By Emerson Shams
As the term has continued and we have all been plagued with late night breakdowns, something fabulous occurred when one of my friends needed me to take them home in the viaduct recently. I stumbled upon The Georgian Townhouse Pancake Cafe. I knew I would need to try this place out immediately. Located in Crossgate, I returned to the café a few days later with another friend. We fell in love… with the pancakes specifically, but we are also going on another ‘date’ so?
The little café welcomed us with gorgeous murals and tables full of people enjoying platters of pancake bliss. Whilst the pancakes are quite pricey (ranging from £6-10), you truly get your money’s worth of food. If for some reason you don’t want a pancake, they offer a variety of salads as well. In addition to the regular variety of pancakes, the owner also informed us that they are able to cater for Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Vegan customers.
The Georgian Townhouse is probably one of the most overlooked of the multitude of cafés in the city
We ordered lemon, sugar and scrambled egg with maple syrup pancakes (this is not actually on the menu but she was more than accommodating to do this combo for me), and we were in heaven. Regarding drinks, the café has an expansive menu of hot and cold options and are priced very reasonably, with the most expensive drink being £3. A cup of tea comes with the breakfast pancakes and I found myself struggling to decide from the wide variety of options laid out for us. It is important to note that payment at the café is either cash or bank transfer.
After our meal, the owner of the restaurant told us the history of the place. Opened 18 years ago, the pancake café is an extension of The Georgian Townhouse Bed and Breakfast, which was opened in the 1980s. The entire house was actually the owner’s childhood home; her mother, with whom she still runs it, opened the B+B while she was a girl. What is now the Pancake café was actually her garage. She told us that in the 1960s it was a store front and there are still photos of it in the pub next door. The owner’s father is the architect who designed the café and painted all the murals. A fun game to play is to try and find all the mice he has painted on the walls. She informed us that they do pancake parties: you can book out the café to hold a birthday party or an afternoon tea.
The little café welcomed us with gorgeous murals and tables full of people enjoying platters of pancake bliss
The Georgian Townhouse is probably one of the most overlooked of the multitude of cafés in the city; it definitely deserves more attention. Not only do you get a great meal with spectacular service, but you also get to support a local family business that has roots in the history of Durham city. I know for a fact I’ll be returning, and bringing many more friends along to experience this wonderful place so full of love and history.
Photograph: Emerson Muhmoud