A charming five-star bar and restaurant, found in the pretty and serene village of Felton, just opposite the River Coquet. There’s a separate ‘River Room’ – a light and airy, conservatory-style space – available for private gatherings and functions.
Light pistachio walls, scuffed tables and chairs and soft lighting. It’s the little touches, though, that catch our eye; the floor-to-ceiling windows, the twinkling tea lights and indoor lanterns and the Scandi-style wooden chandeliers. A very chic and cosy space indeed.
An fragrant and refreshing Elderflower Martini (£7.50) for us, and a French Martini (£7.50) for our dining buddy. Both sweet, fruity and shaken. Ours muddled together Jack Cain’s Premium Gin, elderflower, dry Vermouth and a spring of fresh rosemary. Theirs was a mix of Stoli vodka, pineapple juice and sugar syrup. So good, we may have had a couple of each.
A perfectly-sized menu; plenty of choice, but not overwhelming. You won’t find the usual ‘pub grub’ here – it’s fine-dining as far as we’re concerned. The dishes are inventive, but not pretentious, and marry sophisticated ingredients and flavours from all over the world – from Northumberland to India, China and Thailand.
Our friend started with tortellini (£7) – six plump, mint green parcels, filled with creamy spinach and ricotta, drizzled in a fresh, tangy caper vierge dressing and sprinkled with nubbly pine nuts. A surprisingly light and zingy dish, packed with ‘healthy’ flavours and great textures. We went for the oriental spiced duck breast (£8), which arrived with crunchy veggies, doused in a light and punchy hoisin sauce, crispy noodles and a slick of ginger purée. The meat was cooked to perfection – you could cut through it like butter – and the gentle hum of spiciness it provided was just enough for us. For mains, our friend tucked into a colourful, Indian feast of juicy king prawns (which were nearly as big as our fist) and wild rice (£18), with a silky smooth, banana and pineapple madras sauce and topped with a giant onion bhaji. We decided on the tournedos of beef (£23), which arrived smothered in a rich, pink peppercorn jus and joined by a woody wild mushroom fondue – something new (and delicious) for us. Desserts were beautifully presented and went down a treat; milk chocolate panna cotta (£7) with thick, homemade chocolate chip shortbread for us, and a bowl of rhubarb and raspberry crumble (£7) for them. Some of the best puddings we had demolished in ages. One of the best meals we’ve had in ages, actually.
Find out more | northumberlandarms-felton.co.uk