Magpie Lounge, St James’ Park, Newcastle.
One of the stadium’s cool, laid-back spots, available for all kinds of occasions at St James’ – including hearty end-of-the-week roasts on selected Sundays. It’s a comfortable space, filled with families catching up on their week, friends celebrating birthdays and general get-togethers. Sundays are meant for relaxing with good chums and loved ones and every diner had a smile on their face when we visited.
A bright and spacious function suite – much bigger than we anticipated. There’s a raised area to the right of the room with large round tables draped in crisp white cloths and boasting shining silverware, perfect for semi-formal dining. Here, even a Sunday roast can feel like a occasion worth celebrating. The jaw-dropping views of the pitch are fabulous. Footy fans will be in their element.
All your usual spirits, wines and beers. We went for a G&T and a cheeky pint.
The good-sized menu serves up ‘proper British grub’ – dishes like Northumbrian beef, fish ‘n’ chips and winter veg soup that go down so well on cold, winter days. But we were also pleasantly surprised to see sophisticated vegetarian options, such as kidney bean burgers with avocado puree, sweet potato and tomato and chilli salsa, as well as a few Chinese and Italian-inspired starters in there, too. Go with what you fancy.
With December beckoning, we wanted something warm and comforting to start, so settled on the hot and creamy winter veg and lentil soup. No complaints here – perfect portion size (there’s nothing worse than slurping your way through a huge bowl only to find you have no room left for the main event), lovely and thick and packed with well-cooked veggies. It tasted well and truly ‘homemade’ which was good enough for us. Our dining buddy went for the mixed meat and seafood antipasto, which did what it said it on the tin. Nice plump prawns, flaky salmon and a good mix of cold meats. For mains, it just had to be two beef dinners (although you can opt for chicken if you’d prefer). Our slabs of Northumbrian rib eye were faultless – charred on the outside and cooked baby pink, just how we like it – as were the giant, fluffy Yorkshire puds, all smothered in a silky, rich red wine jus. Big thumbs up for the crisp roasties and mountains of veg – you certainly won’t leave here hungry. Puds were pineapple upside down cake and lemon tart – two super sweet (and very naughty) treats that were devoured in minutes. But hey – if you can’t treat yourself on a Sunday, when can you. We left with full, satisfied bellies and big smiles thanks to the great service and fun mini-tour of the grounds and stadium facilities. Geordie diners will love it.