14 of the best places to eat and drink during Lumiere in Durham - from igloos to the world's smallest gin bar

Hundreds of thousands of visitors will flock to Durham for the 10th anniversary Lumiere spectacular, which will be lighting up the historic city from November 14-17.

Sunday, 10th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 3:56 pm
Crowds at the last Lumiere in 2017
Crowds at the last Lumiere in 2017

If working your way around the 37 installations builds up an appetite, we’ve rounded up some of the best and quirkiest places to get some quality food and drink during the festival, in no particular order.

A pop-up food event will be held on the banks of the River Wear as visitors make the most of the 10th Lumiere Festival. Milburngate will host stalls offering a variety of dishes and drinks including Sunderland-based mobile wood fired pizzeria, Truly Madly Pizza and Sedgefield’s The Impeccable Pig. There will also be stalls serving halloumi fries, scampi and chips and fish finger sandwiches along with hot drinks including Illy Coffee.
if you fancy a peaceful afternoon tea ahead of the evening crowds at Lumiere, head along the river to the historic Crook Hall. The Classic Afternoon Tea, £24.50 per person including entrance into the Hall and Gardens, is served in the Georgian dining room with views over Durham's skyline.

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Cosy Club recently opened as part of the new £30million Riverwalk development on the site of the former Gates shopping centre. The 120-cover restaurant serves food daily, from breakfast through to late night, and is a mixture of food styles with British classics such as fish and chips rubbing shoulders with tapas on the menu, as well as vegan and gluten-free options. Kids are also well catered for. Drinks-wise, expect draught beers and ciders, wines and cocktails which are served until 1am at weekends.
Igloo dining pods have been set up at The Boat Club so you can enjoy a beer by the Wear - whatever the weather. You can reserve the igloos for free during the afternoon.
This bar can trace its history back to the 13th century and it's teeming with character. Beneath the Medieval beams, you can take your pick from more than 250 gins, rums, specialist wines and whiskies. If you can get a seat, there's also a small beer garden overlooking the river at Framwellgate Bridge and Durham Castle.
Housed in the spectacular former County Hall, which dates back to 1896, MPW is one of the city's most opulent restaurant settings. The building was brought back to all its Victorian glory with a year-long £15million renovation by the Hotel Indigo chain who created an 83-bedroom boutique hotel, Marco Pierre White restaurant, rotunda bar, and coffee house called Tinderbox Espresso Emporium. The dining room is spectacular with its domed ceiling, oak panels, elaborate period plasterwork, marble columns and stained glass windows that hark back to the Arts and Crafts era.
If you fancy taking a bite out of some quality burgers head to Fat Hippo. The North East burger chain has built up a firm following thanks to its options such as burgers topped with peanut butter and bacon jam, as well as an imaginative selection of veggie options.
Believed to be the world's smallest gin bar, this is a great place for a glass of Mother's Ruin served by knowledgeable staff - if you're lucky enough to get in.
Slightly tucked away from the Lumiere crowds, The Court Inn is a good shout if you want to escape to a proper boozer. Expect hearty pub grub at fair prices.
One of the most Instagrammed cafes in the city, Flat White offers excellent coffees and is more of a daytime venue if you're heading into Durham early doors. Make sure to try the vegan pancakes!
Expect belly-busting burgers at this restaurant overlooking the Wear. Make sure to try the Tango tapas too, which includes Cheese Burger Spring Roll, Halloumi Fries and MAC & Cheese.
One of the most popular cafes in Durham, this cute tearoom offers 24 individual blends of loose leaf tea, as well as home-made scones, cakes and sandwiches.
For good old fish and chips you can't get much better than Bells, which is in the heart of the Lumiere action. They also offer a decent selection of wines and beers to go with your cod.
A little outside of the city centre, but near the train station and County Hall car park for Park & Stride, this is a good place to start the night ahead of Lumiere for classic dishes such as mince and dumplings and belly pork.