Spotlight: The Fox and Tree

Spotlight: The Fox and Tree

The Fox and Tree, Dalton-le-Dale, Seaham
14th May 2023

I would like to say that this was a spur of the moment visit to this newly opened restaurant just outside of Seaham but I have to admit that I did book the table albeit yesterday. The Fox and Tree is situated where was once the much loved The Times Inn which closed in 2019 despite calls for it to be saved. I venture to say that what is in its stead is a far cry from the spit and sawdust haunt of many a rambler and dog walker and is much the better for it.

Being a Sunday, the menu consisted of a selection of Sunday roasts including slow cooked brisket, belly pork and a chicken supreme with a huge home made Yorkshire pudding, beautifully smooth mash, turnip puree and accompanied by a selection of fresh vegetables, roast potatoes and a delicious gravy. I often moan about Sunday lunches at public houses about the quality and quantity provided but there are no such complaints from this traditional meal from the kitchen at The Fox and Tree. The cost of a 2 or 3 course menu with drinks will have you rubbing your eyes in disbelief when you efficiently receive your bill from the delightful waiting staff.

The service is attentive but not intrusive and the staff bends over backwards to make sure that you are comfortable and have everything you need. The dining areas are immaculate and the décor appropriate to a very comfortable dining experience. The music is audible but at such a level you can have a conversation with your party without having to raise your voice. There is a selection of paintings from local artists which are also available to purchase which further enhances The Fox and Tree reputation as a hub for the local community.

The menu for the rest of the week (apart from Sundays) offers something for everyone and uses the philosophy that quality is better than quantity. Anyone who has seen Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares will attest to the fact that all the best restaurants stick to a small menu of locally sourced ingredients which are prepared and presented with great care. Based on the Sunday lunch I had today, I am in no doubt that the chefs will have all of the dishes on their menu tried and tested and produced to the table with skill and excellent presentation whatever day of the week you are lucky enough to visit.

The waiting staff are also a credit to this newly opened business in Seaham and display a good knowledge of the food and beverages they are serving which belies the length of time that they have been working there. It instils a sense of comfort in a diner when the waiting staff are confident in the drinks and the dishes they are serving.

An article from the Newcastle Chronicle reports that in the whole of the North East – The Fox and Tree is already ranked number 4 for the best places in the region to get a Sunday Lunch and I am perplexed as to why it has not ranked higher. I am in no doubt whatsoever that The Fox and Tree will become THE place to get a beautifully prepared meal at any time of the week and I strongly advise that you book yourselves in for an absolute treat very soon before there is, inevitably, a waiting list. The Fox and Tree stands on a site that has a heritage of over 400 years and it is great to see that is open and serving quality food and a great selection of beers and wines to the residents and those further afield once again.

I wish Ian Foxton and Paul Rowntree (Fox and Tree – see what they did there?) all the very best for this new business and while this may have been my first visit, it will certainly not be my last as we work our way through their delicious menu of starters, mains and desserts.

The Fox and Tree is open for drinks from
12:00-23:00 Mon-Sat
12:00-22:00 Sun

And serves food from:
12:00 – 21:00 Wed – Sat
12:00 – 21:00 Sun

The Fox & Tree
Stockton Road
Telephone 0191 447 9799

-Stephen Stokoe

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