Review of Jesmond Dene House Hotel, Jesmond

  • February 1, 2012

Newcastle’s Finest?

We stayed at Newcastle’s premiere hotel last week (NE2 2EY), and prior to crashing out in one of the gorgeous rooms (about the prettiest we’ve seen), we had to indulge in the city’s highest scoring restaurant in this year’s Good Food Guide.

Of course the old grade II mansion’s surroundings are undeniably beautiful, and upon arrival there is a lovely lounge to have a pre-meal drink in (sit by the fireplace). Drinks come with nibbles of marinated olives, pickled garlic, Tyrell’s crisps, and cornichons. We are always so appreciative of things like this – it doesn’t cost the restaurant a lot but is such a nice touch that helps set apart the good from the great.

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Electric East Launch Party

  • January 23, 2012

**UPDATE: Electric East is now closed and Mark Lagun is at The Earl of Pitt Street*

Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to be invited along to the launch/re-opening of Electric East, former home of Barn Asia (NE1 4DP). Inside very little has changed, apparently using the same staff, and the interior is very similar (and cool), so hopefully the food still stacks up.

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David Kennedy’s River Cafe, North Shields

  • January 16, 2012

Despite being our hometown, North Shields isn’t exactly renowned for it’s great food unfortunately, something we hope will change with the fish quay redevelopment and restaurants such as Irvin’s, and now, David Kennedy’s new venture, River Cafe (NE30 1HF).

Appearing quite mysteriously last September without much fanfare or so much as website, we heard rumour of a set menu for £3.95 – and obviously had to check out this too good to be true offer. With fingers crossed that David Kennedy wouldn’t put his name to anything less than stellar, and that there would be no compromise in quality of food we headed along on Saturday afternoon, and thankfully, we were proven right in both cases.

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Liberty Brown Pizza House, Bar & Grill

  • January 11, 2012

You’d better seriously deliver on a basic pizza when branding yourself a “pizza house” - unfortunately, I think Apartment Group’s latest venture would be better off leaving that off their title. Being fond of the other group’s other ventures (As You Like It, Mr. Lynch’s, etc.) we had to try out the recently opened Sunderland location. An Apartment Group venture selling pizzas as well as it’s famous cocktails - count us in! At first glance of the menu - it…

Blackfriars Events 2012

  • January 10, 2012

Blackfriars sent me their events listings for this new year - and what a busy year it is! Apart from their great deal this coming restaurant week - check out the many eats and treats going on throughout this year: Burns Night (25 January, 7pm, £30pp) Join Blackfriars for a real ‘earthy’ Burns’ dinner and treat your taste buds to the culinary delights of Scottish inspired cuisine and whisky. Toast one of Scotland’s most famous poets at the restaurant’s hugely…

Newcastle Restaurant Week 2012 (Updated!)

  • January 2, 2012

Happy New Year! It seems like only last week we were launching into restaurant week across the city, but thankfully, here we are again at the beginning of the year, typically a quiet period for the restaurant trade, I’m sure most will be fully booked again come this 23rd to 29th January. Check out the full list of participants below. Two Courses for £10 (mostly - check with restaurant for details) As You Like It Babucho Barluga Blackfriars Brasserie at…

Best of 2011

  • December 27, 2011

Jumping on the bandwagon of end of year awards, here’s our take on it. We’ve ate a lot in 2011, and these are just the one’s that have stuck in the mind the most for being tasty and delicious, if not the most expensive or technically amazing dishes. Let your turkey leftovers settle today and perhaps pay any of these guys a visit in the coming year. Favourite Restaurant of the Year 2011 THE FEATHERS INN Very hesitant to call…

Review of The Waterline, Newcastle

  • December 5, 2011

Our favourite pizza. The Waterline is now  closed and is home of The Jolly Fisherman We love pizza here. Even more than fish and chips. But less than curry. It’s amazing. While the search for the holy grail of pizza goes on (possibly unfulfilled unless in NYC or Italy itself), here is what we think is the best you can find in our city. Pizza Express is our usual go-to - you get consistency, you get a good base, decent toppings,…

Barn Asia Rescued!

  • November 25, 2011

Good news this week that Barn Asia - recently closed - has been rescued! The fact that they are keeping the same chefs and staff is always a good sign. Hopefully they can turn it’s fortunes around and we will visit soon again. Here’s the PR: Top Newcastle restaurant is ‘born’ again  A renowned restaurant in Newcastle city centre which fell victim to the recession has been given a new lease of life thanks to a loyal customer. Barn Asia…

Lunch at Deli Fina, Gosforth

  • November 17, 2011

A cold and miserable Saturday led an unexpected treat in the form of a quick lunch from Deli Fina, the foodie side of Carruthers and Kent in Gosforth (NE2 4AY). Didn’t get a chance to sample any wines this time - had an empty belly, so focussing on my first visit to Deli Fina - a small but lovely selection of local produce, home cooked goodies, and even a treat from our favourite pub… Couldn’t resist trying this Salmon, dill and saffron…

Christmas at Hotel Chocolat Newcastle

  • November 14, 2011

Hotel Chocolat were nice enough to send us some treats from their christmas line, here’s what we thought! Mulled Wine Cherries (£8.50) "Succulent cherries soaked in fortified wine spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, then enrobed in thick dark chocolate." Following on from their line of fruity bits soaked in various chocolatey goodness, the seasonal version is cherries soaked in christmas-style mulled wine. If you’ve had the kirsch cherries or rum sultanas you’ll know what to expect - only more…

Quayside Restaurant Closures

  • November 11, 2011

Sad news again as two more restaurants close on Newcastle’s Quayside this month, both Rumpoli’s and Café Bistro Buee have closed their doors for the last time. While Rumpoli’s still operates it’s sister branch, Uno’s downstairs, we always thought Rumpoli’s was a slightly nicer place, whereas Buee was one of the only places to get real home-cooked French food in the city. Situated metres apart from each other, and not long after the closure of Oliviana’s and Kublai Khan -…

Review of David Kennedy’s Food Social

  • November 7, 2011

Since becoming “David Kennedy’s Food Social”, the former Black Door Brasserie (NE2 1AN) has shifted focus from fine dining to a simpler notion of “beautiful, locally-sourced food presented to it’s best advantage”. To further cement this notion, some daily specials are available, such as a £9.95 Tuesday steak night and a vegetarian special on Wednesdays. We headed along on a Friday night to try out the “two fish and chips and a bottle of wine for £20” deal. Since the change…

Wine Tasting at Malmaison Newcastle

  • October 23, 2011

"Wine Tastings at the Mal. Headed up by Mal’s Head Sommelier, join us at Café Malmaison on from 7pm for a unique wine experience. This event is all about wine flights. The voyage presents you with a selection of our finest wines and a guided tasting tour conducted by our Sommelier." This week I was kindly invited along to the first of hopefully many of Malmaison’s latest wine tasting events. The format of these sessions is very informal and designed to…

Review of Jai Ho, South Shields

  • October 19, 2011

Jai Ho is now closed and another restaurant is in it's place. "Top class surroundings and fantastic curry" promises the latest and greatest on South Shields’ famous Ocean Road, which has also been picking up a few awards in the short time that they have been open. Now, we’ve been up and down the famous Ocean Road and tried many, many curries, and while there may be some good value food on offer, it’s all a bit of a world…