County Durham’s newest venue for drinks, food and even homemade ice cream re-opened its doors last week after a long renovation and re-brand – here’s what it's like inside.

The Cartologist, formerly known as The Garden House on Framwellgate Peth, just north of Durham City Centre re-opened its doors following a six-week makeover on Thursday, August 24.

Run by Director Andrena Smith-Bowes and Area Manager Charlotte Harvey with a group of dedicated staff, the pub now offers everything from fresh-to-order main meals to coffee and desserts.

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The Northern Echo: The Cartologist, County Durham.

In the opening event on Thursday, August 24, new customers, and old regulars were given their first glimpse into the venue which has been themed and decorated to the nines.

Punters were also treated to the origins of the mysterious Cartologist, with his backstory hung proudly on a pillar in the centre of the bar area for passersby to read.

The Northern Echo: The lore of The Cartologist.The lore of The Cartologist. (Image: KAYLEIGH FRASER)

The venue itself has three distinguishable sections, the first two being a winter-themed ‘map’ room displaying sections of County Durham with antique skis and relics on the wall.

This cosy vibe is reflected in the adjacent area, permanently displaying ‘stars’ on the ceiling through a machine that gives the corner a Northern Lights aesthetic, paired with some antique telescopes and stargazing paraphernalia.

Past the bar, the area opens into a bright conservatory-like section that has been covered with pastel pink and white flowers and is home to the coffee and cake bar.

The Northern Echo: Coffee bar menu.Coffee bar menu. (Image: KAYLEIGH FRASER)

The Northern Echo: Florals as far as the eye can see.Florals as far as the eye can see. (Image: KAYLEIGH FRASER)

The florals extend across beams towards skylights, making you feel like you have walked into a spring forest. This area of the venue is one Area Manager Charlotte Harvey hopes can host parties and baby showers.

After having a complete tour of the whole venue, Executive Chef Stephen Mountford served up tasters from the menu, which included everything from mini burgers, fish and chips, halloumi, many flavours of homemade ice cream, and even sticky toffee pudding.

The Northern Echo: The bar.The bar. (Image: KAYLEIGH FRASER)

The Northern Echo: The Cartologist, County Durham.

The ice cream, hand made in the kitchen, ranged from vanilla to a sticky toffee pudding flavour, with the owners hoping the range will hold up to 20 flavours one day.

From the samples, the food definitely impressed not only us but the large party of people that had flocked to the venue for its grand re-opening.

The staff, who were busy making their way around the venue for the whole evening were extremely attentive and talkative and were evidently pleased to be back to work.

17-year-old Skye Johansen worked at the venue before it closed for its renovation and said the atmosphere of the venue has changed following the big transformation.

The Northern Echo: The team at The Cartologist.The team at The Cartologist. (Image: KAYLEIGH FRASER)

She said: “I’m just looking forward to seeing people come in and for everyone to be enjoying themselves, having a great time. The atmosphere here is amazing.

“Before, it was different and much quieter but now the renovation has made the pub very bright and really unique.

“It is always great to serve happy customers.”

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Following the grand opening and a busy bank holiday weekend, Assistant General Manager James Moore said the grand re-opening was a great success.

He said: “It was fantastic. Everyone was buzzing, it was exciting. It is nice to be part of a high-end gastro pub - I do really enjoy going to work.

“The Cartologist is just going to get bigger and better because of all the things we have planned. We are really looking forward to the future.”