The Kingslodge Inn on Milbut’s front row for sponsor support

Inn Collection Group Six Nations Kingslodge Inn women rugby Milbut Durham University

As rugby fever grips with fans on tenterhooks wondering if England can clinch the Six Nations Grand Slam, The Kingslodge Inn has been proudly supporting The Durham University colleges Van Mildert and Josephine Butler’s Women’s Rugby Football Club, Combined Milbut as their shirt sponsor.

Flass Vale pub The Kingslodge Inn’s lions and logo graced the distinctive black, red and gold team shirts of the Combined Milbut players who have finished second in Durham University's Intra-University Premiership comprising of teams from all 16 of the University's colleges. 

General manager of The Kingslodge Inn on Waddington Street, Leanne Jeffrey said: “We would like to congratulate all the players, coaches and supporters of Milbut for a great league result. We jumped at the chance to become the shirt sponsors of Milbut and to be able to support such a great team of sportswomen and their connections.

“They have had a phenomenal season which is testament to their hard work training and some gutsy performances on the pitch. Well done ladies! We look forward to welcoming you into The Kingslodge Inn for some well deserved celebratory drinks soon!” 

Claudia MacDonald, corporate and social secretary of Combined Milbut said: “We have absolutely loved having The Kingslodge Inn as our sponsor, the additional investment in the team has allowed us to increase our professionalism, and improve our facilities for training. 

“Milbut only lost one game and completed the season in second place in the league and were winners of the Floodlit Cup. Five of our first-years, who had previously never played rugby before, have also progressed through to University level, an achievement we are very proud of.

“We hope that Milbut will continue to provide a stepping stone into higher level rugby, and an environment within which players can be introduced to the fantastic game of rugby, and given the right support to develop as a player. 

“We cannot thank The Kingslodge enough for their support of our team and hope this will continue next season."

Granny Knows Best - The Inn Collection Group and Abbeyfield celebrate British Pie Week

British Pie Week The Kingslodge Inn Abbeyfield

Granny Knows Best
The Inn Collection Group and Abbeyfield celebrate British Pie Week

Grandma is said to always know best, and The Inn Collection Group is setting out to prove the adage with the launch of a competition to track down the perfect pie.

The Kingslodge Inn and The Seaton Lane Inn, both in County Durham, have teamed up with older people’s charity, The Abbeyfield Society, to hunt out the most traditional and imaginative recipes in celebration of British Pie Week taking place between March 6-12.

Grandparents, older people and Abbeyfield residents are being asked to play their part in the quest to search out the tastiest time-honoured and home-grown pie recipes.

From formulations unique to the North East to sweet and savoury classics, it is hoped the over-65s will get behind what promises to be a delicious celebration of culinary know-how and British food heritage, that’s also set to raise funds for the national Abbeyfield charity.

The star recipe as judged by The Kingslodge and The Seaton Lane’s expert team of chefs, will not only be championed as a British Pie Week special on both the inns’ home-cooked menus, but see money raised from sales going direct to Abbeyfield to help support its work to ease loneliness in older people.

The victor will win a three-course meal for two at either The Kingslodge Inn in historic Durham City or The Seaton Lane Inn in the village of Seaton, just minutes from the county’s dramatic heritage coast.

The competition is part of a wider Granny Knows Best campaign being rolled out nationally by Abbeyfield, honouring the older generations’ culinary expertise and excellence.

The Kingslodge Inn general manager, Leanne Jeffrey, said: “When it comes to pies, it really is true that granny knows best. We’re hoping people will get in touch with us with recipes that will take diners back to the flavours and textures they remember from childhood.”

Paul Brown, general manager at The Seaton Lane Inn, added: “We’re looking for recipes for pies made the traditional way, using traditional techniques and ingredients – whether they’re sweet or savoury – and with that extra dollop of love that goes into a recipe that’s been passed down and eaten by generations.

“We’re looking forward to linking up with Abbeyfield for the project and we’re excited to see what our senior cooks come up with to share with diners.”

This will be the second time The Inn Collection Group – which owns The Kingslodge and The Seaton Lane – has joined forces to support Abbeyfield, after throwing  a free three-course festive meal to over 80 older people living alone, as part of the charity’s Companionship at Christmas campaign to bring food and friendship to isolated older people.

Abbeyfield’s divisional director for the north Teresa Parker said: “This is a fantastic chance to revive once-loved pie recipes, celebrate all that’s good about North East food and drink, bring people together, and get Abbeyfield residents and older members of our communities cooking and hopefully having lots of fun with family and friends.

 “Pies are as quintessentially British as fish and chips and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, and we want to celebrate everything that is good about the sort of old-fashioned, homely cooking that has brought families together for generations.

“Even better, this competition won’t just raise awareness about our proud culinary heritage, but much needed funds for Abbeyfield so we can continue to ensure that people’s golden years are among the happiest of their lives.” 

Teresa added: “We’re delighted with the support we’re receiving from both The Kingslodge Inn and The Seaton Lane Inn, and their recognition of the input older people have in society. Projects like this help to get older people out into the community, which enriches their lives. It also reminds them that they are wanted and needed, and still have an important role to play.

“We’re looking forward to practising the recipes in our kitchens here at Abbeyfield before they are submitted – and of course feasting on the results.”

If you are aged 65 and over you can submit your pie recipe in person to either The Kingslodge Inn on Waddington Street, Durham or The Seaton Inn on Seaton Lane in Seaton; by email to or or by post, addressed to Leanne Jeffreys, The Kingslodge Inn, Waddington Street, Flass Vale, Durham City, DH1 4BG or Paul Brown, The Seaton Inn, Seaton Lane, Seaton, Co Durham SR7 0LP.

The closing date for entries is Thursday March 2.



The King's Head Inn backs veteran’s gruelling Everest-height climb of Topping for critically injured local girl

The Kings Head Inn Newton under Roseberry Maisie Welsh Roseberry Topping Chris Hames

The King’s Head Inn is backing a serving Army Captain who is set to climb iconic landmark Roseberry Topping 30 times in 24 hours – the equivalent to scaling Everest on February 25 and 26 - to raise funds for an 11-year-old girl critically injured in a riding accident.

The King’s Head Inn in Newton under Roseberry is providing round-the-clock refreshments and accommodation for Gulf war, Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Capt Christopher Hames who is raising funds for local girl, Maisie Welsh. Maisie was left blind in one eye and sustained life-changing facial injuries following the accident three months ago and now needs years of painful, reconstructive facial surgery.

The challenge will see Chris take on a climb higher than Everest summit from its base camp as he ascends and descends the famous ‘Matterhorn of the North’. The challenge will take place over difficult, rocky terrain during night and day, covering a minimum of 56-miles and 17,010 feet of climb and descent. Everest summit from base camp is 11,377 feet. 

Admitting this will be one of the toughest physical challenges he has faced, Chris, 46, a serving officer with The Royal Army Physical Training Corps, said: “I’ve had some pretty epic challenges over my 29-years in the Army, but this will be up there as being one of the toughest. It will be worth every step to raise funds to support Maisie and her family who have had their lives turned upside down.

“Just days before the accident I saw Maisie play football with my daughter. It goes to show how quickly things can change for any of us. Everything has changed for her and her family and support is needed in so many ways. Maisie is fully aware of the extent of her injuries and with a huge amount of help is slowly coming to terms with them. She is a fighter but she still has to undergo so much throughout the rest of her life.”

The King’s Head Inn, part of The Inn Collection Group, will also be serving up a two-course special ‘Meals for Maisie’ throughout the weekend from Friday to Sunday night, with £1 from every special meal sold going to the Chris fundraising appeal. The pub is staging a raffle and will be running fundraising activities. 

General manager Chris Moor said: “As a father myself my heart goes out to Maisie and her family. We are in absolute awe of Chris’s challenge and are delighted to be able to support him and assist in raising much-needed funds for Maisie and her family at such a difficult time.

“We’re hoping for a great turnout of support from people to come and use us a base to cheer Chris on and to help raise as much money as we can for such a remarkable young lady as Maisie.”

Maisie’s father Adam Welsh said: “It’s a very special thing that Chris is doing for Maisie and we can’t thank him enough and to The King’s Head Inn for their support. It has been a very difficult time for our family and the fact that people are prepared to go to such lengths to support us is appreciated by us all.”

Chris’s 24-hour Moving Mountains for Maisie begins on Saturday February 25 at 1200 hrs from the gate to Roseberry Topping.  Meals for Maisie and fundraising activities will take place at The King’s Head Inn from Friday February 24 onwards.

·      Donations to the challenge can be made at

Pub group’s celebration of local craft gin is the perfect Dry January tonic

If the thought of Dry January leaves you cold, North East hospitality leaders The Inn Collection Group have the perfect tonic with their Try ‘Ginuary’ local craft gin showcase. 
The Inn Collection Group is capturing the spirit of the gin renaissance with by turning the spotlight on pioneering local gin distillers throughout January, to bring something different to their customers’ gin and tonic. 
Each of the group’s seven inns – from The Lindisfarne Inn near Holy Island to The Kingslodge Inn at Durham, will feature gins distilled nearby to encourage customers to put a different gin in their glass throughout January.
Already well-known for the choice and quality of the local and craft ales the Group serves, the inns are now giving spirit lovers and gin newbies the opportunity to sample some of the best gins in the North and to work their way through a hand picked selection of lesser-known gin varieties. 
Craft gins are having a ‘moment’. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association forecasts that overall gin sales will top the £1 billion sales mark for the first time this year. 
The best of the North’s craft gins will be available for a limited time at all seven Inn Collection Group inns – The Lindisfarne Inn at Beal, The Bamburgh Castle Inn at Seahouses, The Hog’s Head Inn in Alnwick, The Commissioner’s Quay Inn in Blyth, The Seaton Lane Inn in Seaton, The King’s Head Inn at Newton under Roseberry, and The Kingslodge in Durham. 
David Walker of The Inn Collection Group said: “We’re trying to make January a little less blue by trying something that’s more of a tonic, with a small collection of local craft gins that we’ve tasted and loved. What’s more, they’re all distilled in locations close to our inns. 
“Gin is so quintessentially British, and with so many different taste variations now available, the possibilities for flavours from gin seem endless, we’re keen to showcase some directly from our little region of the world.  
“People are trying different garnishes too – ice and a slice of lemon no longer cuts the mustard and there are plenty of premium mixers upping their game to support the in-gin boom.”
Walter Riddell of Hepple Gin said: “We are thrilled that Hepple has been included in The Inn Collection Group’s Ginuary line up. We make our gin rather differently, using young green juniper sourced from the hills around Hepple near Rothbury in Northumberland. 
“We use two separate distillation systems and a high-pressure extraction system to bring a crisp freshness not found in any conventionally made gin. Because of the complexity of our distillery process and our exacting harvesting regime, we only make a small quantity of Hepple, our only product.”
The Inn Collection Group’s Try Ginuary will be showcasing: 
  • Durham Gin -  a small batch gin distilled in a 400 litre copper pot still called Lily, using traditional methods. Only a couple of hundred bottles are made from each batch and are labelled by hand. 
  • Hepple Gin – north Northumberland produced gin that’s vacuum distilled at lower temperatures to capture more flavour, including the young green juniper gathered from the Hepple Estate. 
  • Masons Yorkshire Gin – distilled slowly and traditionally in two 200-litre stills called Steve and Lefty, the first gin to be distilled in Yorkshire contains juniper and citrus flavours. 
  • Poetic License – flavoured with juniper and cardamom spice, lemon, lime and eucalyptus, this is a fresh scented gin that also contains a host of secret botanicals. 
Tasters will be able to try the different garnishes and serving suggestions recommended by the distillers to bring out the best in their gins.
Dave said: “We’re initially offering the craft gins on a limited basis during January but if they prove popular, we’ll be looking to put them behind the bar full time. 
“But if you are taking part in Dry January, don’t worry, we have plenty for you too – a fantastic selection of soft drinks, mocktails and non-alcoholic beers and wine.”