Thursday 8 November 2018

Exploring The Rabbit Hole, Durham's New Speakeasy, Jazz Bar and Supper Club

This is a collaboration with The Rabbit Hole

Take a stroll down Hallgarth Street in Durham and you might notice an unassuming antique shop, after a quick glance through the window the chances are you'll carry on your day without giving it another thought, unaware of the amazing secrets that lie inside.  You see if you were to just stop for a moment and take a short stroll up the side of the building you may have noticed a door with a bell and if you'd only dared to push it, you would have tumbled into a whole new world.  Welcome to The Rabbit Hole, Durham's curious new 1920s Shanghai inspired speakeasy, jazz bar and supper club.

The Rabbit Hole, Durham's New Speakeasy, Jazz Bar and Supper Club

Simon and I visited the Rabbit Hole to experience their Sunday afternoon supper club (the one day a week that they open during the day) to bring a little special something to the end of our weekend.  Feeling slightly nervous about the Rabbit Hole's house rules (there's a dress code and some very refreshing etiquette rules about using your mobile phone at the table) we made our way down the alleyway in our fancy clothes, rang the doorbell and waited for an answer.

Within seconds the door was pushed open and we were welcomed inside.  The door shut behind us and we confirmed our reservation before being escorted through the bar into the restaurant.  When you first make your way into The Rabbit Hole it's a wonderful shock for the senses. The dimly lit corridors felt very dark compared to the harsh light outside and it took a while for our eyes to adjust.  As we followed our waitress through the bar, our noses filled with the most delicious smells that made our tummies growl and the soothing sounds of jazz instantly gave us the most wonderful Sunday afternoon vibes.

The Rabbit Hole, Durham's Speakeasy, Jazz Bar and Supper Club

As we got used to our dark surroundings I began to notice the decadent interior of the Rabbit Hole.  Velvet curtains and ornate mirrors dressed the exposed brick walls, with stunning chandeliers hanging above the tables and leopard print cushions scattered around the plush seating areas .. hang on a minute - did I really just walk past a giant giraffe?!

There are two levels at the Rabbit Hole with a drinking den on the ground floor featuring a long bar lined with tasselled bar stools and cosy booths.  The ultimate spot for a night out with friends, the bar hosts live jazz nights and serves up cocktails served in the most beautiful glasses.

The Rabbit Hole, Durham Speakeasy, Jazz Bar and Supper Club

The restaurant is on the second floor although you soon realise that the maze of corridors leads to hidden tables that are so easily missed at first glance.  We were lead to the back of the restaurant to a cosy booth for two dimly lit by a small light above the table and partially hidden behind a beautifully dramatic curtain.

The Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar and Supper Club

Resisting the temptation to draw them and hide ourselves away for the afternoon we settled ourselves down with the menu, wondering how on earth we were going to be able to read it in the dark!

The Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club
We got quite the shock when we opened the menus to discover that they lit up and after opening them and closing them a few times just for our own amusement we started to look through the huge variety of dishes on offer.  Part oriental, part grill, the menu at The Rabbit Hole is a fantastic feast for the eyes and we struggled with decisions as we carefully read through what was on offer.

Dining at The Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club

Appetisers first and Simon opted for the Duck Pancake (£12.50) which came served on a massive plate that almost took over our entire table.  He was feeling very smug about his choice as he created his own pancakes stuffed full of tender sliced and spiced duck, spring onions the most delicious sticky hoi sin sauce.

I would have had a large amount of food envy if my dish hadn't been just as good!

Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club

I decided to order the Crispy Pancake Rolls (£8.00) which were so deliciously crispy I decided to take advantage of the fact that no one could see me in the dark, pick them up and dunk them straight into the accompanying Sweet Chilli Tangerine Dip.

Filled with soft noodle, beansprouts and shiitake mushrooms they were, without doubt, the best crispy pancakes I have ever had!

Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club - Starters

After a brief pause it was time for the main event!

I decided to order the Weeping Tiger (£25.00) from the "Off The Live Fire" menu - served with steamed rice and Thai dipping sauce, my dry aged sirloin stake was marinated in tamarind and garlic with a delicious hint of palm sugar. It tasted completely different to any steak dish I've ever had before, although a popular Thai dish it's not something I've ever had the chance to order and I really loved the oriental twist.

Simon had Cantonese Fillet of Beef (£17.50) with spiced onions and classic hoi sin sauce which he ordered with a side of Jasmine Steamed Rice (£4.50) His portion was absolutely huge and the massive dish of rice seemed to be never ending. Despite having a very large appetite he couldn't quite manage to finish it all (despite me doing my best to help out!)

Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club - Main Dishes

Whilst certainly not the cheapest night out in the North East, dining at the Rabbit Hole in Durham is worth every penny for the truly opulent affair and we both agreed it was one of the best meals out we've ever had. We wouldn't hesitate to go back and this time we quite fancy the idea of booking an overnight stay in Durham and making a real evening of it.

Rabbit Hole, Durham, Jazz Bar Supper Club

Find The Rabbit Hole at

17 Hallgarth Street

0191 386 5556

We received a complimentary meal for two in exchange for this honest review.


  1. I know for a fact Steve would LOVE it here - the vibe looks right up his street. x

    1. Wow yes he really would! You need to plan a special date night!


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