully friendly and efficient young waitresses was magnificent throughout.

It was bustling when we visiting on a Saturday noon and quibbles aside, The Travellers’ Rest is a lovely pub so it is easy to see why it is popular with people in the area.


Forster St, Consett, DH8 7JU

Tel: 01207 507555

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: noon-9pm Sunday: noon-8pm

Ratings (out of ten): Food 6 Service 8 Surroundings 7 Value 7