Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Bamburgh area, Northumbria


Recommended Posts

Mrs H & I are having a week there in June. Guides such as the GFG and Hardens suggest there's nothing really of interest. Google doesnt produce anything either.

But is there anything - say within 20 miles or so of Bamburgh?

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good man Harters, your post is very timely. My missus has been bleating on about going up to that neck of the woods for a while now- though she has mooted staying nearer to Alnwick. I too have drawn a bit of a blank re eating out , so I will be interested to know what others may suggest.

The one place I did read about in a broadsheet a while back is The Treehouse at Alnwick Gardens. I can not vouch for the food, but I thought it may entertain our little one (and indeed me).

Edited by Bapi (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Matfen hall Hotel had a very nice restaurant about two years ago, last time we went...otherwise it really is good pub, but not much more, land. Bamburgh itself just has tea shops and pubs, neither of the latter being up to much food-wise.

Might be a bit far from you, but Windlestraw Lodge is a pretty good eating option in the Borders (would need to call ahead).

http://www.windlestraw.co.uk/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a good crab soup at a pub in Craster once.

The tree house at Alnwick gardens was lots of fun when I was last there a few years back (no kids necessary) and we have had some good food there too, for lunches and teas.

lapin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm afraid that you may struggle to find anything interesting. Plenty of reasonable pub grub, but not a lot else. The Treehouse is reckoned to be decent, but I've never been. Otherwise, it's a 50 mile trek down to Newcastle for serious eating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure we had lunch at the Craster pub last time we spent time round there, about 5 years back. Other than there, even pub grub wasnt that brill - much being of the gammon/pineapple/chips variety.

John

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not on the door step, but if venture south to Morpeth, there is Henri's Brasserie, run by the same people who had the Black Door in Newcastle and still have the Black Door brasserie in Newcastle. Not tried it, so could not comment. Morpeth is a nice market town worth a look round if passing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, Craster is ace for kippers and anything crabby and fishy. There's a pub in Kirk Yetholm thats stunning (the Border Inn? Its in the Good Pub Guide anyway)

yep, craster kippers is the obvious suggestion (http://www.kipper.co.uk/home.html) - and in Bamburgh itself, this butchers seemed pretty good when I was there a few years back.

http://www.bamburghcastle.com/business/carters.htm

but in terms of eating places ... sorry, nothing comes to mind

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Well, we had a good week. Relaxing, nice cottage, reasonably good weather. Food uninspiring but neither of us died or were given the shits.

By a fair margin, the best dinner was at the TREE HOUSE at Alnwick Garden. It only opens in the evening on three or four nights but is well worth a visit if in the area:

We went to the Tree House twice, but only once to eat. The first time was during the day as part of a visit of the Garden. It was full of posses of school children and those seven year olds have no fear of the rope bridges that form part of the route around the tree house. Me, I needed a change of underpants.

The second visit was on one of the evenings when it turns itself into a “proper” restaurant. Decorations and furnishings are, to say the least, idiosyncratic and entirely within the concept that the Tree House is, erm, a treehouse. The menu is broadly “modern European” and the weather was just warm enough for us to read through it outside over an aperitif in amongst the tree branches.

A very promising start was made with the offer of several good breads, including, feta & ham, roasted spring onion & garlic, seeded and roasted red pepper. Soup of the day was tomato and lentil and was delicious – the taste of both main ingredients coming through.

This was followed by lamb rump, cooked perfectly to pink. It came with carrot mash, roasted fennel, red wine sauce. Good dish.

I started with a smoked haddock risotto. The fish smoked just down the road at Seahouses and it had a superb smoky flavour. The rice was tasty enough but was overly claggy, so it could be moulded in a ring. Topped with a poached egg, this really worked and I enjoyed it – but it wasn’t risotto. My main of monkfish wrapped in pancetta also nodded towards Italy. It’s a dish I always enjoy and this was no exception. It sat on crushed peas flavoured with sage. There was also a splodge of tapenade which did work with the blander flavours.

My wife’s dessert was a rhubarb crème brulee, accompanied by a shot glass of rhubarb jelly. Brulee was good, jelly was a fiddle to try and eat.

A shot glass also featured on my dessert plate. It contained a blueberry smoothie and was a totally unnecessary accompaniment to a vanilla cheesecake, topped with a great lemon and mead curd, made locally. Equally unnecessary was the quenelle of double cream. Less is more!

In spite of these quibbles, this was far and away the best meal we had during our week in the Alnwick area.

More info on other places in subsequent posts.

John

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We stayed in Bamburgh and ate twice at the Victoria Hotel, which seemed best of a bad lot. My advice is only do this if desperate!

You can eat in the bar or in what is laughingly called the Brasserie, where three courses will set you back £25. The bar is the better value offering decent pub grub at around eight quid for mains. Mrs H had a perfectly decent quiche & salad and I had braised beef with mash. Difficult to fault for what it was. Much easier to fault is the Brasserie.

Tomato and basil soup tasted of salt. Smoked haddock fishcake tasted of little. Pork fillet with dauphinoise potatoes was OK. "Cajun" spiced rib-eye was a hotch potch of flavours - none of them working. You might wonder why I ordered it but then you hadnt seen the other dismal offerings. Best bit for both of us was the bowl of mixed veg that was also served. Ice cream was also dismal and a lemon tart, suitably lemony, was let down by soggy pastry.

There's also an Italian restaurant in the village which would win the national "fewest toppings on a pizza" competition.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good fish and chips for lunch at PINNACLES in SEAHOUSES.

Light crisp batter on the cod. Freshly cooked chips. Decent helping of mushy peas. Bread and butter and a mug of tea. £8.

On the opposite side of the road, is Neptunes. A prime example of how not to do fish and chips.

Another good lunch at the JOLLY FISHERMAN in CRASTER. Crab sandwich. Bowl of chips - cooked perfectly - in dripping. Mrs H had a good pint of Black Sheep. Great views out ot sea.

We also went to THE SHIP at LOW NEWTON

You have to book to get a table for dinner. We didnt know that - not least as the website makes no mention of it. And it's a pub. We had a brief conversation with the guy behind the bar.

"Can we eat at one of the tables outside then?"

"We havnt got any more food."

"Can we book for tomorrow night , then?"

"Tomorrow, we only have the simple menu."

"What's on the simple menu, then?"

"Ploughman's and kippers".

"Fuck you, then".

OK, I made the last bit up but I was distinctly unthrilled. We did stop for a drink. They have their own micro-brewery next door. Mrs H had a half. She said it was lifeless. Fuck them again, then.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ART HOUSE, ALNWICK

I’d been quite well-disposed towards the Art House until I got home and did a quick Google. Its flyer offers this quote:

“The Art House is one elegant restaurant. Class oozes from the walls and furniture and luckily from the menu as well.”

The quote was, allegedly from “Eating Out” magazine. The Google not only failed to find such a magazine but turned up the quote in a restaurant review from the Northumberland Gazette in 2007. Presumably the restaurant owners thought it was better publicity to quote from a fictitious journal than a real local newspaper. I’m no longer well disposed to them.

Before that, I’d had a gripe about this small first floor place. It wasn’t the artwork that adorns the walls and is for sale. And it certainly wasnt the food. It was the decidedly dippy service throughout the meal. Perhaps it was just the two kids who were front of house but they really were clueless.

The sandwich boards on the street, and the exterior advertising promise local organic food but there’s nothing of these provenance declarations once you open the menu. I was a tad suspicious about that them but now I know they have a tendency to tell porkies, I don’t believe a word of it. That said, the food is non too bad in what is a pretty dismal area of the country for good eating.

Lamb koftas were nicely spiced with coriander and a good kick from chilli – they were softened by a yoghurt, mint and cucumber dip and a few well dressed leaves. A main of sea bass, stir fried veg and noodles sounded as though it was going to be oriental but had real eastern flavourings. In fact, it seemed to little added flavouring at all. It left me wondering if I was eating bass with noodles, or bass with pasta, if you see what I mean. Bass was a good flavour, although the skin could have crispier for my taste.

On the other side, a simple but very ample plate of smoked salmon. A very smoky cure cutting through the richness of the fish. A few prawns in Marie Rose added nothing. The main of rib-eye was Ok but unremarkable.

Only one of us managed dessert – a chocolate fudge cake, enhanced further by a good dark chocolate sauce. I enjoyed this a lot.

Cost, with a couple of drinks and tip - £70.

John Hartley

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...