A glam gastropub, attached to one of Northumberland’s newest and most stylish wedding venues and boutique hotels, Le Petit Chateau. A place for all kinds of diners; wellied walkers and their wet-nosed companions, couples in search of intimate mid-week dinners and groups of family and chums looking to clink and cheers to the weekend.
Deliciously stylish and so very Instagram-worthy. Think scuffed reclaimed floorboards and cool-toned stone flooring, exposed brickwork, twinkling chandeliers, crackling fireplaces and rose gold and copper accents. Lighting is low and soft for a gentle injection of moodiness and upholstery is a trendy mix of leather and wood. It looks classy and it feels classy – but without any pretension or real formality.
Like any good village inn, it’s home to an extensive range of craft beers and ales from breweries all over the country, as well as a well-stocked cellar of house and fine wines, and a short, but sweet, cocktail menu.
Its food offering goes above and beyond your typical pub grub; it’s hearty, yet sophisticated, beautifully presented with local produce at the heart. The team have solid bonds with nearby home-growers, raisers and catchers and do a great and gutsy job of showing off the rewards of their hard work. You can come here for light bites and lunchy eats, Sunday roasts or even just a crêpe or two (which are always freshly-made), but on this occasion we sat down for a long evening meal and after an even longer week.
What we ate
Starters combined spot-on portions with big, punchy flavour. Ours was the Eldson goats cheese panncotta (£7.25); a cool, creamy dome joined by a heaped spoonful of tomato and onion jam and dainty crostinis, brushed with fragrant basil oil, for dunking. While the cheese wasn’t as strong as we’d anticipated, the sticky, tart jam added plenty of lip-smacking flavour. The two flavours married together perfectly, resulting in very pleasing sweet and creamy mouthfuls, while the cheesy, crunchy crostinis added nice texture and bite. Our partner chose the tempura king prawns (£9.95) – four plump and fluffy beauties encased in a crispy, golden batter – on a bed of delicate, noodle-like Asian slaw and chilli sauce. A does-what-it-says-on-the-tin dish done really well. Big, fat, fresh prawns – is there anything better? The fish theme continued into mains; for them, good old fish and chips (£12.95), and for us, pan-fried seabass (£13.95). The cod arrived tender and flaky – and longer (and as thick!) as our forearm. Order this only if you’re battling a big appetite! The light, bubbly batter was a thing of beauty, as were the mushy peas and chunky, homemade chips and tartar sauce. A faultless plate. The seabass was also a winner; two bone-free fillets with crispy skin, with Chinese-style cabbage and veg, drizzled with a perky, refreshing lemongrass and ginger dressing. We snuck in two desserts before we retired home for plenty of food-induced kip; a slice of dark, perfectly rich, muscovado and chocolate ganache tart (£6.50) and a wedge of sticky toffee pudding (£5.95), drenched in smooth, butterscotch sauce. Just heavenly.